Parsley is more than just a garnish on your dinner plate.
It is well known for its disease-fighting properties and has been used as a natural medicine for centuries.
If that hasn’t convinced you enough to eat this herb instead of throwing it out, then maybe this will:
Some of the best-known parsley juice benefits include kidney cleansing, cancer protection, reduced body odor, digestive support and more!
And while eating parsley on its own wouldn’t hurt, juicing parsley unlocks even more nutrients, making them more concentrated and usable to the cells of the body.
Before we get into the incredible health benefits of drinking parsley juice, I want to talk a little bit more about the plant itself.
What is Parsley?
Parsley is an annual herb that is thought to have originated in southeastern Europe or western Asia.
This popular garden herb comes in four different forms: curly (Petroselinum crispum), flat-leaf (Petroselinum neapolitanum), Hamburg (Petroselinum tuberosum) and Japanese (Cryptotaenia japonica).
Most people are familiar with curly and flat-leaf parsley. These are commonly used in cooking and are the plant types you’d frequent in the grocery store.
Hamburg parsley, on the other hand, is mostly grown for its roots than its leaves. It commonly called “root parsley” for this reason. Root parsley is common in European cuisine, where it is used soups and stews, or simply eaten raw, as a snack.
Japanese parsley is more bitter than curly or flat-leaf parsley and is used regularly in Asian cuisine.
Curly parsley is hardier and can withstand cold Northern temperatures. Italian flat-leaf parsley, however, will often lose its shape and dwindle within days of the first frost.
The history of the plant goes back pretty far. The ancient Romans and Greeks both used parsley in death ceremonies as a way to deodorize corpses.
In medieval times, parsley ended up becoming a highly superstitious plant.
One belief surrounding the long germination period for the seeds was because they had to travel to hell and back seven times before sprouting.
Superstitious farmers would refuse to transplant parsley and some were even too afraid to grow it at all. This is pretty comedic, especially if you’ve ever tried to grow parsley before (it takes FOREVER!).
20 Parsley Juice Benefits
Superstitions aside, parsley juice benefits multiple systems of the body, many of which simply can’t be ignored.
So, without further adieu, here are 20 incredible health benefits of drinking parsley juice!
Strengthen Immune System
Parsley has been shown to suppress over-stimulated immune systems, helping fight against allergies, autoimmune and chronic inflammatory disorders. Its high flavonoid content also provides it with the ability to enhance immune system response, as well as suppress various stages of the cancer process.
Bad Breath Treatment
Suffer from halitosis (breath odour)? Parsley can help! It is rich in chlorophyll to help neutralize bad breath, and acts as a deodorizer and anti-mutagen. So don’t skip over that parsley garnish on your plate – it’ll help cleanse you palate and freshen your breath at the end of your meal.
Parsley is a great natural diuretic, making it a wonder-herb for lowering blood pressure, and helping flush the body of excess toxins. It’s diuretic effects help eliminate excess sodium in the body, which is also great for getting rid of excess water weight.
This medicinal herb makes a great anti-inflammatory food. It is high in vitamin C, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent and helps provide relief in those suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It also contains a volatile oil called eugenol that has been shown in studies to possess strong anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties.
Blood Tonic and Purifier
Chlorophyll in parsley helps to alkalize the body, form new red blood cells and purify the blood. Polyacetylene found in parsley contains anti-platelet-aggregatory properties that help prevent cardiovascular disease and stroke. It also contains a host of beneficial flavonoids that neutralize free radicals and strengthen the heart.
Reduces Gas and Constipation
If you suffer from bloating, gas, and constipation, parsley is your go-to herb! It has been used as a traditional remedy for colic, indigestion, constipation and intestinal gas. It also acts as a diuretic, helping to reduce bloating caused by water retention.
Strengthens The Bones
The high vitamin K content in parsley makes it a great herb for helping strengthen the bones. Vitamin K deficiency has been linked with higher risk of bone fracture and osteoporosis. Consuming enough vitamin K (which just 1/2 a cup of parsley provides) improves calcium absorption, reduces urinary calcium excretion and modifies bone matrix proteins, all of which help improve bone health.
