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Detox

Parsley – More than a pretty garnish

by Tammera J. Karr, PhD

Many of us grew up seeing parsley as the attractive green garnish on dinner plates. The vibrant taste and wonderful healing properties of parsley are often ignored in its popular role as a table garnish.  Parsley is so much more than a pretty garnish or filler plant in the garden. Rarely as a youngster, did I see anyone actually eat this green or grow it in their gardens. Parsley was something reserved for fancy restaurant food.  The unpopularity of this herb may be because of the ancient folklore associated with parsley and eastern Oregon being heavily settled by Irish, Welsh and Scottish emigrants. Add to this the herb has a reputation of being hard to grow from seed and propagate in gardens; traditionally mankind has attached vile forewarning s or stigma to foods that fell into the difficult to keep alive category.

‘Welsh parsley is a good physic’ – ‘Welsh parsley’ signified the gallows rope. In Surrey and in other southern English counties it was said, “Where parsley’s grown in the garden, there’ll be a death before the year’s out.”

While certainly not as dramatic as a death sentence, it was believed if someone cut parsley that they would be later crossed in love. in Hampshire, peasants feared giving away any parsley as it would bring ill-luck upon them. In Suffolk, it was thought sowing Parsley seed on Good Friday would ensure the herb coming up “double.” [1]

Originally, parsley came from Southwest Asia and the Mediterranean (Turkey, Algeria, Sardinia, and Lebanon). The herb has been cultivated since ancient times and was widely grown in most parts of Europe. Today, the plant is extensively used as a spice and cultivated all over the world.

The parsley leaves are best during the plant’s first year, and they can be picked at any time during the growing season. The leaves can be dried or kept frozen for later use. The root is collected in the autumn in the first year or in the spring of the second year of the plant’s life cycle. It should be used fresh, but can also be stored as other root vegetables, preferably in a cold place. [2]

Parsley contains two types of unusual components that provide unique health benefits. The first type is volatile oil components—including myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. The second type is flavonoids—including apiin, apigenin, crisoeriol, and luteolin.

Along with flavonoids (apiin), parsley contains  glucosides, phthalide, furanocoumarins, carotenoids, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, C and E, and minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, sulfur, copper and manganese. Studies have shown that vitamin K is vital in bone formation, protects against osteoporosis and is very beneficial for the circulatory system and the nervous system. [3]

Five grams of parsley covers the daily requirement of vitamin A, and 25 grams of the fresh herb cover the daily requirement of vitamin C. Parsley is an excellent source of dietary fiber and calcium which makes it a good option for those who are dairy free. [4]  Some studies have suggested parsley may limit the harmful effects of carcinogenic substances. This is probably due to the chlorophyll content.

Parsley increases the secretion of digestive fluids improving digestion, better-quality nutrient uptake, and reduces gas. It may also be used as a remedy for colic and digestive pain for those with IBS and Crohns.

Parsley is a effective diuretic and has been used to treat fluid retention (edema) and to speed up the elimination of harmful toxins.  German doctors, who are known to use medicinal herbs to great extent, often recommend a tea made from the seeds as a treatment for high blood pressure. [5]

Beta-carotene found in parsley works in the fat-soluble areas of the body. Diets with beta-carotene-rich foods are associated with a reduced risk for development and progression of atherosclerosis, diabetes, and colon cancer. Like vitamin C, beta-carotene may also be helpful in reducing the severity of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. And beta-carotene is converted by the body to vitamin A, a nutrient important in maintaining eyesight and a strong immune system. [6]

A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showed parsley inhibits the secretion of histamine, a substance produced in the body that is responsible for triggering allergy symptoms. The herb may, therefore, be helpful as a herbal remedy for hay fever. [7]

So let’s give Parsley some credit for more than it’s attractive appearance on our plates – Here is to green for health.

