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Parsley is so much more than a culinary tool that we use to season our food or add color to our plate. This common herb has powerful nutraceutical properties within its plant compounds that decrease our risk of numerous diseases − including cancer.
Studies reveal that the effects of parsley leaf and its stem extracts significantly reduce the ability of cancer cells to migrate and metastasize. When compared to 47 other fresh plants with cancer prevention properties, parsley was one of the top four herbs revealed to have the highest inhibitory effects on cancer-inducing inflammatory compounds (such as nitric oxide).
Parsley has been used for centuries to provide both culinary and medical benefits. It was even used by the Romans to eliminate odors from corpses before a funeral. Today it is a common deodorizer for body odor and is useful to freshen stinky breath by reducing bad bacteria. One of the best health attributes of parsley comes from its ability to reduce your risk of various types of cancer − including breast, colon, and lung cancer.
Parsley is a hardy, inexpensive herb that’s easy to grow and available in most grocery stores. If you’re not already consuming parsley on a regular basis, perhaps these health benefits of parsley will convince you to begin!
Health Benefit of Parsley #1 – Antioxidant Defense & Liver Support
The antioxidant activity of parsley is evident in thousands of studies relating the ability of compounds found in parsley to cancer prevention. Parsley contains the following flavonoids and phenolic compounds with a range of nutraceutical effects:
- Apigenin, Apiin, Myristicin, and Apiol: Prevents tumor migration and metastasis; increases antioxidant enzymes in the blood; reduces injury to tissue
- Coumarins: Stimulate antioxidant pathways; inhibit free radical damage
- Luteolin: Prevents tumor migration and metastasis
- Kaempferol & Quercetin: Inhibits uric acid production
Parsley also contains a high nutritive value for:
- Vitamins A, C, Riboflavin, Niacin, and Folate: Scavenge free radicals associated with cardiovascular disease; lower homocysteine levels in the blood
- Minerals Zinc, Magnesium, Potassium, and Calcium: Reduce kidney and liver toxicity; inhibit oxidative damage
Ferric Reducing Ability Power:
FRAP (ferric reducing ability power) is a common test performed in humans to measure the antioxidant potential of plant polyphenols such as those listed above. This test measures the reactivity of free radicals to create oxidative stress and injury to normal biological functions.
Polyphenols from parsley indicate a high FRAP potential as a result of blocking free radical synthesis and scavenging previously formed free radicals. Parsley therefore supplies the antioxidant protection known to protect DNA and prevent degenerative diseases like cancer from occurring.
Deaths associated with cancer and failure of chemotherapeutic drugs are most associated with malignant cancers that have the ability to metastasize. Without the ability of cancer cells to proliferate into neighboring and distant tissue, cancer cannot spread. Parsley does just that by inhibiting the migration of cancer cells from invading and infecting new tissue.
A known risk factor for cancer is elevated levels of uric acid in the blood. Abnormal levels of this chemical can lead to problems like gout and left untreated produces stress on the body leading to chronic disease. Its presence is associated with the generation of cancer-promoting reactive oxygen species (ROS).
Parsley exhibits uric acid lowering effects by inhibiting the production of liver xanthine oxidoreductase. This liver enzyme is the main contributor that metabolizes compounds to produce uric acid. The reduction of ROS and the inhibitory effects produced by parsley are reported to decrease trauma associated with the need for a liver transplant.
In the country of Turkey, parsley is used regularly as a treatment for diabetes due to its liver supporting properties. With its high antioxidant capacity, parsley is an effective herb to flush toxins from the liver while also reducing blood sugar and sodium levels, uric acid concentrations, and oxidized liver enzymes that produce tissue damage in diabetics.
Bitter is Good for the Liver
Natural bitters are deficient in the modern diet but provide a host of nutritional value in foods like parsley, basil, and chicory root. Eating bitter foods daily contributes to the support of digestive health in part due to its role in liver support. Bitter foods increase levels of the master antioxidant glutathione in the liver and also support other antioxidant enzymes. Parsley has even been shown to regenerate liver tissue following damage due to chronic diseases.