Prevents Bladder Infections
By stimulating urination, parsley juice helps flush out bad bacteria in the urinary tract that can cause urinary tract infections (UTIs). It is also an effective antibacterial herb (see below), making it great for getting rid of bacterial infections of the bladder and urinary tract.
Heals The Kidneys
Parsley juice helps flush the kidneys by stimulating urination. When my bladder infection went up into my kidneys I juiced up to 2 bunches of parsley a day (along with my raw vegan diet), and it went away naturally after 5 days. How’s that for a natural medicine!
Parsley stimulates the appetite and improves the digestive process. It contains a host of different enzymes that help in breaking down food during digestion, as well as vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients that aid in absorption and utilization of other foods we eat.
Parsley juice can help relieve an upset stomach and indigestion, thanks to its high vitamin C and folic acid content.
Parsley contains twice the amount of iron found in spinach. Iron is the oxygen-carrying component in red blood cells, and helps prevent iron-deficiency anemia. Just 1 cup of parsley provides 3.7 mg of iron, or 21% of your daily recommended intake!
Folic acid in parsley is a nutrient required for proper cell division, and so is important for cancer prevention of the colon and cervix where cells rapidly divide. It is very high in vitamin C (3 times higher than oranges!), which is important for scavenging free radicals and preventing DNA damage (a main contributor to cancer cell growth). Parsley also contains the compound apigenin, which increases levels of glutathione reductase and superoxide dismutase and has been found to shrink certain breast cancer tumours.
Regulates Blood Pressure
The diuretic effects of this herb help lower sodium levels and thus helps lower high blood pressure. Parsley also contains folic acid, which helps convert homocysteine into benign molecules, thereby preventing damage to blood vessels and reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Parsley is a good source of the pro-vitamin A carotenoid, beta-carotene. Consuming a diet rich in beta-carotene lowers your risk of age-related macular degeneration, and improves night-blindness.
Speeds Wound Healing
The beta-carotene content in parsley (which gets converted to vitamin A in the body) helps in the maintenance and repair of skin. This makes it a great herb to not only improve skin elasticity, but speed up the wound healing process.
Reduces Hair Loss
Hair loss is often triggered by a diet lacking in essential nutrients. Parsley, however, contains a host of beneficial nutrients that address a number of nutritional deficiencies that lead to hair loss or weak hair. It regulates the TGF-β1 gene (thanks to the antioxidant apigenin), which controls hair fall.
This powerful antibacterial herb, with the ability to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria like E. coli and B. subtilis, is a must if you want to prevent bacteria-related illness.
Regulates Menstrual Cycles and Soothes Cramps
Parsley contains a compound called apiol, which helps regulate the menstrual cycle and soothes menstrual cramps. It has been used by indigenous cultures to help regulate fertility, and acts as a powerful menstrual stimulant.
Excellent Source of Vitamin K
Vitamin K is incredibly abundant in parsley. Just 1/2 a cup contains over 554% of your RDA of vitamin K! What does vitamin K do? It plays an important role in blood clotting, strengthens the bones, fights calcification, acts as a beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and improves brain function!
Good Source of Copper
If you need some copper in your diet, parsley is the way to go! Copper is an essential trace mineral found in the liver, brain, heart, kidneys and skeletal muscle. It helps with the formation of collagen, plays a role in energy production and increases the absorption of iron.
Should I Juice Flat-Leaf or Curly Leaf Parsley?
If you’re wondering if you should juice flat-leaf or curly-leaf parsley, the answer is that you can juice either. They both provide similar benefits to the body and there isn’t much of a difference between the two.
How to Make Parsley Juice
Parsley makes a great addition to salads, smoothies, and juices. I love making my fennel-parsley-ginger-lemon-apple juice – it tastes incredible and provides the body with a host of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients to help heal the body, protect it from harmful free radicals and enhance functioning of the heart.
Parsley by itself is great, but juicing helps improve nutrient absorption, and allows you to eat more than you’d normally like. For example, I can juice a huge bunch of parsley in one juice (with apple, lemon, ginger and fennel), but I might not be able to eat it all in one sitting, due to the huge fibre content. However, it is also important to note that I eat a LOT of fibre every day, and so my body doesn’t really require the extra fibre from the parsley.