10 Parsley Oil Benefits That Prove It Is An Evergreen Herb
The parsley oil benefits and its curative properties are attributed to its volatile compounds like limonene, myristicin, alpha-thujene, and eugenol. Its rich source of flavonoids includes apigenin, apiin, luteolin, and crisoeriol.
Parsley is documented for its rich properties and its use dates back to the ancient civilizations. It is a great source of vitamin C, A, K, iron, and folate. It can treat gastrointestinal problems, skin issues, indigestion, and arthritis.
Parsley leaves are used in many dishes to add flavors and stimulate digestion. However, there is much more than this. So, let’s understand its chemical composition, therapeutic properties, usage, etc.
What Is Parsley Oil?
Parsley essential oil is obtained from the leaves and seeds of Petroselinum crispum / Petroselinum sativum through the process of steam distillation. The parsley plant belongs to the family (Umbelliferae) Apiaceae. (1)
The Apiaceae family is commonly known as the carrot or Parsley family. There are about 3700 species in this family. Most aromatic flowering plants like coriander, dill, fennel, carom seeds, asafoetida, and cumin belong to this family.
Parsley is native to the Mediterranean region but is grown worldwide for its culinary purpose. The parsley plants grow well in tropical and subtropical regions.
Hungary, France, Germany, and Holland are the principal producers of parsley essential oil.
Scientific Name Of Parsley Oil
The botanical name of parsley is Petroselinum crispum / Petroselinum sativum.
History Of Parsley Oil
The genus name Petroselinum comes from a Greek word, which means rock celery. The genus names vary according to the type of the leaves. The species with curly leaves are named crispum. It is named after the clean, fresh, and crispy taste of its bright-green leaves.
The species sativum is generally called as soup parsley. The flavor of the leaves is too strong in this type. Hence, the roots are cut and used in salads & soups.
The plant of parsley is believed to have introduced to northern Europe by the Romans. Romans called the plant apium.
Parsley is often mentioned in ancient history and the stories are interesting as well. Ancient Egyptians also used parsley.
According to a legend, Greeks believed that parsley sprang up where the blood of the Archemorus, the forerunner of death spilt when serpents ate him.
Greeks associated parsley with death and used it as wreaths for graves. They also used parsley to deodorise the corpses. Parsley was a symbol of spring and rebirth in the Hebrew celebration of Passover. Parsley is used for years for its culinary, medicinal and aromatic properties worldwide.
Color, Consistency, and Smell of Parsley Oil
- The colour of Parsley oil is pale yellow.
- The consistency of Parsley oil is thin.
- The smell of Parsley oil is fresh, herbaceous, and slightly woody.
Properties Of Parsley Essential Oil
The therapeutic properties of parsley essential oil include:
- Analgesic - Reduces pain sensation
- Antifungal - Prevents fungal growth
- Antibacterial - Prevents bacterial growth
- Antiphlogistic - Effective against inflammation & fever
- Anti-infectious - Prevents infections
- Antirheumatic - Treats rheumatic conditions
- Anti-inflammatory - Lessens inflammation
- Antispasmodic - Treats convulsions, spasms, and contractions
- Antimicrobial - Prevents the development of microorganisms
- Antiseptic – Kills the microbes and further, prevents their growth
- Antioxidant - Inhibits the process of oxidation
- Antiviral – Effective against viruses
- Carminative – Eases bloating, flatulence, and abdominal pain
- Astringent - Tightens or contracts the tissues
- Deodorant – Gets rid of bad odor
- Circulatory – Enhances blood flow
- Digestive - Helps in healthy digestion
- Depurative – A great detoxifier & cleanser
- Emmenagogue – Induces/regularizes menstruation
- Diuretic – Removes excess water from the body
- Disinfectant – Fights against germs and prevents them from spreading
- Febrifuge – Works against fever
- Immunostimulant - Stimulates the action of the immune system
