The Latin name of parsley is Petroselinum crispum, and comes from Greek, where “Peter” means “rock” and “selinon” celery. It seems that the ancient Greeks believed that parsley is a kind of celery made of rock, and they used it both as food and as a medicinal plant.
Parsley leaves were used to decorate and flavore dishes, but also to crowne winners in sports competitions and to treat snake or scorpion bites. The plant originates from the Mediterranean shores and reached the rest of Europe at least 2,000 years ago.
How to prepare and use parsley leaves
Parsely is quite a collection of vitamins, minerals and other active ingredients with very intense therapeutic effects. However, occasional consumption of parsley doesn’t appear to have therapeutic results. Why? First of all, the small amounts of parsley we usually eat aren’t sufficient on the one hand, and on the other hand, cooking this plant inactivates many of the therapeutically active substances. For these reasons, one of the following preparation methods should be used, so parsley keeps its beneficial properties.
In order to obtain parsley juice, blend a handful of fresh leaves with four tablespoons of water, allow them to soak for half an hour, and then filter. The juice should be consumed immediately or refrigerated, but not longer than 4 hours. Fresh parsley juice is a powerful remedy, and as such it shouldn’t be used alone, but diluted in some carrot juice. Usually, 4-6 tbsp (20-30 ml each) should be taken 3 times a day, diluted in one quarter cup of carrot juice.
In Arabic medicine, finely cut parsley, mixed with lemon juice and a little onion (or possibly a few slices of tomato) is eaten as a salad to improve digestion. Here is one of the popular “tabbuli” recipes: crush 2-4 ties fresh parsley, add a little olive oil and the juice of a quarter lemon. You may also add a clove of garlic, finely chopped pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds. Salads are consumed daily for 14-60 days as a form of invigorating and refreshing treatment that also strengthens the immune system.
Parsley wine is used to treat problems with digestion and increase appetite and as an adjuvant against heart failure and heart disease. The recipe is the following: 20 stems fresh parsley with all the leaves are ground and placed in a liter of wine along with two tablespoons of vinegar. Allow to soak for 7 days, after which add 300 grams honey. Stir the until honey melts, and then strain and pour into bottles. Drink a glass of wine before each meal.
Internal treatment with parsley
* Acute ethylic intoxication (drunkenness) – consume 1-2 bunches of parsley, well washed, chewing the leaves for a prolonged time before swallowing them. The volatile oil in the leaves is a powerful stimulant of the central nervous system.
* Smoking – several components of volatile oil from parsley leaves protect against the harmful effects of tar in cigarette smoke, preventing various respiratory diseases such as chronic bronchitis and lung cancer. It is recommended to have a parsley juice cure: 50 ml juice per day, for 4 weeks.
* Atherosclerosis – as many as four substances in parsley prevent the oxidation of bad cholesterol (LDL), and its deposition in the arteries. People aged over 35 and those who frequently consume meat, hydrogenated fats and fried foods, should consume parsley salad at least 3 times a week.
* Hypertension – consumption of 30 grams of fresh parsley added to food daily helps in controlling blood pressure, has a diuretic effect, dilates the blood vessels and soothes the central nervous system.
* Gallstone – drink one quarter cup of parsley juice (root and leaves), diluted with three quarters of a glass of carrot juice three times a day, 1-2 hours before meals.
* Viral hepatitis – recent studies have shown that parsley is unusually efficient in combating viruses that target the liver. Therefore, it is recommended that patients with hepatitis A, B and C do a 4 week treatment with fresh parsley juice: 50-75 ml per day, on an empty stomach , before meals. After 4 weeks of treatment, a 2 weeks rest follows, after which the treatment is retaken.
* Halitosis – chewing parsley ensures freshness of breath, and acts as a disinfectant of the mouth and the middle and upper airways.
* Recurrent infections, weakened immunity – consumed 1-2 servings of parsley salad daily for three weeks. This remedy activates the immune system and fights many species of bacteria and fungi.
* Asthma – the consumption of fresh parsley leaves, at least 30 grams daily, reduces susceptibility to asthma attacks.
* Cancerous disease – parsley salad and parsley juice are an excellent adjuvant in cancer treatment. In addition, parsley combats many of the side effects of cytostatics and radiotherapy.
* Fertility in women – parsley promotes fertility. Apiol, a substance fresh parsley leaves, stimulates the production of female hormones and helps in the proper functioning of the ovaries. The cure lasts for a month, and involves drinking 50 ml parsley juice per day.
* Dysmenorrhea (painful and irregular menstruation) – due to apiol, parsley has the capacity to regulate the menstrual cycle. Furthermore, it has an antispasmodic effect, which helps eliminating menstrual pain and cramps.
* Postmenopausal syndrome – parsley salad, eaten daily for two months, relieves postmenopausal symptoms.