Parsley (Petroselinum sativum) is a common spice in cooking. The plant belongs to the Apiaceae (Umbellifer) family of plants and is therefore a relative of the carrot and parsnip. The plant is believed to have originated in the mediteranean area, but is now cultivated worldwide. Studies suggest that parsley has a number of medicinal properties including antioxidant, analgesic, spasmolytic, antidiabetic, immunomodulating, and gastrointestinal effects. Parsley contains a number of phytochemicals that are believed to give it particular medicinal benefits against mood disorders. These include polyphenols (apigenin, quercetin, luteolin, and kaempferol), vitamins, carotenoids, coumarin, and tannins. Studies have investigated the effects of parsley polyphenols on models of mood disorders in mice. Animals administered parsley polyphenols and exposed to experimental stress showed significantly less anxious and depressive-like behaviour compared to controls, and also had significantly higher concentrations of antioxidants in their tissues.
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