Parsley tea is getting increasingly popular round the globe for the kind of benefits it brings to your health. The wonderful herbal drink that’s not only inexpensive but also amazing when it comes to its flavors, packs the goodness of some great constituents.
Here’s a quick guide that takes you through all you need to know about parsley it, whether it’s the origin or history of the blend, the health benefits it brings, how you can prepare it, as well as the few possible side effects.
What is Parsley Tea?
It’s an incredible herbal drink that’s prepared from the leaves of the biennial plant, parsley. The herb is majorly found in the central Mediterranean region comes in three chief varieties of bright green leaves, specifically flat, curly, and parsnip rooted.
The curly leaves are known for their crispy texture and is often added to several sauces and salads for an extra color and flavor. Flat leaves or Italian parsley features a saw-toothed leaf form, while the third one, also known as soup parsley has got the root as its main element. It comes with a pungent flavor and can be consumed as both, raw or cooked.
History and Origin
Parsley is a herb that has been cultivated since centuries, while most parsley that we know today, sport little resemblance to their actual ancestors. The botanical name of the herb is Petroselinum which comes from the Greek word for stone as it was found in the rocky hills of Greece.
Throughout the history, it has been mentioned often, but not only for the medicinal and culinary properties that it demonstrates. In fact, the early people of Greece used the herb to construct crowns for the winners of their games.
In the Hebrew Passover, people use parsley as a symbol or rebirth and spring, while it’s also mentioned as a major plant in the gardens of Catherine de Medici.
In medieval times, people used to have certain superstitious beliefs around the herb. That’s why, farmers even used to refuse to grow parsley or transplant it. However, now we know the herb for its amazingly positive aspects!
Parsley tea is not only delicious and cost-effective, but also comes with some amazing health benefits. Steeping dried or fresh parsley in a cup of hot water provides a whole bunch of antioxidants and nutrients to the body, each of which comes with its own positive effects on your health. It’s a great blend of volatile compounds and minerals, which makes parsley tea a very popular remedy around the world.
1. Exhibits Anti-Inflammatory Action
The herbal infusion features high levels of flavonoids, vitamin C (1) and apigenin, which makes parsley tea exhibit great anti-inflammatory properties. It is effective in treating inflammation of bladder and kidneys. Another antioxidant that fights inflammation is quercetin, which is even used in the treatment of prostate inflammation. It works wonders in stabilizing the cells of the body that release histamine – a compound that’s released in response to some injury in the body, in turn, stopping inflammation.
2. Works as a Great Source of Antioxidants
Parsley tea comes with wonderful antioxidant effects due to the presence of a flavanoid called luteolin (2). It improves the antioxidant capacity of your blood, which further fights a number of diseases, infections and disorders. It may range from treating a sore throat to fighting life-threatening problems like heart attacks. The antioxidants are also very effective in protecting the skin from free radical effects.
3. Improves Vision
When it comes to vision health, Vitamin A works wonders an an anti-oxidant. Derived from beta-carotine that’s present in parsley, the vision-boosting vitamins prevent the eyes from undergoing oxidative stress. At the same time, it reduces the risk of muscular degeneration and the development of cataracts (3).
4. May Prevents Cancer
The action of vitamin A and C, as well as the folic acid present in parsley tea cuts the risk of colon and cervical cancer. When you brew parsley tea, a volatile compound, myristicin present in parsley oil is released in small amounts. According to a report by Cellular and Molecular Biology Journal (4), myristicin prevents the formation of tumors in the lungs, thereby preventing cancer. A few other volatile oils in the tea are also effective against several agents that lead to lung-cancer, such as cigarette smoke.
5. Positive effects on respiratory system
Parsley tea works wonders for treating several respiratory problems, including asthma. It is a great remedy for reducing the unwanted mucus in bronchitis. The risk of asthma is reduced by beta-carotene, while the loosening of mucus and phlegm is caused by certain infection-battling compounds in the tea. It also fights all bacterial infections that may be leading to the congestion (5).
6. Minimizes Menstrual Problems
Having parsley tea helps normalize menstrual cycles or delayed periods due to the presence of apiol, which is a component of the hormone estrogen in females (6). It reduces the severity of monthy menstruation as well as relieves cramps. Additionally, its intake helps in shedding of the menstrual lining after delivery by causing healthy uterine contractions.
7. Supports Gland Health
Having parsley tea improves your gland health as it is very effective in reducing enlarged and swollen glands. It expels water-based poisons and calm adrenal glands too. More studies reveal that iron present in parsley also nourishes the parathyroid glands (7).
8. Works as a Breath Freshener
The fact that parsley exhibits antibacterial properties makes it highly beneficial for oral health as well as a breath freshener. In fact, this is the reason why it’s often used for as a garnish element in restaurants. So, parsley tea will have the same effect on your breath (8).
9. Helps Detoxification and Weight Loss
One of the most prominent health benefits of having parsley tea is that eliminates toxic waste from the body (9). This is a result of the diuretic effects of potassium present in the herbal infusion. It detoxifies the liver, bladder and kidneys, thereby helping in water retention and effective weight loss. It’s water retention properties also minimize the risk of edema, reduce urinary infections and fight bladder or kidney stones.
