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Parsley (Petroselinum sativum)


Known to many as a natural breath-freshener, parsley can also be used medicinally to aid in digestive and other bodily activities. Although some say parsley successfully treats conjunctivitis and other eye Inflammations, clinical experiments have not yet verified such properties.


Parsley is stated to have diuretic, emmenagogue (stimulates or restores menstrual function), antispasmodic (prevents spasms), carminative (relieves flatulence or gas), and expectorant (promotes mucous secretion or expulsion from bronchioles) properties. It is effective as a laxative, hypotensive, uterine tonic, and antimicrobial agent.


Seed, 1-2 g.
Dried root, 2-4 g or by infusion three times daily.
Liquid extract (1:1 in 25% alcohol), 2-4 ml three times daily.


Eye Inflammations:
Evidence supporting the use of parsley as treatment for conjunctivitis and other eye Inflammations have been mainly anecdotal.

Excretory health:
The German Commission E approved parsley herb and root for the urinary tract and Kidney stones. Parsley increases urine flow and also can act as a laxative.

Other functions of parsley:

  • Stimulates menstrual/uterine function
  • Prevents muscle spasms
  • Aids in digestion
  • Promotes low blood pressure


Whole parsley appears to be generally safe for use.

Because parsley contains above-average amounts of Sodium, people on a low-salt diet should exercise caution. Some herbalists think pregnant women should not use parsley because it stimulates the uterus.


Parsley may interact with glucose-elevating agents, anorectic drugs, antiarrhythmic agents (quinidine), alkaloids, antihypertensive, peripheral adrenergic blocking drugs (tubocurarine and norepinephrine), and dopamine.

dosage adjustments of antidiabetic drugs may be necessary when using diuretics.

Hypokalemia can result from use with corticosteroids and corticotropin (ACTH).

Use with ethyl alcohol, barbiturates, or narcotics may lead to orthostatic hypotension.

Avoid use with methotrimeprazine, a CNS depressant analgesic, and procarbazine antineoplastic drugs.


1. Newall CA, Anderson LA, and Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996.
Blumenthal, M. (ED) The Complete German Commission E Monographs (English translation). American Botanical Council. 1998.
Grieve M. A Modern Herbal, vol. 2. New York: Dover Publications, 1971.


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