Parsley uses, side effects and Precautions

Overview Information

Parsley is an herb. The leaf, seed, and root are used to make medicine. Parsley uses, side effects and Precautions are explained below.

Some people take parsley by mouth for bladder infections (UTIs), kidney stones (nephrolithiasis), gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, constipation, diabetes, cough, asthma, and high blood pressure.

In some women it is taken by mouth to start menstrual flow or to cause an abortion.

Some people apply parsley directly to the skin for dark patches on the face, cracked or chapped skin, bruises, tumors, insect bites, and to stimulate hair growth.

In foods and beverages, parsley is widely used as a garnish, condiment, food, and flavoring.

In manufacturing, parsley seed oil is used as a fragrance in soaps, cosmetics, and perfumes. Here are Parsley uses, side effects and precautions.

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Dark patches on the face (melasma). Early research shows that dabbing brewed parsley water on the face helps to lighten dark spots called melasma. It seems to work as well as a medicine called hydroquinone.
  • Asthma.
  • Bladder infections (UTIs).
  • Bruises.
  • Cough.
  • Cracked or chapped skin.
  • Digestive problems.
  • Fluid retention and swelling (edema).
  • Insect bites.
  • Kidney stones.
  • Liver disorders.
  • Menstrual problems.
  • Tumors.



Apium crispum, Apium petroselinum, Carum petroselinum, Common Parsley, Garden Parsley, Graine de Persil, Hamburg Parsley.

Side Effects & Safety

Parsley is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in amounts commonly found in food.

Parsley is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth as medicine, short-term. In some people, parsley can cause allergic skin reactions.

Consuming very large amounts of parsley is LIKELY UNSAFE, as this can cause other side effects like “tired blood” (anemia) and liver or kidney problems.

Also, applying parsley seed oil directly to the skin is LIKELY UNSAFE as it can cause the skin to become extra sensitive to the sun and cause a rash. Not enough is known about the safety of applying parsley root and leaf to the skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Eating parsley in food amounts is fine, but parsley in larger medicinal amounts is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy. Parsley has been used to cause an abortion and to start menstrual flow. In addition, developing evidence suggests that taking An-Tai-Yin, an herbal combination product containing parsley and dong quai, during the first three months of pregnancy increases the risk of serious birth defects. If you are pregnant, stick with using only the amount of parsley typically found in food.

Not enough is known about the safety of using parsley in medicinal amounts during breast-feeding. It’s best not to use more than typical food amounts of parsley.

Bleeding disorders: Parsley might slow blood clotting. In theory, taking parsley might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Diabetes: Parsley might lower blood sugar levels. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use parsley.

Fluid retention (edema): There is a concern that parsley might cause the body to hold onto sodium (salt), and this increases water retention.

High blood pressure: There is a concern that parsley might cause the body to hold onto sodium (salt), and this could make high blood pressure worse.

Kidney disease: Don’t take parsley if you have kidney disease. Parsley contains chemicals that can make kidney disease worse.

Surgery: Parsley might lower blood glucose levels and could interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgical procedures. Stop using parsley at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

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10 Powerful Health Benefits of Parsley

10 Powerful Health Benefits of Parsley:

1. Breast Cancer Protection

Living a lifestyle that reduces your cancer risk is wise—here are habits that prevent breast cancer. Parsley may have specific protective benefits against breast cancer. “It contains a chemical compound called apigenin that is known to help inhibit breast cancer cell growth,” says Amanda Capriglione RD, CDN. “Some scientists believe that apigenin can be a possible non-toxic treatment in the future.” Add a handful of flat leaf parsley to salads, smoothies, and soups for maximum benefits.

2. Fights Inflammation

It’s one of the more troubling general symptoms—inflammation can actually be deadly. Parsley helps because it’s high in antioxidants like vitamin C, A, and E, which can help soothe inflammation. “This can help reduce the risk of arthritis, an inflammation of the joints,” says Brunilda Nazario, MD. “It is also an excellent source of flavonoids, antioxidants that help reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, including cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.”

3. Makes Grilling Safer

“Consume parsley with your char-grilled chicken, fish, and steak to help minimize the cancer-causing effects of heterocyclic amines,” says Capriglione. “Heterocyclic amines are made when proteins are cooked at high-temperatures.” She suggests making a chimichurri sauce by blending parsley, fresh garlic, salt, pepper, some apple cider or red wine vinegar and olive oil together and adding to cooked meats.

4. Prevents Lines and Wrinkles

Eating parsley benefits your complexion. The herb is high in vitamin C, and vitamin C makes collagen, which gives skin its structure and strength. “Collagen helps to iron out fine lines and wrinkles,” says Capriglione. “Make a vitamin C-packed salad with some greens (including parsley), orange pieces, and finish with a lemony vinaigrette.”

5. Strengthens Bones

“Ten sprigs of parsley is enough to reach your daily dose of vitamin K,” says Capriglione. Getting an adequate amount of vitamin K in your diet may help protect against bone fractures, as it helps make the protein for bones and blood clotting.

6. Helps with Digestion

Settle your stomach with the help of this soothing herb. “It can help aid in digestion and help reduce bloating,” says Capriglione. “It contains compounds that enable the expulsion of gas from the body.” Add some flat leaf parsley into your dinner before a big night out.

7. Freshens Breath

Although it may not be able to kill all those sulfur compounds that cause bad breath, but eating some of the herb can help freshen the breath and mask any bad odours. “Parsley acts as a natural breath freshener, especially after consuming garlic or onion,” says Capriglione.

8. Helps with Bladder Infections

Suffer from UTIs? Consider adding some parsley into your diet. “Homeopathic practitioners use this to treat urinary tract infections and kidney and bladder stones,” says Nazario. “It contains chemicals that cause muscle contraction in the intestine, bladder, and uterus. Hence, indigestion, UTIs, and menstrual cramps were often treated with concoctions of this herb.”

9. Fights Off Heart Disease

Raw parsley contains folate, an important B vitamin, making it a candidate for preventing heart troubles. “Folate is involved in maintaining normal levels of the amino acid homocysteine, which is important given that elevated levels are associated with cardiovascular diseases,” says Carolina Guizar, MS, RDN, CDN. “Like vitamin C, folate is heat sensitive and is best retained when consumed in fresh parsley.”

10. Protects Your Eyes

“Parsley is a source of plant-based vitamin A,” says Guizar. “Adequate vitamin A intake ensures the optimal health of our eyes, preventing dryness, night blindness, and cataracts.”

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