by Carly Fraser: 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!).
Nutritional Profile of Parsley
Parsley is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and other crucial phytonutrients that help support many bodily processes.
Here is the nutrient profile for just 1 cup (60 grams) of parsley:
|PRINCIPAL||NUTRIENT VALUE||PERCENTAGE OF RDA|
|Dietary Fiber||2.0 g||8%|
|Vitamin A||5055 IU||101%|
|Vitamin C||79.8 mg||133%|
|Vitamin E||0.4 mg||2%|
|Vitamin K||984 mcg||1230%|
|Vitamin B6||0.1 mg||3%|
|Pantothenic Acid||0.2 mg||2%|
|Lutein & Zeaxanthin||3337 µg||~|
Now, let’s get into ways that parsley juice benefits the body!
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!
1. Strengthen Immune System
Parsley is high in apigenin, which 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 cancer development.
Not to mention, just 1 cup of freshly cut parsley provides you with over 133% of your daily recommended amount for vitamin C. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that is well known for its beneficial effects on the immune system.
Vitamin C enhances our immune system by supporting various cellular functions. For example, it supports the epithelial barrier function against pathogens and protects against environmental oxidative stress.
Vitamin C also accumulates in phagocytic cells, such as neutrophils, and kills off harmful microbes that would otherwise make us sick and diseased.
2. Bad Breath Treatment
Suffer from halitosis (breath odor), or really smelly feet and armpits? Parsley can help!
Due to the high levels of chlorophyll, parsley is a natural deodorizer. This means that it helps neutralize bad breath and wards off the bacteria that triggers strong body odor.
While not many studies have pointed to chlorophyll helping deodorize the body, one study found that it helped lower body odor in older adults living in nursing homes.
So don’t skip over that parsley garnish on your plate – it’ll help cleanse your palate and freshen your breath at the end of your meal.
3. Natural Diuretic
Parsley is a great natural diuretic, making it a wonder-herb for lowering blood pressure, and helping flush the body of excess toxins. Its diuretic effects help eliminate excess sodium in the body, which can help rid the body of excess water weight.
A 2002 study found that parsley may help with urinary volume. More recent research has also confirmed its diuretic properties.
While the study was conducted on rats, it showed that parsley can act as an anti-urolithiatic drug by decreasing urinary calcium excretion, increasing urinary pH and decreasing urinary protein excretion and its nephroprotective activity.
By helping the kidneys flush out excess sodium and other contaminants, the health of the body can be greatly improved.
Parsley is an amazing anti-inflammatory herb.
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.
Like vitamin C, beta-carotene, another compound present in high amounts in parsley, may also be helpful in reducing the severity of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Parsley also contains a volatile oil called eugenol that has been shown in studies to possess strong anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties.
5. Blood Tonic and Purifier
The high chlorophyll content of parsley helps alkalinize the body, form new red blood cells and purify the blood.
Polyacetylene, a compound found in parsley, contains anti-platelet-aggregatory properties that help prevent cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Parsley also contains a host of beneficial flavonoids that neutralize free radicals and strengthen the heart. Studies even suggest that parsley can be used to treat arterial hypertension, protecting against cardiac diseases that may stem as a result.
6. Reduces Gas and Constipation
Parsley 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.
Parsley leaves are carminative, relieving flatulence by preventing the formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract . Additionally, they facilitate the expulsion of gas, thus quickly reducing bloating.
The essential oils of parsley are beneficial when juiced, but juicing does get rid of the fiber. If you’re dealing with constipation, eating raw parsley either in a salad or sticking it in a smoothie, will greatly help push things through without little difficulty.
7. 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. This is because it works with Vitamin D to regulate osteoclast production and helps regulate bone turnover .
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.
But vitamin K isn’t the only nutrient in parsley that supports bone health.
Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant and vitamin, is vital in the production of collagen, which makes up the flexible “scaffold” of bone.
B complex vitamins found abundantly in parsley, are also necessary for proper bone health. B vitamins reduce levels of homocysteine, a harmful amino acid, which can weaken bones and undermine cognitive function.
