Parsley or garden parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a species of Petroselinum in the family Apiaceae, native to the central Mediterranean region (southern Italy, Greece, Algeria, and Tunisia), naturalized elsewhere in Europe, and widely cultivated as a herb, a spice, and a vegetable.
Parsley is a popular culinary and medicinal herb recognized as one of the functional food for its unique antioxidants, and disease preventing properties. The herb is rich in many antioxidant vitamins and fresh herb leaves are rich in many essential vitamins. It is, perhaps, the richest herbal source for vitamin K.
Parsley is widely used in European, Middle Eastern, and American cooking. Curly leaf parsley is often used as a garnish. In central Europe, eastern Europe and southern Europe, as well as and in western Asia, many dishes are served with fresh green chopped parsley sprinkled on top. Root parsley is very common in central, eastern and southern European cuisines, where it is used as a snack or a vegetable in many soups, stews, and casseroles.
The leaf, seed, and root are used to make medicine.
Parsley contains health benefiting essential volatile oils. The herb is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium.
Parsley is used for urinary tract infections (UTIs), kidney stones (nephrolithiasis), gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, constipation, jaundice, intestinal gas (flatulence), indigestion, colic, diabetes, cough, asthma, fluid retention (edema), osteoarthritis, anemia, high blood pressure and prostate and spleen conditions. Parsley is also used to start the menstrual flow, as an aphrodisiac, and as a breath freshener.
Parsley can be applied directly to the affected area for cracked or chapped skin, bruises, tumors, insect bites, parasites and lice.
Benefits of using parsley include:
- Acts as an antioxidant
- Protects against atherosclerosis
- Helps to protect against colon cancer
- Protects against the type 2 diabetes
- Protects against asthma
- Alleviates inflammation
- Protects the immune system
- Helps to reduce the severity of asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
- Helps to prevent heart disease
Note: Consuming very large amounts of parsley could be unsafe because doing so can have side effects like “tired blood” (anemia) and liver or kidney problems.
Parsley is used frequently as a garnish on potato dishes (boiled or mashed potatoes), on rice dishes (risotto or pilaf), on fish, fried chicken, lamb, goose, and steaks, as well in meat or vegetable stews (including shrimp creole, beef bourguignon, goulash, or chicken
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