- Hypotensive - Lowers blood pressure
- Mucolytic - Breaks down mucus
- Laxative - Helps in bowel elimination
- Restorative - Strengthens & revives the body
- Regenerative - Tends to regenerate
- Stimulant - Enhances the overall function of the body
- Spasmolytic - Eases smooth muscle spasms
- Tonic - Restores the bodily functions
- Stomachic – A great digestive aid and helps maintain a healthy stomach
Chemical Compounds In Parsley Oil
The chemical composition of parsley essential oil varies depending on the:
- Source of extraction (seeds or leaves)
- The place of cultivation, and
- The method of extraction
The chemical compounds found in the essential oil obtained from parsley leaves include p-Mentha-1,3,8-triene (6.2–45.2%), b-Myrcene (7.8–23.8%), b-Phellandrene (6.7–19.5%), Myristicin (1.9–8.8%), a-Pinene (6.9–7.6%), Terpinolene (2.8–6.6%), (þ)-Limonene (3.3–5.4%), a-p-Dimethylstyrene (2.7–5.4%), Dill apiole (0.2–5.2%), b-Pinene (4.6–4.9%), a-Phellandrene (1.0–1.5%), and p-Mentha-1,4,8-triene (0–1.2%). (4, 5, 6)
The chemical compounds in essential oil extracted from the parsley seeds include Parsley apiole (11.3–67.5%), Myristicin (0.7–37.9%), Allyltetramethoxybenzene (0.6–29.0%), a-Pinene (8.3–16.9%), b-Pinene (5.4–10.7%), Elemicin 0–8.8%, and (þ)-Limonene (1.3–3.0%).
Health Benefits Of Parsley Oil
Though parsley oil benefits are numerous, the most noteworthy ones are listed below (each backed by science):
- Reduces cellulite
- Lowers blood pressure
- Stimulates blood circulation
- Prevents infections
- Relieves aches and pains
- Regulates menstrual cycle
- Maintains a healthy stomach
- Detoxifies your body
- Effective insecticide
- Gets rid of water retention
1. Reduces cellulite
Overnight weight loss is definitely a myth. Healthy weight loss takes time, work, and consistency. To maintain a healthy weight, you should follow a strict diet, workout regime, and a relaxed mind. Obesity might make you feel less confident but more than that, it is unhealthy.
Talking of obesity, there is a deep connection with cellulite. Cellulite is the fat deposits through the connective tissue beneath the skin and it takes a huge amount of time to get rid of them.
However, parsley essential oil aids in cellulite reduction. Research claims that the compound parsley apiole present in its seed oil helps to fight the formation of cellulite and promotes healthy weight loss too. (7)
It works only with the other lifestyle changes and in combination with other essential oils. Blend 4 drops of lemon oil and 3 drops of parsley oil. Dilute the blend using 4 tablespoons of sesame oil. Massage the whole body twice a week followed by a warm shower.
2. Lowers blood pressure
High blood pressure goes unnoticed most of the times. Stress, anxiety, insomnia, and unhealthy eating habits are some of the major causes.
The two best ways to maintain healthy blood pressure are exercising and diet. But do not overdo it. Keep in mind that blood pressure fluctuates every day based on your physical activity and emotional state.
Parsley essential oil is studied to lower blood pressure, and it is of immense help if you have chronic hypertension. It has hypotensive properties. It deals with stress and relaxes your mind. However, consult a professional aromatherapist for the procedure (8).
3. Stimulates blood circulation
Improper blood circulation may cause many abnormalities in the body. The symptoms first manifest in the legs and feet. Swelling of ankles, skin discolouration, heavy legs, and varicose veins are the few of the symptoms.
Parsley is a well-known stimulant. To enhance the blood flow, diluted parsley essential oil can be applied topically and massaged. (9).
4. Prevents infections
Like most essential oils, parsley oil also has antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-infectious, antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. The compounds p-Mentha-1,3,8-triene, b-Myrcene, b-Phellandrene, and a-Pinene are attributed to its antimicrobial property. (10)
To prevent infection or sepsis, dilute parsley essential oil with a suitable carrier oil and apply around the wounds or cuts.