Parsley also contains bone-healthy apigenin, a flavonoid that boosts osteoblast growth and increases collagen in bone cells.
Who knew that a common garnish on our plates could do so much for our bones!
8. Prevents Bladder Infections
By acting as a natural diuretic, 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, making it great for getting rid of bacterial infections in the bladder and urinary tract.
Specifically, parsley has been shown to have antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, and Klebsiella spp.,which are the most common pathogens UTIs. It was also found effective against Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enterica, Enterobacter cloacae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (18).
Other compounds found within parsley, like carotenoids and coumarins, are also thought to enhance its antibacterial properties by enhancing immunity and disrupting DNA replication in harmful bacterial strains.
9. Heals The Kidneys
Parsley juice acts as a natural diuretic, so it happens to be one of the best herbs for healing the kidneys.
Two ingredients in parsley oil can be credited for the herb’s diuretic properties – apiol and myristicin. This oil can be found in the leaves, but it is found in higher concentrations in the seed.
A 2017 study concluded that “parsley acts as antiurolithiatic drug through decreasing urinary calcium excretion, increasing urinary pH, dieresis, decreasing urinary protein excretion and via its nephroprotective activity.”.
I experienced this first hand when I had a bladder infection one time, and the infection made it’s way up into my kidneys.
I juiced over 2 bunches of parsley every day (along with celery, cucumber, lemon, and ginger), and it went away naturally after 5 days.
Now, I always keep a little bit of parsley on hand.
10. Aids Digestion
Parsley stimulates 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 the absorption and utilization of other foods we eat.
One enzyme in parsley called carbonic anhydrase plays a key role in the regulation of pH and fluid balance in different parts of our body.
In our stomach lining, this enzyme plays a role in secreting acid. It also helps to make pancreatic juices alkaline and our saliva neutral (20).
11. Soothes Indigestion
Parsley juice can help relieve an upset stomach and indigestion, thanks to its high vitamin C and folic acid content.
As we’ve already seen, the enzymes in parsley help to increase stomach acid, which in itself can help remedy those experiencing the inability to digest food particles.
Parsley also helps stimulate the kidneys, producing more urine, and drawing excess water out of the abdomen. As a result, it helps relieve discomfort and indigestion.
12. Prevents Anemia
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.
Studies have shown that parsley leaves possess antianemia properties. As an added benefit, parsley also happens to be high in vitamin C, which in itself aids iron absorption in the body.
Just 1 cup of parsley provides 3.7 mg of iron or 21% of your daily recommended intake! So if you juiced around 2 cups of fresh parsley (which is about 1 bunch of parsley), you’d be getting nearly half of your recommended intake of iron.
13. Anti-Cancer Herb
Considering all of the parsley juice benefits, fighting cancer is at the top of the list.
Parsley contains the compound apigenin, which increases levels of two enzymes called glutathione reductase and superoxide dismutase. These enzymes have been found to shrink certain breast cancer tumors (23).
In a review published in the journal Cell & Bioscience, the authors note that “Apigenin was reported to suppress various human cancers in vitro and in vivo by multiple biological effects, such as triggering cell apoptosis and autophagy, inducing cell cycle arrest, suppressing cell migration and invasion, and stimulating an immune response”.
In addition to apigenin, parsley contains certain volatile oil components like myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. These essential oils boost the immune system, thereby slowing cancer growth and formation, and protecting against oxidative stress.
Parsley also happens to be incredibly high in the cancer-fighting vitamin, vitamin C. Vitamin C scavenges DNA-damaging free radicals in the body, which are major contributors to cancer cell growth.
14. Regulates Blood Pressure
Parsley is a diuretic, meaning it increases the amount of fluid the kidneys have to get rid of over a shorter period of time.
This means that if you tend to eat a lot of sodium, these levels will also drop the more you urinate.
The more you urinate and remove excess sodium from the body, the better your blood pressure will be.
But this isn’t the only reason parsley helps regulate blood pressure.
Parsley happens to be rich in carotenoids, which have been found to benefit heart health. One of the ways it does so is by improving elevated blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
Parsley is also rich in nitrates, which help dilate blood vessels. This, in turn, improves blood flow and lowers high blood pressure.
