Parsley (petroselinum crispum) is one of many delicious and nutritious herbs native to the Mediterranean and used extensively in many cuisines. It’s packed full of flavonoids and healthy antioxidants and could provide a host of health benefits, which is what we’ll look at in this guide as we cover parsley tea, the ways in which it could be good for you, and more.
Health Benefits of Parsley
Common kitchen herbs make for surprisingly healthy and flavoursome teas. We’ve previously discussed how this is the case with common garden sage, one of the most potent herbs of all and one that we stock ourselves in some of our gift packs, and we’ve also covered the many benefits of thyme tea. Parsley is another herb that packs a potent punch, as these health benefits show.
1. It Could Help in the Fight Against Cancer
No herb can miraculously cure cancer, nor can a single herb guarantee you will never get this disease. However, herbs and spices can play a big role in supporting your body’s natural defences and may help reduce the risk of this disease developing.
Natural, whole foods contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that can fight cancer-causing free radicals and reduce inflammation, a known cause of chronic disease. Many compounds do this, and many plants contain them—and Apigenin is one. This flavonoid can be found in camomile (you can read about and buy camomile here) and is responsible for many of its benefits, but it can also be found in parsley.
Apigenin has shown promise in the field of cancer research and is one of many flavonoids being studied for its benefits. (1) Parsley is one of the best sources of this compound and has been at the centre of some of this research.
2. It Could Help with Joint Pain and Arthritis
Another promising compound in parsley is known as eugenol. This compound can also be found in several other herbs and spices and has shown to have strong anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, if you have ever had clove oil applied to a tooth or to your gums to relieve pain and inflammation, you will have firsthand experience of the effects of eugenol, as that’s what they use.
This essential oil has been extracted and used in many animal studies, with the most promising of these looking at its effects on joint inflammation and pain. (2) Many of these studies used highly concentrated extracts as topical or in-vitro applications, but it seems to work in the body in much the same way as other effective anti-inflammatory herbs (nettle is particularly potent when used to treat arthritis), suggesting it could provide some relief when consumed orally. More research needs to be conducted, but if it does work, it could provide a natural complementary therapy that has few contraindications, risks, and side effects.
3. It is Nutrient Dense
Nutritionally speaking, herbs and spices aren’t that great—their healthy compounds come in the form of polyphenols and flavonoids, as opposed to vitamins and minerals. But there are a few exceptions to this rule (rose hips being one of the most nutrient dense) and parsley is one such exception.
A pot of parsley tea, made with roughly 5 tbsp of freshly chopped herb, will provide you with more than two times your RDA of vitamin K, as well as a quarter of your vitamin C. There are also smaller amounts of vitamin A, in addition to trace amounts of many minerals. Many of these minerals will not provide anywhere near your RDA, but as part of a healthy diet, they quickly add up, and if you’re short on vitamin K (an essential vitamin for blood and tissue health), it’s ideal.
This is actually one of the reasons you should try to add fresh herbs to your meals. Not only do they add some flavour, but they also supply many minerals and vitamins that you might otherwise be lacking.
What is Parsley Tea?
Simply put, parsley tea is a drink made from hot water and parsley. It can be made from fresh or dried herb and may provide all the health benefits discussed above. It should be consumed without milk, but you can add a little sugar or honey to taste. It’s also an herb that you can add to other herbal teas, creating your own concoction and stacking those beneficial ingredients.
If you find a recipe you really like and think others will like it too, be sure to share it with us—snap a picture if you can! We love a good herbal tea recipe and will be happy to share it with our customers.
There are several different types of parsley, with the leafy herb used to make this tea. Believe it or not, there is actually a type of root vegetable parsley that looks a lot like parsnip (but doesn’t taste the same) and is popular in Eastern European cuisine.
Fresh Parsley versus Dried Parsley
It’s not a sin to use dried herbs, providing you use them properly. Herbs like oregano, for instance, are better dry, and they still offer all their nutrients and health benefits. This could also be said for rosemary and sage, but it’s definitely not the case with parsley.
Parsley is one of those herbs you really should be using fresh, and this is especially important if you’re making tea. Dried herbs can lose their flavour if they have not been stored properly, and flavour is very important with tea. You may also get some more nutrients with fresh as opposed to dry, but this is not always the case, and it’s really all about the flavour.
If you have a large amount of parsley that you know you won’t use, try freezing it. You can bunch up a teaspoon of chopped leaves, add them to an ice cube tray, fill with cold water, and then freeze. Not only will it preserve the herb, but when you’re ready to make a cup of tea, you just need to add the cube to a cup, pour in the boiling water, and then drink!