Parsley isn’t only a garnish or an herb to boost your potato salad, it—like many other herbs—is a healing plant with a wide range of benefits. As many people reach for prescription drugs and even over-the-counter supplements to bolster their health, herbs like parsley offer a purely natural and completely healthful manner of fighting illness and disease.
Though the herb was associated with death in ancient Greek, it wasn’t because the herb itself was deadly. As a matter of fact, a myth placed the origins of the herb as growing in the blood of Archemorus, a fertility king. From then, it was laid on the tombs of the dead and when someone was said to “need only parsley”, it was a statement about their proximity to death.
Despite this dark history, the bright and lively green herb has a wealth of healthy benefits. Here are just 4 parsley health benefits.
1. Better Breath
The chlorophyll in parsley makes it a great antibacterial solution for your mouth and bad breath. The next time your plate is garnished with parsley, try using it as an after dinner mint.
2. Liver Health
A known detoxifier, parsley is great for the liver. Two compounds in the herb—apigenin and myristicin—work to boost liver enzyme production, which leads to better detoxing of the body.
Apigenin and luteolin are both flavonoids within parsley. These antioxidants work to protect the body from oxidative stress.
4. Anti-cancer Benefits
Myristicin and apigenin have both been identified as having anticancer properties. Apigenin has been associated with a reduced risk of prostate, breast, and skin cancers while myristicin has been shown to prevent the growth of tumors.
In addition to these benefits, parsley is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and beta-carotene. It’s been linked to the prevention of anemia and the treatment of bladder infections. It’s known as a digestive aid and good for kidney health. A natural diuretic and blood purifier, parsley is an all-around beneficial herb.
You can even use the herb to help treat specific symptoms or as a strengthening herb (one that bolsters overall health in a preventative way). Add it to your food, smoothies, and salads, or much on it raw. Parsley has been used for centuries as a healer, and it should have a prominent place in your diet.