15. Improves Vision
Parsley is a good source of the pro-vitamin A carotenoid, beta-carotene. It also contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin.
These three carotenoids are essential for good eye health and help protect your vision.
They also help lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a medical condition that may result in blurred or no vision in the center of the visual field.
Studies have even found that carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin may reduce your risk of AMD by up to 26%.
The conversion of beta-carotene to pro-vitamin A in the body also helps protect the cornea and conjunctiva. These two parts make up the majority of the outer portion of your eye that is exposed to the elements.
16. 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.
Let’s not forget that parsley is a great source of vitamin C, which also plays a role in wound healing.
Vitamin C is necessary for collagen formation and even promotes collagen gene expression. Collagen provides structural support in connective tissue, muscle, and skin. It is necessary for skin elasticity and plays a role in bone and joint health.
Collagen also happens to play a major role in boosting tissue growth at the site of wounds. This is made possible by vitamin C, which is an essential cofactor for collagen synthesis by dermal fibroblasts (tiny cells that initiate wound healing).
Studies have found that vitamin C increases the proliferation and migration of dermal fibroblasts.
So if you’re suffering from any surface wounds and want to take your healing to the next level, start juicing parsley!
17. Controls Hair Loss
Hair loss is often triggered by a diet lacking in essential nutrients like vitamins A, C, D and E, zinc, B vitamins, iron, biotin, protein, and essential fatty acids.
Anyone lacking these nutrients may experience slower hair growth, or worse, hair loss.
Parsley happens to be one herb rich in the proper nutrients to support healthy hair growth. Including it in your diet could help address a number of nutritional deficiencies that lead to hair loss or weak hair.
Parsley has been traditionally used as a hair tonic to control conditions of the scalp and remedy hair loss.
The antioxidant apigenin, found in parsley, regulates the TGF-β1 gene, which controls hair fall, .
This powerful antibacterial herb is a must if you want to prevent bacteria-related illnesses.
It has been shown to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria like E. coli and B. subtilis.
Parsley essential oil, present in both the seeds and leaves of the parsley plant contain compounds like apiol, myristicin, and b-phellandrene.
These compounds prevented the growth of different bacterial strains including Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella enterica. They also had fungistatic activity against all tested fungi, mainly, Penicillium ochrochloron and Trichoderma viride.
Other studies have found parsley an effective antibacterial agent against natural microflora, coliforms, yeast and molds, and S. aureus.
So if you’re dealing with a high candida load, or are simply trying to overcome a non-life threatening bacterial infection, drinking parsley juice could help.
19. Regulates Menstrual Cycles and Soothes Cramps
Parsley contains a compound called apiol, which helps regulate the menstrual cycle and soothes menstrual cramps.
Parsley may also stimulate uterine contractions to induce a period, so you shouldn’t juice parsley in large amounts if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding (38).
Some Indigenous cultures use parsley to help regulate fertility, as it acts as a powerful menstrual stimulant.
Let’s not forget that parsley is a powerful anti-inflammatory, which will naturally help ease menstrual cramps.
If you want to take the pain-soothing properties to a whole other level, add a little ginger to your parsley juice. The combination of these two ingredients is powerful enough to dampen painful cramping.
20. Excellent Source of Vitamin K
Parsley is loaded with vitamin K. Just 1/2 a cup contains over 615% of your RDA of vitamin K!
What does vitamin K do? It plays a role in blood clotting, fights calcification, acts as a beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and improves brain function.
It also happens to be an essential nutrient that works alongside calcium to build strong bones.
Not enough vitamin K circulating in the blood has been associated with low bone density.
On the flip side, a handful of studies have shown that supplementation with vitamin K results in improvements in bone health (40).
It is particularly important for slowing bone loss in menopausal women and increasing bone strength in those suffering from osteoporosis.
The combination of vitamin K and other bone-building nutrients found in parsley (like magnesium, phosphorous and calcium), makes this herb essential in the maintenance and structure of healthy bones.