5. Relieves aches and pains
The analgesic property of parsley essential oil is attributed to the monoterpenes in it. These help in relieving pain and aches in some time. According to scientific communities, its pain-relieving property is far better than the synthetic analgesics. (11, 12).
Inhaling the aroma of parsley oil or topical application (but diluted) on the painful area would immensely help. It also calms the mind and lets you rest.
6. Regulates menstrual cycle
Stress, anxiety, depression, improper blood circulation, and hormonal imbalances are some of the major causes of irregular menstruation in most women.
Regular exercises, healthy body weight, proper diet, and a relaxed mind are important for regulating your menstrual cycle.
There are pieces of evidence that the aroma of parsley oil assists in regulating menstruation and further, alleviating the pain and discomfort from it. Thanks to the analgesic property of parsley oil (13).
You can even massage your abdomen and back using diluted parsley oil to relieve pain.
7. Maintains a healthy stomach
Your gut’s health has a direct impact on your overall wellbeing. Therefore, it is crucial to keep it clean and healthy.
Historically, parsley leaves were used to treat constipation, flatulence, and indigestion. Parsley essential oil is a carminative as well as a laxative.
Abdominal massage using diluted parsley oil stimulates your metabolism and aids in easier digestion. The compound myristicin in it is responsible for its healthy metabolic activity. (14)
Dilute 2 - 3 drops of parsley oil in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and massage your abdomen in clockwise directions.
8. Detoxifies your body
Your body deals with toxins every single day. Excess toxins can be harmful and that’s why it is vital to eliminate them.
Even topical application of parsley essential oil (diluted) helps in removing the toxins and supports the function of kidney and bladder. Thanks to its diuretic property.
You can carry out a lymphatic drainage massage daily to activate your lymph glands. Dilute 2 - 3 drops of parsley oil in 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and massage your body twice a week. (15).
9. Effective insecticide
Parsley essential oil can be used as an effective alternative for controlling insect pests. The compounds myristicin and dill apiole in it is attributed to its insecticidal property.
Insects hate the aroma of parsley oil. So, diffusing it may help to deter insects from the room. You can spray the oil (diluted in water and vinegar) to control pests.
10. Gets rid of water retention
Fluid retention is common, and it usually, cures itself. Most women experience fluid retention during their menstruation time and it is quite annoying.
It may lead to the accumulation of toxins, weight gain, fatigue, tiredness, and muscle stiffness. Parsley essential oil is a diuretic and helps in removing excess water and toxins from the body.
Topical application of parsley oil increases urination and perspiration because it is a diuretic. Thus, eliminates the toxins from the body.
What Blends With Parsley Oil?
Parsley oil blends the best with:
- Aniseed oil
- Angelica seed oil
- Caraway seed oil
- Bergamot oil
- Cardamom oil
- Coriander seed oil
- Cinnamon leaf oil
- Grapefruit oil
- Fennel (sweet) oil
- Lemon oil
- Juniper berry oil
- May Chang oil
- Mandarin oil
- Orange (sweet) oil
- Nutmeg oil
- Spearmint oil
- Petitgrain oil
How To Use Parsley Oil?
Parsley oil should not be confused with celery seed oil. Also, buy quality oil because it might be adulterated.
- Topical Application: Like any other essential oil, parsley oil is highly concentrated. Make sure to use this oil in higher dilution. It is better to perform a patch test before moving forward.
- Aromatherapy: Make sure you diffuse the oil using a diffuser or a vaporizer. It is important not to congest the room with its aroma because it can be overpowering and cause headaches.
- Ingestion: Parsley essential oil is not recommended for oral intake.
Side Effects Of Parsley Oil
- Pregnant women should avoid using this oil both internally and topically. The chemicals present in the oil has shown a high risk of abortion.
- The oil is phototoxic. Avoid exposure to sunlight for about 12 to 24 hours after applying the oil.
- Breastfeeding women and children under 6 should not be exposed to the oil.
- Parsley essential oil is a potential diuretic. If you are consuming any diuretic-based medication already, avoid using the oil, as it would make you weaker by excreting more.
- If you are under any medication for serious ailments, consult a professional aromatherapist or a doctor before using the oil.