Parsley stimulates the production of bile in the liver required for digesting fats in the intestines. A deficiency in bile production contributes to poor digestion, microbial overgrowth, and hormonal disturbances. Bile production is also essential to the excretion of toxins that are being flushed from the body and liver.
Health Benefit of Parsley #2 – Chlorophyll for Overall Detoxification
Enhancing natural detoxification pathways is essential to preventing the accumulation of cancer causing agents in the body and is essential to human health. Parsley is loaded with chlorophyll, which gives its characteristic green color. Chlorophyll is a known chelating agent found to remove toxic metals from the body and stimulate biological activity that eliminates waste build-up.
Parsley Inhibits Heavy Metal Toxicity:
We are exposed to many heavy metals, such as cadmium, in the environment around us and the foods we eat. Cadmium interferes with hormone function and reduces the ability of immune-stimulating nutrients like zinc and magnesium. It also disturbs vital organs and the function of the brain, liver, kidney, and testes. Parsley has been shown to inhibit these toxic effects of cadmium by supporting overall detoxification systems.
A diet containing even low doses of chlorophyll is shown to aid in the formation of new red blood cells, detoxify harmful compounds from the blood, and regulate blood pH critical to reducing the risk of cancer development.
Compounds such as chlorophyll present in parsley have been shown to lower hydrogen peroxide levels, reduce free radicals, and increase enzymes like glutathione peroxidase that actually filter out hydrogen peroxide from plasma.
Other antioxidant enzymes including SOD (superoxide dismutase) and glutathione reductase have been shown to increase in individual’s blood levels following the consumption of parsley. Over a short two week period, oxidative stress in the individuals continued to decrease continually.
Health Benefit of Parsley #3 – Carminative Properties (Relieves Flatulence)
Traditional medical practices have utilized parsley for its gastrointestinal health benefits for centuries, especially in Chinese medicine. Parsley, like other carminative herbs, improves digestive function in multiple ways by dispelling gas, preventing bloating, and stimulating gut motility.
Parsley has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce your risk of cancers of the digestive, urinary tract, cardiovascular system, brain, and other regions. Its potent antioxidant compounds act on local and distant tissue and are used in the treatment of diabetes, bacterial and fungal infection, and in regulating blood pressure.
Dipping parsley into apple cider vinegar further enhances its carminative properties. The chlorophyll combined with the natural enzymes and acids in the vinegar improve gut microflora resulting in reduced digestive discomfort. As previously mentioned, chomping on parsley leaf will eliminate bad breath by reducing odor-causing bacteria.
How to Juice Parsley for Better Health
Parsley promotes health in numerous ways and is helpful to anyone looking to optimize their health and reduce their risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.
Its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties improve respiratory problems and boost circulation. It also detoxifies the body’s organs and tissue so that they can function optimally, and supports the effective elimination of carcinogens.
The four recipes below contain detoxifying fruits and vegetables to pair with parsley that support natural detoxification pathways and enhance healing. As with any healthy diet, always juice organic produce when available. Freshly prepare juice rather than creating large batches susceptible to light and temperature oxidation − which damages its potent anti-carcinogenic compounds.
4 Healthy Parsley Juice Recipes
- Two carrots, ½ cup of parsley, 3 stalks of celery. Mix this into a juicer or blender and grind until liquid. The juicer will give you a straight shot of highly absorbable nutrients without the fiber. A blender will have the fiber portion of the vegetables mixed into it.
- Six leaves of romaine, handful of parsley, 1 cucumber, 1 apple. Mix this into a juicer or blender and grind until liquid.
- Handful of cilantro, handful of parsley, 1 cucumber, 3 stalks of celery, 1 granny smith apple. Mix this into a juicer or blender and grind until liquid.
Were you aware of all the health benefits of parsley? Do you eat it? How do you use it? Please share your favorite ways in the Comments section below.
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Parsley has powerful nutraceutical properties that decrease our risk of numerous diseases. When compared to 47 other fresh plants with cancer prevention properties, parsley was one of the top four herbs having the highest inhibitory effects on cancer-inducing inflammatory compounds.
Parsley supplies the antioxidant protection known to protect DNA and prevent degenerative diseases like cancer from occurring.
In Turkey (the country), parsley is used regularly as a treatment for diabetes due to its liver supporting properties.
