Within therapeutic botany there are many spices, herbs and roots whose benefits have passed the test of time. When it comes to parsley, we can also add that it has transcended cultures and geographic areas, becoming a fundamental element in alternative treatments for the prevention and cure of many chronic conditions amongst which diabetes figures largely.
This marvelous plant of Mediterranean origin has been around for over 2000 years and the ancient Greeks used it first as medicine and later as a food. Parsley is related to celery and they share cleansing, diuretic and antioxidant properties. Although we usually use parsley as a mere decoration on our plates, we must begin to give it a more important role and increase our daily consumption if we want to strengthen our immune system, increase the quantity of antioxidants and improve the levels of iron and folic acid in our bodies
But to what can we attribute parsley’s healing effect? Principally to two components we don’t often find: the first is volatile oils (myristicin, limonene, eugenol and alpha-thujene), the second is flavonoids including apiin, crisoeriol and luteolin. These components activate the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase which helps form the molecule glutathione that acts as the principal antioxidant in our body. This protective activity ensures parsley’s healing effects in conditions where oxygen radicals are being overwhelmingly produced, as in: cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, amongst others.
Scientific studies have demonstrated particular benefits in the case of type II diabetes. Over the course of three months two groups of rats were monitored one of which was also given daily doses of parsley while the other was not. At the end of the study the parsley-consuming group showed diminished blood glucose levels while maintaining their weght and energy.
Another advantage that parsley offers is its versatility as all parts (root, stem and leaves) can be used and it comes in two varieties readily available at the supermarket. One is flat leaf and the other curly. Although there are no marked differences in their healing benefits, curly parsley has a stronger flavor and is more durable.
In closing, I will present an ideal way for you to enjoy all the benefits of parsley. Include it as part of your morning ritual to help balance your glycemic levels, especially important for individuals with type II diabetes:
In a blender, place the following ingredients:
- 3 sprigs of parsley
- 2 stalks of celery
- a handful of spinach
- 4 big squares of pineapple
- ice and water to taste in order to achieve approximately 8 ounces.
This recipe is not only helpful for regulating glycemic levels but it will also clean our body and effectively give us a boost of energy that will help us start our day detoxified and wide awake!