Parsley is a powerful herb. It provides unique health benefits and is an excellent addition to juices. But as with any potent herb, it is best used wisely.
In this article, I’ll share with you the reasons you’ll want to include this leafy green in your juices, as well as the cautions to be aware of so you can use it safely.
Parsley’s Volatile Oils
The volatile oils in parsley include myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene.
Myristicin has been shown in animal studies to inhibit lung tumor formation. Myristicin also activates an enzyme that helps glutathione attach to oxidized molecules, reducing the damage they can cause to cells.
Parsley’s volatile oils are chemoprotective, able to neutralize certain carcinogens, including the benzopyrenes in charcoal grill smoke.
Anti-Cancer Flavonoids in Parsley Juice
The flavonoid luteolin, also found in celery and some other vegetables, is anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer.
Luteolin fights cancer on all fronts, inducing apoptosis (cell death,) and inhibiting cancer cell proliferation, metastasis and angiogenesis. (You can learn more about luteolin in the video A Surprising Cancer Fighting Vegetable.)
Antioxidants in Parsley
Parsley is an excellent source of vitamin C, your body’s primary water-soluble antioxidant. People that consume healthy levels of vitamin C in foods have reduced risk of a wide variety of diseases, including atherosclerosis, colon cancer, diabetes, and asthma.
Vitamin C is also anti-inflammatory, making it helpful for arthritis and allergies. Vitamin C promotes healthy immunity and can help combat ear infections and colds.
Parsley Juice for Bladder Infections
Parsley is a diuretic that can also help reduce inflammation and irritation in the bladder and urethra. A juice that includes cranberry and parsley can be beneficial.
Parsley Juice for Heart Health
Parsley is a good source of folic acid, which plays a critical role in cardiovascular health. Parsley juice helps maintain healthy blood vessels, especially capillaries and arterioles.
Other Health Benefits
Dr. Norman Walker found parsley juice to be helpful for “every ailment connected with the eyes and optic nerve system.” He used it for treating weak eyes, cornea ulcerations, cataracts, and conjunctivitis.
He also advised that menstrual cramps can be relieved by drinking parsley juice in conjunction with beet, carrot and cucumber juice.
How Much Parsley Juice is Safe?
According to Dr. Walker, parsley juice should never be taken alone in more than one or two ounces at a time unless it is mixed with carrot, celery, lettuce or spinach. The proportion of parsley juice should be low compared to the volume of other ingredients.
Other juicing experts advise that 4-8 oz. of parsley juice is a safe amount. A “small bunch” or “handful” of parsley is a common amount in many juice recipes.
Parsley Juice Cautions
Parsley juice can promote menstrual discharge, so if you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, limit parsley juice to an amount you would eat whole. Including a few springs of parsley in your juice will allow you get the health benefits without the risks.
When it comes to kidney health, there is some conflicting information. Dr. Walker and other juicing experts advise the use of parsley juice for kidney problems, including calculi in the kidneys and bladder, albuminuria, and nephritis. One of his juice recipes for kidney stones is 9 oz. carrot juice, 5 oz. celery and 2 oz. parsley juice.
Other medical authorities advise against parsley in therapeutic doses because it contains oxalates. The main cause of kidney stones, however, is high meat and salt intake, not dietary oxalates. (For more information on oxalates, read Oxalates in Your Diet and Green Juice – Should You Worry.)
Parsley juice can slow blood clotting, so if you have a bleeding disorder parsley juice should be limited.
Parsley has many healing properties and is a wonderful herb to add to your meals and juices. The flavor is quite noticeable. Start with a few sprigs and work your way up to a small handful or bunch in your juices. Parsley can also be used in place of basil in a pesto, or chopped and added to salads.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy parsley? Share it with me in the comments below.
Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices, N.W. Walker D. Sc.