Parsley is a bitter herb. Bitter foods increase levels of the master antioxidant glutathione in the liver and also support other antioxidant enzymes.
Parsley is loaded with chlorophyll which is a known chelating agent that helps remove toxic metals from the body.
Parsley improves digestive function in multiple ways by dispelling gas, preventing bloating, and stimulating gut motility.
Parsley is a wonderful addition to fresh juices. See the article for 4 juice recipe ideas.
Parsley has PQQ which may help make more mitochondria. Parsley makes more urine. You can buy parsley capsules.
Leotien Parlevliet says
I use fresh Parsley every day and I eat it entirely and organic. Not only the leaves. Besides, my bunny also gets it every day. I think that far more better and healthier than capsules which always contain additives.
Silvia Logan says
I use parsley a lot in cooking for my rice and pasta dishes. I even put a little bit of chopped parsley and garlic on top of my artichokes and put it in my grilled shrimp and scallops. Does the parsley have to be organic?
Francis Kuhn says
Yes, It is always better and safer to use Organically grown Parsley. Commercially grown Parsley is generally nutritionally dead, plus consider all of the chemicals used for Pesticides, Fungicides and Herbicides that are used to spray food crops with. Most of these are toxic.. Furthermore, plants absorb these chemical concoctions. Then when you eat these plants your body absorbs these toxic chemicals. Then people wonder why they get sick.
Is nitric oxide a cancer-inducing inflammatory compound ? I have read that nitric oxide is a molecule that our body produces to help cells communicate and helps regulate blood pressure and reduces inflammation.
I use parsley in meatballs
is that beneficial ?
Dennis Pinner says
I actually mix wheatgrass/ carrot juice and peperine to the end result!
I put the parsley and wheatgrass in a blender rather than a juicer. The only item I put in the juicer is the carrots. No matter how good your juicer is the parsley and wheatgrass will not be finely pulverized, so it is better to put them in a blender with the desired amount of spring water then run it through “150 mesh” to get the goodness out of it. I only add the carrots to take the edge of the taste. The bioperine, from the research I’ve done indicates that this extraction from black pepper increases the overall effects of the juice. I’ve also noticed that drinking this juice can sometimes make you light headed for a few seconds. Other than that, I will carry on taking this concoction twice a week for the rest of my life.
Bioperine helps nutrients absorb in intestines. I use it daily with my supplements and I use black pepper/sea salt on my organic cage free/antibiotic free poached eggs. Sugar feeds cancer/Lymphoma maybe due to Celiac where gluten/dairy/soy/sugar/GMO/hidden gluten/food with a label may hurt. Diet changes help. Wheatgrass..I always fear has some hidden gluten.
Dennis Pinner says
Hello Shasha, thank you for the comment on Bioperine and your thoughts on Wheatgrass! I did a little research on wheatgrass back in 2013. The US department of Agriculture research chemist who specializes in Wheat gluten and cereal protein says that gluten is only found in the seed kernel, the endosperm, and not in the leaves or stems. If the grass is cut from a growing plant and does not include the seed kernel, then it should be safe for those who want to follow a gluten free diet. Saying that, I would be very interested and grateful If you do have a link that might suggest otherwise. I would stop growing this grass and consuming it if there was evidence that suggested the grass contained traces of gluten. On another note Shasha would you have any experience taking CO Q10? I only ask as interested in adding this supplement to my regime.
Wheat grass contains gluten after about the 15th day of growth. To be safe they recommend harvesting before day 12. So careful on the wheat grass guys! This was from a Doctor using tested wheat grass results.
I would advise taking it.