 

[1] http://www.ourherbgarden.com/herb-history/parsley.html

[2] http://naturalsociety.com/parsley-health-benefits-growing-parsley-medicine/

[3] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/284490.php

[4] https://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/parsley-benefits.html

[5] https://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/herbs-high-blood-pressure.html

[6] http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid=100&tname=foodspice

[7] https://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/hay-fever-remedies.html

CLEANING HOUSE – BY REGULARLY DETOXIFYING

by Tammera J. Karr, PhD

An effective detoxification program will not ask you to make any dramatic lifestyle and dietary changes. Healthier food and lifestyle choices are generally made on a subconscious level. Once the body begins to eliminate toxins, it will naturally start craving foods that will nourish it at an optimum level. That said, there are undoubtedly many things you can do to maximize the benefits of the cleanse you’re on from day one, and certain foods will help maintain the benefits of the detox for much longer.

A detox diet is a short-term diet, often 3- to 21 days, focused on removing toxins from the body. Although detoxification is ongoing in the body, toxins and stress prevent us from doing it optimally, which eventually affects our health. A detox diet allows our bodies to focus on self-healing, with the goal being to raise energy levels, stimulate digestive health, clear headaches, remove bloating, improve concentration and mood, avoid getting allergies, regain our natural ability to ward off colds and flu and prevent premature aging and disease.

In natural health writings from the 1900’s, it was common to see articles on digestive cleansing with tonics, enemas, fasting, and herbs. Detoxification has been practiced for centuries by many cultures around the world — including Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.

The sad but undeniable truth is many are living in an environment toxic to their bodies, take a look at the following information:

How does detoxification work?

Basically, detoxification means cleaning the blood. It does this by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination. The body also eliminates toxins through the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph, and skin. However, when this system is compromised, impurities aren’t properly filtered, and every cell in the body is adversely affected.

Many health ailments–headaches, exhaustion, and muscle cramps–are coming from toxicity. Toxins have been implicated in everything from increased risk of Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease to mental retardation and cancer.

A detox program can help the body’s natural cleaning process by:

  1. Resting organs through fasting;
  2. Stimulating the liver to eliminate toxins;
  3. Promoting elimination through the intestines, kidneys, and skin;
  4. Improving circulation;
  5. Refuel the body.

10 ways to detoxify

  1. Eat plenty of fiber, including brown rice and organically-grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Beets, radishes, artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, spirulina, chlorella, and seaweed.
  2. Cleanse and protect the liver by taking dandelion root, burdock, milk thistle, and drinking green tea.
  3. Vitamin C helps produce glutathione, a liver compound that drives away toxins.
  4. Drink at least two quarts of filtered water daily.
  5. Breathe deeply to allow oxygen to circulate more completely through your system.
  6. Think positive thoughts.
  7. Practice hydrotherapy by taking a very hot shower for five minutes, allowing the water to run on your back. Follow with cold water for 30 seconds. Do this three times, and then get into bed for 30 minutes.
  8. Sweat in a sauna to eliminate wastes through perspiration.
  9. Dry-brush your skin or try detox foot spas/foot baths to remove toxins through your pores.
  10. Exercise, yoga, qigong, mini-tramps or jump-roping are good. One hour every day.

Don’t forget

Eliminate alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined and artificial sugars, fake fats found in margarine, and unfiltered tap water all of which act as toxins in the body and are obstacles to detoxifying. Also, minimize use of chemical-based household cleaners and personal health care products (cleansers, shampoos, deodorants, and toothpastes), and substitute natural alternatives.

Stress triggers your body to release stress hormones into your body affecting every metabolic pathway necessary for detoxification. While these hormones can provide the “adrenaline rush” to win a race or meet a deadline, in large amounts, they create toxins and slow down detoxification enzymes in the liver. Consider cutting out the news at dinner and bedtime add music that is around 60 beats per minute to calm the central nervous system throughout the day, all these are simple and effective ways to relieve stress.

People who are exhausted with low blood pressure may have adrenal weakness or fatigue. A detox diet is usually done after the adrenal glands have been replenished.

 

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