10. Promotes Cardiovascular Health
The good amounts of folic acid present in parsley tea minimize the harsh effects of homocysteine, an amino acid associated with heart stroke, atherosclerosis, and other ailments when present in high levels in the blood. Folic acid converts it into benign molecules, while beta-carotene and vitamin B-12 also protect the heart by reducing cholesterol levels (10).
11. Improves Digestion
Indigestion and several other digestive problems, including colic and flatulence can be treated by parsley. The strong pro-digestive action of parsley tea enables a smooth movement of food through the digestive tract, while also supporting the circulation. Additionally, the diuretic and laxative properties of the herb also aid digestion.
12. Treats Diarrhea
The leaves of parsley are very well-known diarrhea relievers. The fact that parsley tea improves the digestion of proteins and fats improves the absorbing action of the intestines, in turn, treating diarrhea.
13. Boosts Immunity
What makes parsley tea an incredible immune booster is the major concentrations of vitamin A and A present in the herb. Vitamin C boosts the production of white blood cells, further fighting the harmful effects of free radicals. It protects the body from several chronic diseases, including diabetes (13).
14. Aids the Treatment of Anemia
According to studies, parsley leaves exhibit strong anti-anemia properties as it’s amazingly rich in iron. Having a nice cup of parsley tea everyday increases your intake of iron, thereby helping the treatment of anemia. Even the presence of vitamin C supports the absorption of iron and treat anemia (14).
15. Improves Bone Health
Parsley is known to be very rich in vitamin K, which is quite essential for the right bone density as well as helps in fighting fractures. It inhibits bone resorption, which is the process of breaking down the tissue in your bones and releasing essential minerals, thereby transferring calcium to the blood. Although, this is beneficial for the skeleton, excess of bone resorption can create several complications (15).
Two types of cells in the body, i.e. osteoblasts and osteoclasts work in the building and formation of bones. An imbalance between them can cause bone metabolic disorders. However, parsley tea has got apigenin, which prevents these disorders.
16. Reduces Wrinkles And Scars
Despite the fact the Vitamin C is essential for us, it’s not naturally synthesized in the body and needs to be consumed in the diet. The good amounts of Vitamin C present in parsley provides nourishment to the skin, thereby reducing scars, fine lines, and wrinkles (16). This happens by an increased production of collagen by interacting with the amino acids constituted in the collagen cells. Consuming parsley also promotes cell repair and reproduction. This results in a rapid growth of new skin cells, thereby making it even, smooth and blemish-free, delaying the signs of aging.
Parsley Tea Side Effects
Undoubtedly, parsley has been recognized as totally safe by the United States Food and Drug Administration, but excessive consumption of the same can lead to several side effects. That’s why it’s recommended to go for a cup of tea each day as it makes you consume just the right amounts of parsley as recommended. Below are a few side effects that can occur when one consumes too much parsley (17).
1. Allergic Reactions
Psolaren compounds present in the tea may lead to a photodermatitis reaction. One must discontinue the intake in case they experience an allergic reaction when their skin is exposed to sunlight.
2. Harmful for Kidney Stone Patients
The tea comes with large amounts of oxalic acid. That’s why, people who are already suffering from kidney inflammation must avoid it to prevent kidney stone formation.
3. Problematic for Pregnant Women
Pregnant women are advised not to consume large amounts of parsley as it works as a uterus stimulant, which might create complications for the pregnancy.
4. Harmful Before Surgeries
In case, someone is scheduled for any surgery, they must stop drinking parsley tea two weeks before the procedure. The reason behind the same is that parsley can alter the blood sugar levels of the body, thereby making the person weak during the recovery period.
5. Unsuitable When Taken with Certain Medications
Parsley tea must be avoided when you are under blood clotting medication or other diuretic drugs. The tea may interfere or hinder the effects of such medications, thereby delaying the treatment.
6. Troublesome for Certain Health Conditions
People with certain health conditions, including high blood pressure, high fluid retention, diabetes, or kidney disease should consult a doctor before taking parsley tea. It can worsen the condition if not consumed in the right amounts.
How to Make Parsley Tea
Some people find going for parsley tea bags as the easiest and quickest method for enjoying it as it’s readily available in most food stores and online outlets. The tea bags are made with dried leaves, and that’s why last much longer than fresh leaves when stored at a cool and dry spot.
However, if you prefer to prepare it at home from the scratch, then the process is incredibly easy as well as inexpensive at the same time.
Here’s the step-by-step process to preparing parsley tea at home :
- First of all, select your desired type of parsley – flat, curly, or Italian, further separating the stems from the leaves.
- Gather nearly one-fourth cup of parsley leaves for one cup of tea, placing them in a tea infuser or at the bottom of the cup.
- Once you bring water to a boil, fill the cup with the same.
- Let the parsley leaves steep for 5 minutes, while going for a longer duration if you want to prepare a strong cup of tea. However, if you are simply beginning to introduce the herb in your diet, start with a weaker cup. You can always increase the strength of the tea with time as you get familiar to its flavor.
- It’s time to discard the leaves. All you need to do is remove the leaves using a spoon or remove the infuser. In case you are going for a press, separate the leaves from the fresh-made tea by placing the plunger on top and slowly pressing down.