Parsley plant for diet therapy.

Parsley is a Superfood

This leafy herb is so common to our western diets that it is often dismissed and forgotten as just another nicety. A mere garnish, a decoration, for it's pretty colour. Needless to say, it is frequently left there and wasted but this article hopes to explain that it is very, very good for us in many ways.

Flat Leaved Italian Parsley on a chopping boardParsley is the popular name for the Petroselinum genus from family Apiaceae that contains over 30 varieties. Only three of them are in common use: the flat leaf variety pictured to the left, also known as Italian parsley (Petroselinum neapolitanum), the curly leaf variety (Petroselinum crispum) and the Hamburg parsley (Petroselinum crispum) which is grown for it's roots, but is not common in Australia. The flat leaved Italian variety has the strongest flavour. It is a biannual plant with small green leaves with three lobes. Parsley is a native of Southern Europe of the "Meditteranean Diet" fame.


  • Is one of the richest vegetable/herb sources of potassium which stimulates kidneys to excrete wastes. Potassium preserves alkaline balance of the blood. Just note that is best eaten raw as potassium is heat-sensitive and much of it is destroyed in the heat of cooking.
  • Is a blood tonic due to three blood building nutrients: iron, copper and manganese the latter of which also nourishes the nervous system and the brain stimulating the transmission of impulses and muscles.
  • Has rich quantities of B1, 2 and 3 vitamins.
  • Is rich in vitamin C which strengthens the immune system,as well as calms rheumatic pain and treats rheumatoid arthiritis and osteoarthiritis.
  • Has high levels of vitamin C and A, which helps combat respiratory problems such as bronchitis and asthma and diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes and colon cancer.
  • Helps control high blood pressure and is very good for the heart as it reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack.
  • Is beneficial for eye health due to vitamin A and especially beta-carotene.
  • Helps prevent cancer due to high levels of flavonoid myristicin (1)(2), folic acid and apigenin (3) which act to reduce turmour formation in cervical, colon and lung cancer. It has also been shown to prevent the formation of skin cancer (4).
  • Helps blood clot due to it's exceptionally high vitamin K levels 1 cup = 1230% of RDA (chopped) but watch out if taking blood thinning medication.
  • Improves bone density and bone health by increasing calcium uptake and reducing it's excretion due to it's high vitamin K levels.(5)
  • Lowers blood sugar levels and protects against diabetes by lowering insulin resistance through its myricetin content. See (6) for studies.

Just note that parsley is best eaten raw as cooking it destroys the heat sensitive mineral potassium.


From a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) point of view, parsley helps us deal with damp. Damp is a condition where internal fluids are acumulating and not being properly transformed and transported out of the body. It (damp) easily combines with heat or cold giving hot flushes or cold extremeties and weak energy levels giving into lethargic responses. Ever feel like your arms are made out of lead?


If you are suffering nutrient deficiencies then you have to ask yourself the all-important question, no not "soldier on" but why? What is happening to stop your body from absorbing nutrients from food? Using Chinese medicine, I look deeply to examine your symptoms, energetic relationships within your body as well as emotional effects on you, and treat these appropriately. This is by definition Holistic Therapy. Shiatsu and the wider Asian medicines are amazing therapies for delivering quality care to you.Zen Hands Logo. Natural therapies, Shiatsu, Japanese Needle Therapies, Massage


To your health!


You may also wish to check back for our Alfa Alfa article.


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Footnotes and references:


(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769029/

(2) http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2012/jan/chlorophyll-can-help-prevent-cancer-study-raises-other-questions

(3) Reduces turmor size - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25738871

(4) Acts to prevent skin cancer - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4014640/

(5) Study on Vit K's 22% reduction in bone fractures https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5413254/


(6) Decreases blood glucose levels - http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213453012000031


Updated 19/1/2020 11/9/2018+Thornalley&andorexactfulltext=and&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&resourcetype=HWCIT



Updated 21/7/2018

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