Part of the plant used for medicinal purposes: parsley root (Petroselini radix)
Other names: garden parsley.
Description and harvesting:
Parsley is a biennial or perennial plant that belongs to the carrot family (Apiaceae). It has branched roots. Only the cultivated varieties have slender, tuberous roots. Leaves are long, bright green, one- to tripinnate. The stem is jointed, grows 50 to 100 cm tall and carries yellowish flowers joined in umbels. In gardens, it is cultivated for use as a flavourful herb. It is used in its first year of growth. Parsley leaves protect against the development of cancer, stimulate the digestive system and prevent colonic fermentation, which is why they are added to dishes, such as soups.
Parsley root is harvested in April or October and November and added to tea blends.
Constituents and medicinal use:
Parsley root contains 0.2 to 0.3% of volatile oil, the most important ingredients being apiol and myristicin. The root also contains flavones, such as apigenin, and flavone glycosides, namely apigetrin and apiin. The plant also contains small amounts of other flavonoids, as well as carbohydrates, proteins, mucilage, and other substances.
Parsley helps to reduce gas and bloating and helps to soothe colon spasms. Scientists have proven that on an insulated intestinal tissue of rats in vitro (e.g. test in the Petri dish) and ex vivo (in a live organism), apiol blocks calcium channels. This is a mechanism confirming its beneficial effect in preventing colon smasms and gas.
Parsley increases the urine output and reduces levels of blood glucose and fat. A liquid parsley extract, such as tea or soup, inhibits sodium and potassium ATPase in the renal cortex, thus increasing diuresis. In this process, potassium is released from the body. Parsley is added to tea to increase the amount of the urine output. In case of enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia) when the bladder does not empty completely during urination, parsley increases the amount of the urine output; therefore, parsley is added to the tea blend for men with enlarged prostate. Parsley is also antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory.
Increased secretion of urine also helps to eliminate toxins from the body, thus parsley is also added to tea blends against cellulite.
It also protects the liver and is an anticoagulant. It speeds up menstrual bleeding.
Large quantities of parsley should be avoided during pregnancy because they may induce a miscarriage.
Monk Simon Ašič’s product containing parsley root:
1. Galle-Toplak Katja. Zdravilne rastline na Slovenskem. Založba Mladinska knjiga, Ljubljana, 2002.
2. Agyare C. Medicinal Spices and Vegetables from Africa. Petroselinum crispum: a review. 2017.
3. Kreft S. Sodobna fitoterapija. Slovensko farmacevtsko društvo, Ljubljana, 2013.
4. Sidra M. Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical activities of medicinal plants. Critique of medicinal conspicuousness of Parsley(Petroselinum crispum): A culinary herb of Mediterranean region. Januar 2014.
5. Karlin M. Slovenska imena naših zdravilnih rastlin. Priloga Farmacevtskega vestnika, št.1-3/XV.