Parsley is one of the most common herbs found in the tiny island where our bat lives (Malta). It’s commonly used with fish, broad beans, and olives, and also in platters found traditionally in bars and little family gatherings here. So, of course, we started to wonder if we could toss this herb in some boiling water and create a tisane with it! And as a matter of fact, we can, and it’s actually rather known for its health benefits and weight loss potential! So let’s take a look at this herb, that since we grew with it we tend to overlook!
What is Parsley?
Parsley is another member of the Apiaceae family, just like coriander, dill, celery, and even carrots. It is native to the central and eastern Mediterranean region, however, it became widely cultivated in Europe both as a herb and as a vegetable. In its first year, parsley grows rosettes of leaves, generally, each leaf reaching up to 3 cm, and a taproot (a thick root from which other roots sprout, a commonly known taproot is the carrot). In its second year, parsley grows much fewer leaves and instead has umbrellas of tiny flowers, parsley can grow up to 75cm in length. This herb comes in two varieties, curly-leaf parsley, and flat-leaf parsley, both leaves are commonly used as herbs or garnish. It is a common ingredient in European, Middle Eastern, and American cuisine. The taproot, commonly known as root parsley, just like carrots, is often used as a vegetable, especially in central, eastern, and southern European cuisines. Parsley seeds are also used in cooking, imparting an even stronger flavor than the leaves.
Parsley is packed with flavonoids and antioxidants. It is especially rich in luteolin, apigenin (parsley is one of the best sources for this), folate, and Vitamins A, C, and K. It is also a good source of lycopene, alpha-carotene as well as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta carotene. Parsley also contributes to your dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
Having an outstanding amount of Vitamin K (besides some calcium) parsley is a great boost to keep your bones healthy in a natural way! It is also great to flush out toxins from your kidneys (this will make the bathroom trips more often so be careful when you digest good doses of parsley, having a cup of parsley infusion before going to bed might not be the best idea). Like most herbs, parsley has a good amount of antioxidants too, so let’s dive into making a little list of these benefits:
- Strengthens bones
- Detox Kidneys (helps prevent kidney stones)
- Reduces fluid retention
- Improves eye health
- Fights inflammation
- Help to prevent cancer
- Strengthens the skin
Now that we’ve seen the health benefits, as always, we will take a look at what abusing this herb may lead to! As it’s a powerful detox and diuretic herb, if you overdo it, you may end up depleting minerals and vitamins from your system and ending with some form of anemia. As always, keeping a balance here is key! As always take extra care if you are on some medication, especially if you are on blood thinners as Vitamin K is one of the agents that cause cloths (cloths can be dangerous, however, they are needed to stop the bleeding from our wounds, so unless you have a condition, you still need a healthy amount of Vitamin K). Some people may also be allergic to parsley, however, this is not a common allergy.:
- Skin rash
Making the Tea
- 2 teaspoons of dried parsley or 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley
- 1 cup of water
Today we have a simple herb infusion, so the method is very straightforward. Boil some fresh water, let it sit for a couple of seconds, place the herb in a cup, and pour the hot water over your leaves. Let steep for around 5 minutes, sieve, and the infusion is done. As always adding more parsley or letting it steep longer will make a stronger infusion, while less will make it lighter. You can add lemon, honey, or your favorite milk to this drink, personally, I prefer it with milk or ice cold. You might want to try it with ginger for an extra kick!
Parsely infusion is amazing for detox, to boost this effect you might want to mix it with cilantro or coriander, which makes this beverage awesome to get rid of heavy metals in the body (so great after fish to not worry too much about that mercury level). Cardamom is also a good addition to this detox infusion. Celery will not only mix well but also help to detox your liver! So, let us know which version you are willing to try, and share your experiences if you actually do try this infusion, we would love to hear from you!