Alternate Title

  • flat-leaf parsley

Related Terms

  • Acetylapiin, allyl tetramethoxybenzene, aluminum, Apiaceae, apigenin, apigenin 7-O-(6-O-malonylglucoside), apiol, apiose, Apium petroselinum, Apium petroselinum L., Belgian parsley, bergapten, bergaptene, berlinska, beta-carotene, ß-phellandrene, beta-phellandrene, bur parsley, caffeoyl esters, calcium, carotene, carotenoid phytonutrients, Carum petroselinum, Caucatis platycarpos, Chinese parsley, chlorophyll, chrysoeriol, cilantro, Conioselinum vaginatum, coriander, Coriandrum sativum, coumarins, crispane, crispanone, cukrowa, curled parsley, curly parsley, curly-leaf parsley, Cymopterus spp., cytochrome f, diosmetin, European parsley, fatty acids, fermented parsley juice, feruloyl esters, flat-leaf parsley, flavanols, flavones, flavonols, folic acid, furanocoumarins, furocoumarins, gamma-tocopherol, glutathione, glycolipids, Hamburg parsley, hemlock parsley, hydroxybenzoic acid derivatives, inositol, iodine, iron, isopimpinellin, isorhamnetin, Italian parsley, kaempferol, kinga, koral, limonene, lutein-zeaxanthin, luteolin, magnesium, menthatriene, methoxypsoralen, methylbenzene, monoterpene, myrcene, myristicin, N-alpha-L-arabinopyranoside, nicotinic acid, Ombrelliferae, oxalic acid, oxypeucedanin, p-menthatriene, parsley apiole, parsley fruits, parsley hypocotyls, parsleyapiole, parsley-haulm, p-coumaric acid derivatives, pectic substance, petersilie, Petrosilini herba, Petrosilini radix, Petroselinum crispum, Petroselinum hortense, Petroselinum
    latifolium, Petroselinum neapolitanum, Petroselinum sativum, Petroselinum sativum, Petroselinum tuberosum, Petroselinum vulgare, Petroserinum sativum, petroside, phosphorous, phthalides, phylloquinone, phytoalexins, plastocyanin, polyacetylene, potassium, psoralen, quercetin, sesquiterpenes, Umbelliferae, vistula, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K1, xanthotoxin, xylose.
  • Note

    : The most common forms of parsley used for medicinal purposes are Petroselinum crispum (curled-leaf parsley) and Petroselinum neapolitanum (Italian parsley, also known as flat-leaf parsley). Chinese parsley, also known as coriander or cilantro, is a different species, Coriandrum sativum. This monograph focuses on the Petroselinum species.

Background

  • Parsley is native to the Mediterranean and has reportedly been used for more than 2,000 years as an herbal remedy, seasoning, and garnish. In ancient Rome, parsley was a sacred herb of burial and was served at funeral banquets. This is thought to be the origin of the modern use of parsley as a garnish decorating plates of food. Romans wore garlands of parsley in the belief that it would excite the brain and stimulate the appetite. Later, victors of athletic contests were crowned with garlands of parsley.
  • The forms of parsley most commonly used for medicinal purposes are Petroselinum crispum (curled-leaf parsley) and Petroselinum neapolitanum (Italian parsley, also known as flat-leaf parsley). Chinese parsley, also known as coriander or cilantro, is a different species, Coriandrum sativum.
  • Parsley has traditionally been used as a digestive aid, breath freshener, laxative, diuretic, general-purpose tonic, abortifacient (miscarriage inducer), and a poultice applied to the skin for treatment of burns, bruises, insect bites, and itching.
  • There is evidence that parsley may act as an antioxidant, diuretic, or blood sugar-lowering agent. Parsley is currently used in Turkey to treat diabetes and in Germany as a diuretic in the treatment of high blood pressure.
  • Parsley is available in capsule form as an oil, root, leaf, or seed preparation. The oil is the strongest form, followed by the seeds. These two more powerful preparations should be avoided during pregnancy, because they may cause uterine contractions and induce abortion.
  • Parsley is listed in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list.