In 1957 Dr. Frederick Crane at the University of Wisconsin became interested in how the energy needed to power the heart was produced. Using beef heart as a model, he was successful in isolating a substance that seemed to be critical to this process. Specifically, coenzyme Q10 was involved in the complex series of reactions by which carbon and hydrogen atoms from food combine with oxygen to form carbon dioxide and water, releasing energy. This energy is used by the body to synthesize a marvelous molecule called ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which “stores” the energy. When the need arises to move muscles, heat the body or power the heart, ATP undergoes a chemical reaction that liberates the required energy. Such chemical reactions involve the reorganization of the electrons that “glue” atoms together to form molecules. This reorganization in turn involves an “electron transport system” in which the needed electrons are passed from one molecule to another until they arrive at their destination. Coenzyme Q10 turns out to be a critical molecule in this transport system.. Without it, ATP could not be produced and energy could not be supplied. Crane’s discovery generated a great deal of interest because a potential application was pretty obvious. If coenzyme Q10 levels could be increased in cells, ATP synthesis would be enhanced and energy production increased. It took no more than a year for Karl Folkers at the University of Texas to determine the molecular structure of CoQ10, synthesize it, and to begin studying its properties. On top of its electron transport abilities, CoQ10 turned out to be a potent antioxidant, protecting cell membranes from destruction by oxygen. This was enough for the supplement manufacturers to start putting the cart before the horse and begin to hype CoQ10 as a miracle drug. They claimed relief from heart disease, cancer, aging, immune problems and poor exercise tolerance. This is just the kind of activity that sours the scientific community because researchers were quite aware of the fact that studies had not corroborated these outlandish claims. As a result, many scientists tossed CoQ10 on that great junk heap of supplements that failed to live up to promise. A handful of researchers, however, struggled on with CoQ10 studies. They were impressed by the fact that blood levels decline with age and that the human heart has the highest concentration of CoQ10 in the body. They organized trials with patients suffering from various heart ailments, particularly congestive heart disease. These were always in addition to, not instead of traditional treatment! Indeed, nine placebo-controlled trials have confirmed the effectiveness of CoQ10 in reducing shortness of breath, hypertension, palpitations and chest pain. Echocardiographic measurements have shown improved heart function. And perhaps most important, no study has shown any detrimental effects, even at a few hundred milligrams a day. Strangely, the medical community seems to be unaware of the CoQ10 research, perhaps because it is not promoted by pharmaceutical companies. who would loose a ton of money if any of the natural holistic medicines that has been around for over 2000 years could be approved. Being paid by big pharma to not approve anything that would take out of their lined pockets, in spite of the fact that CoQ10 may reduce insulin requirements in diabetics, help heal gum tissue in gingivitis and even improve skin condition when incorporated into creams.
If you go to the angiogenesis foundation. Soy is on there list of foods that are good and fight cancer. I would be more concerned with eating animal products. Look up Chris beat cancer. Chris Wark .
Silvia Logan says
Dennis, can I ask you a few questions about wheatgrass? Does drinking wheatgrass prevent cancer? Does wheatgrass cure a person who has cancer, even if it is stage 4? Dennis, the reason that I am asking those questions, because I do not know if you remember an actress by the name of Lourdes Colon in ‘The Truth About Cancer’. She had stage 4 lymphoma and she had days to live, but when she changed her diet and ate wheatgrass, she was cured of her cancer. Now she has no sign of cancer. She use to eat a lot of sugar when she was younger and had a bad diet, but I am not sure whether it caused her cancer the first place.
Dennis Pinner says
Hello Silvia. I really cant give you an answer to those questions you have ask me. I wish I could be confident to say YES, but I cant. All I can say is that I’ve been taken this grass since 2012, and for me it sits well! I also take other health foods and Monatomic elements which I find have benefited me over the years. I know this may come over as a bit strange: Only I know my body and what I put into it. No health specialist or GP knows my body or the music it plays like I do. All I do know is that I’m compelled from time to time to take or try or just plain experiment till I get it right with herbs, spices and specially the noble metals in single atomic form. I hope there is someone out there that can answer those questions for you.
According to Frank Suárez, if you keep your glucose levels (not the levels recommended by the medical establishment which are way too high) in check by using a glucometer, you can never develop cancer. as cancer cells feed of excess glucose. He has lots of videos on youtube in Spanish but there is the English version of his book: The Power of Metabolism. Kind regards, lidia
Silvia….her diet change may have had no gluten and added healthy homemade juice of vegetables.. Carrot/celery/ginger juiced and much per day helped Chris Wark stop his cancer. He also changed his diet from junk to healthy food. Wheat grass detoxes/cleanses/;purifiers/adds nutrients…is awesome help in addition to other supplements that help the immune system. Many people need detoxing and build up nutrients due to gluten hurting their intestines so less nutrients absorb and hurting their liver so it doesn’t detox well. Lymphoma maybe due to gluten.
