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Posts Tagged aphrodisiac

Parsley

Parsley is an amazing plant that deserves more credit. Native to the Mediterranean, parsley has long been considered sacred to the Greeks. It was used to decorate the tombs of the deceased and medicinally to help with several ailments. There are two varieties: Italian and curly. Italian parsley has a stronger “parsley” taste, is less fragrant and less bitter than the curly kind.

Nutritional Highlights

Parsley is a powerful antioxidant, low calorie and high fiber herb.

Nutrition Facts for 1-cup of parsley:

  • Calories: 22
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Sugars: 1 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Vitamin A: 5055IU, 101% DV
  • Vitamin C: 80 mg, 133% DV
  • Vitamin K: 984 mcg 1230% DV
  • Folate: 92 mcg, 23% DV

Health Benefits

Parsley and Digestion

The high antioxidant content, i.e. vitamin C, flavonoids and carotenes, help to reduce carcinogenic effects of fried foods. Vegetable oils become unstable when heat is introduced and therefore, turn rancid. Rancid oils and trans fats wreak havoc on our internal systems and can cause nutrient deficiencies, heart disease, and obesity amongst other conditions.

Parsley can help fight bad breath from garlic and onion. The high levels of chlorophyll give parsley a deodorant-like quality, which could explain why it is often used as a garnish.

The little green herb can help stimulate detoxification. When used as a tea or consumed in high quantities it flush toxins from the liver and can remove kidney stones by stimulating urination.

Parsley and Cancer

Parsley’s volatile oil components have all shown anticancer effects. One in particular, myristicin, has been shown to reduce tumor formation in animals, especially in the lungs. In a recent study apigenin, a compound found in celery and parsley, worked to block new blood vessel formation in breast cancer tumor growth. Parsley ranks high in histadine levels, an amino acid that can inhibit tumor growth.

Aphrodisiac

You read that right. Parsley is full of nutrients needed for optimal functioning of the sex organs. Vitamin A, for example, improves circulatory function, therefore, supplying oxygen rich blood to the reproductive organs. Vitamin C is a well-known immunity booster but is also necessary for sex gland health. As mentioned above, parsley is high in histadine. Histadine is converted to histamine in the body, a chemical needed to stimulate sexual arousal among other processes.

According to European folk tradition, parsley is an emmenagogue. Emmenagogues help stimulate menstruation in women suffering from absence of periods. Other mild emmenagogues include ginger, yarrow, feverfew, rosemary and sage. Parsley is a powerful diuretic that can alleviate discomfort of the urinary tract, improving “the mood” for some women.

Tips for Using Parsley

Though it is usually used as a pretty garnish, I recommend adding it to different dishes to reap all the wonderful health benefits.

Try it:

  • Suggested serving size: 1- 2 tbsp per day
  • Add it to salads, soups, pesto, vegetable juices or grilled fish.

Make a thermogenic tea prior to going bed:

      • juice of 1 lemon, ½ tsp lemon zest, 1 cup hot water, a tbsp of chopped parsley and a pinch of cayenne. Steep for 15-30 minutes.
      • These ingredients work together to fight fat and reduce bloating or water retention.

Make a parsley tea:

      • add 1/4 cup fresh leaves to 1 cup boiling water. Steep for 25 minutes, strain and enjoy warm or cold.
      • A parsley tea can be helpful in reducing asthma attacks, treating anemia, easing internal inflammation or as an aphrodisiac.

 

References:

Baker, R.S., I Darnton-Hill, A. M. Bonin, A. Arlauskas, C. Braithwaite, M. Wootton, A. S. Truswell. “ Urine Mutagenicity as an Indicator of Exposure to Dietary Mutagens Formed During Cooking of Foods.” Environ Health Perspect 1996;67:147-152.

Hyder, S. “ Parsley, Celery Carry Crucial Component for Fight Against Breast Cancer”. Cancer Prevention Research, 2011.

Sarkar, D., A. Sharma , and G. Talukder. “ Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin as Modifiers of Genotoxic Effects.” Mutat Res 1994; 318(3): 239-247.