Evidence Table

    Disclaimer

    These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

    Antioxidant

    Antioxidants are molecules that work to prevent damage that occurs in cells and body tissues due to both normal bodily processes and exposure to some chemicals. The potential medical benefit of antioxidants may be their ability to prevent or slow the oxidation of molecules, such as proteins and DNA, in the body. Oxidative stress is thought to play a role in many human diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. A small clinical trial noted that parsley reduced oxidative stress.

    High blood pressure

    Based on early research using a combination product containing parsley leaf, it is unclear whether parsley is effective for lowering blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure or whether it may increase the risk of side effects.

*Key to grades:

Tradition

    Disclaimer

    The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

Dosing

    Disclaimer

    The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

  • Adults (18 years and older)

    • Parsley has traditionally been taken by mouth in the form of parsley seed tea, capsules containing parsley leaf or root, and parsley oil.
    • Parsley oil is much more potent than other preparations and should be ingested only under medical supervision.
    • Parsley has been applied to the skin in the form of poultice to relieve itching and discomfort from insect bites and to promote healing of burns and bruises.
  • Children (under 18 years old)

    • There is no proven safe or effective dose for parsley in children.

Safety

    Disclaimer

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

  • Allergies

    • Avoid with known allergy/hypersensitivity to parsley, carrots, fennel, or celery.
    • Parsley may cause hives or skin inflammation.
  • Side Effects and Warnings

    • Parsley may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
    • Parsley may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
    • Parsley may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients with low blood pressure and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood pressure.
    • Parsley may cause skin to become sensitive to light. Use caution in patients with skin disorders.
    • Parsley may have effects on the gastrointestinal system. Use caution in patients with gastrointestinal disorders.
    • Parsley may cause hives or skin inflammation. Avoid in patients with known allergy or hypersensitivity to parsley, carrots, fennel, or celery.
    • Parsley oil may cause uterine contractions and miscarriage. Pregnant women should avoid parsley oil and seeds.
    • Fresh parsley should be washed with water before use to remove bacteria.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

    • Parsley oil may cause uterine contractions and miscarriage. Pregnant women should avoid parsley oil and seeds.
    • Parsley is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women, due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Interactions

    Disclaimer

    Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

  • Interactions with Drugs

    • Note: For some of the following agents, the parsley species was not specified. However, Petroselinum crispum is the most common species used for medicinal purposes.
    • Parsley may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
    • Parsley may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
    • Parsley may lower blood pressure. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood pressure.
    • Parsley may also interact with analgesics, antibiotics, anticholinesterase inhibitors, anti-inflammatory agents, anticancer agents, antispasmodic agents, antiulcer agents, cytochrome P450-metabolized agents, diuretics, estrogen, gastrointestinal agents, immune suppressants, laxatives, osteoporosis drugs, sleep aid medications, or uterine stimulants.
  • Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

    • Note: For some of the following agents, the parsley species was not specified. However, Petroselinum crispum is the most common species used for medicinal purposes.
    • Parsley may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring. Doses may need adjustment.
    • Parsley may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.
    • Parsley may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking herbs or supplements that lower blood pressure.
    • Parsley may also interact with analgesics, antibacterials, anticholinesterase inhibitors, anti-inflammatory herbs, anticancer herbs and supplements, antioxidants, antispasmodics, antiulcer herbs and supplements, asparagus root, calcium, cytochrome P450-metabolized herbs and supplements, diuretics, garlic, gastrointestinal herbs and supplements, immune suppressants, iron, laxatives, lysine, osteoporosis herbs and supplements, sleep enhancement herbs and supplements, or uterine stimulants.

Attribution

  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ().

Bibliography

    Disclaimer

    Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to . Selected references are listed below.

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