Those of us who go back a few years likely remember the line about parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme in the huge Simon and Garfunkel hit song about two ill-fated lovers, "Are You Going to Scarborough Fair". Many have speculated that the reference to the four popular herbs was due to their use in Medieval Europe to help cleanse the air and ward off the infamous black plague. Others have thought that the reference to the four herbs was because the combination may have been used as a love potion. Whatever the reason for their inclusion in the popular song, the many health benefits of parsley and sage are worth loving and singing praises about in their own rights.
Parsley is an amazing medicinal herb with a world of health benefits. The root contains calcium, B-complex vitamins, and iron, which nourish the glands that help regulate the uptake of calcium. It is a source of magnesium, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin K.
Among the many benefits reported for parsley are:
*It is a diuretic which helps the body produce more urine to keep the urinary system operating smoothly and which helps prevent problems such as kidney stones and bladder infections.
*It is wonderful for removing toxins from the body, such as heavy metals.
*It is an effective breath freshener. It is believed that the practice of including parsley on a dinner plate began due to its breath freshening abilities and not merely for its decorative effect.
*The root and leaves are good for the liver and spleen.
*It helps relieve bloating during menstruation.
*It provides relief for edema, often helping when other remedies have failed
*Parsley root and seeds help relax stiff joints, often making stiff and unmanageable fingers work again.
*It helps remove gallstones when used properly by taking a pint of the tea daily.
*It is beneficial for the adrenal glands.
*It is a powerful therapeutic aid for the optic nerves, brain and sympathetic nervous system.
*Parsley juice is an excellent tonic for the blood vessels.
Note: It is best to avoid large amounts of parsley if you are pregnant, especially the use of the volatile essential oil.
Like rosemary, its sister herb in the mint (Labiatae) family, sage contains a variety of volatile oils, flavonoids and phenolic acids, including rosmarinic acid. The oils found in sage are both antiseptic and antibiotic, helping it fight infections.
Besides the antioxidant and other properties shared with Rosemary, sage`s other health benefits include:
*It is effective for symptoms of menopause, night sweats and hot flashes because of its estrogenic action and because its tannins help dry up perspiration.
*Sage helps provide better brain function and has been used in the treatment of cerebrovascular disease for over a thousand years. It helps provide better recall and research has suggested that it may be an effective option to help treat Alzheimer`s.
*There`s also compelling evidence that sage may be of value to people with diabetes for whom the hormone insulin does not work as efficiently as it should. Lab studies indicate that sage may boost insulin`s action.
* The ability of sage to protect oils from oxidation has also led some companies to experiment with sage as a natural antioxidant additive for cooking oils that can extend shelf life and help avoid rancidity.