Parsley is an excellent of vitamin K1 (1 sprig contains 16µg - 20% RDA), vitamin C (10 sprig contains 14mg - 20% RDA) as well as a good source of vitamin A, folate and iron. The health benefits of parsley include controlling cancer, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, along with helping prevent osteoporosis. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and provides relief from gastrointestinal issues such as indigestion, stomach cramps and bloating.  Parsley is often used as a garnish and is often sadly discarded. Parsley has long been used as a diuretic that reduced water retention and helps in controlling various diseases such as kidney stones*, urinary tract infections and gallbladder stones.


Parsley and testosterone

Parsley is a great testosterone booster because it contains high amounts of a compound called apigenin. Apigenin is a flavonoid and is found mainly in some fruits and vegetables. Apigenin has been found to increase StAR gene expression and steroid creation.

The drop in testosterone in older men is linked to a decrease of a protein synthesised in the testes. This protein is called the steroidogenic acute regulatory protein or StAR.  The StAR protein is also found in womens ovaries. StAR has also been found in all tissues that can produce steroids, including the adrenal cortex and the brain. Recent findings suggest that StAR may also move cholesterol in the liver as an important first step in the production of bile acids by the liver.

Testosterone is mainly synthesized in testicular Leydig cells from substrate cholesterol and then released into the circulation. It is known that the levels of blood testosterone are affected by multiple physiological and biochemical factors associated with aging. The rate-limiting step in testosterone production is the transfer of cholesterol from the outer to the inner mitochondrial membrane. The StAR protein, plays a critical function at this step by facilitating the mitochondrial cholesterol transfer.

Alcohol also blocks the activity of StAR, which explains why drinking too much can lower testosterone levels in men.

Eating parsley

  • Chopped parsley is perfect in any salad.
  • Add chopped parsley to pasta dishes.
  • Tabbouleh.
  • Add a parsley crust to meats ready for roasting.
  • Sprinkle chopped parsley on pizza.
  • Fold chopped parsley into mashed potato.
  • Parsley tempura.
  • If you get a sprig of parsley as a garnish, don't discard it, chop it up and enjoy.
  • Parsley is also an easy herb to grow at home, just cut off what you need.

Some risks

  • *Parsley is high in oxalates which can cause problems for people susceptible to kidney stones (calcium oxalate). However kidney stones can be avoided with adequate viamin K2, vitamin A and vitamin D. Also the diauretic effect of parsley should mitigate the oxalate effect.
  • Consuming large quantities of parsley can lead to problems for pregnant women (due to possible uterine contractions) or for women breast feeding. Angelica Root, Blue Cohosh, Ginger, Parsley, Pennyroyal, and Rosemary are all known to encourage menstruation. Long before modern women dreamed of a "morning after"pill, women were using herbal preparations for just that purpose.

In conclusion

Eat plenty of fresh parsley (unless you want to get, or are pregnant) to get a hormonal boost. The vitamin K1 and vitamin C levels are also very impressive. It's not just a garnish!