I always use Parsley for my green smoothy with rosemary,Basil, mint, ginger & turmaric.
“She use to eat a lot of sugar when she was younger and had a bad diet, but I am not sure whether it caused her cancer the first place.”
People who have sugar addictions may also have gluten addiction…Celiac which may cause cancer as it lowers nutrients absorbed/pH/immune system/oxygen in the brain/body. Sugar is like cocaine and gluten like Heroin to the brain so people so they may over eat it.
Wanted to weigh in about the question re: wheatgrass. My experience is that wheatgrass is a very powerful and easy self-care intervention to support the body in healing from cancer (and other things). I would never call it a cure but, along with several other things, can tip the body scale towards recovery vs. progression. Like any fresh vegetable juice, it is the closest thing to pre-digested so it doesn’t require good digestive functioning nor much energy for your body to obtain its benefits. And many people with stage IV disease (or often those going through chemo/radiation) who have a difficult time tolerating enough food for good nutrition, 1 oz of wheatgrass = 8 ounces of green juice = approximately 2.5 lbs of vegetables. That’s pretty good! Plus it is 70% chlorophyll which means it helps build low blood counts (hemoglobin is only one molecule different from chlorophyll) and for those who believe in energy, it is packed with the healing energy of the sun. Along with many of the other wonderful body and mind interventions shared by TTAC, it can help heal even stage IV cancers. Hope this helps….
I make my own tabbouli with 3-4 bunches of parley. I love to eat this with homemade hummus and whole wheat pita chips with olive oil and fresh garlic! One of my favorite meals!
Whole wheat has more gluten. Any gluten may hurt most people’s intestines so less nutrients absorb.
I use 2 handfuls of finely chopped parsley mashed with a knob of butter to make parsley butter as a condiment – perfect for steak or potatoes and its amazing how much parsley one can squeeze in. I also make scrambled egg with chopped tomato and a handful of parsley. I have always loved parsley and seen it as a bit of a quick fix and now I know why. Thanks
In India we make alot of different sauces using parsley. Mix it with coconut/tomato/guava/raw mangoes. My mom’s favourite is parsley + mint + garlic + chilli + salt.
I throw parsley on everything it seems. In my juice, on savory dishes . . . When I mince the leaves to use on food I save the stems and then juice the stems as well as whole parsley when I juice. The stuff is amazing.
Katy….Thanks! Very helpful! Microscopic gluten hurts me. I just use other green vegetables like spirulina etc which is gluten free. I appreciate the details about it.
Love parsely… my mum always had it chopped up & put it on her breakfast toast ,along with a spread of Vegemite…sandwich it. Gave her a bit more energy….I do the same , when I feel I need a ‘boost’ for the day..I also put it in white sauce . for over veggies/boiled meat…
Anne O'Donnell says
Thanks Katy – never knew that. I suppose you’d have to really do your homework and track where the wheatgrass has come from and how long it took to get to the store.
Does parsley tea have any of the same benefits as the fresh herb?
Pinterest keeps blocking my ability to pin from this site..FYI!
Customer Success says
Thanks for letting us know Cara! I will let our team know about this.
Holistic Chef Barry Anderson says
Thank You Ty and Charlene yes I LOVE parsley Merry Christmas blessings to your family Chef Barry Anderson
MARK FOX says
Hi Ty and Charlene,
Will cilantro work in place of parsley? Are they close in nutrients to each other?
Parsley capsules? Parsley & cooking ? Pasteurization of parsley created creates carcinogenic compounds in it self / a he idea behind parsley is to get rid of the processed, pasteurizing, chemically treated / sprayed. ALL foods eaten should be organic? Processed, pasteurized (or the like) foods that claim to be “organic” are a joke. ALL WHOLE foods must be organic per universal law.. not man made laws.
I have seen a lot of very healthy looking caterpillars eating my parsley so maybe they are on to something? Well, they aren’t so healthy after I catch ’em. 😉
When are you guys going to do something on moringa? I eat that stuff daily since I have more than a dozen moringa trees in the yard.