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A culinary herb rich in vitamins A and C, which is diuretic, expectorant, laxative, spasmolytic and a digestive tonic; it is used internally for asthma, colds, congestive heart failure, coughs, fever, hypertension, indigestion, irregular menses and premenstrual syndrome.
Regular use of parsley requires dietary compensation with potassium, given parsley’s potassium-depleting diuretic effect; medicinal levels of parsley should not be used in pregnancy, as it stimulates uterine contractions; it should not be given to young children.
A root herb, Petroselinum crispum, of the carrot family used primarily in cooking as a spice. In herbal medicine it is used to promote menstruation, to treat high blood pressure, and to cleanse the bowels (when given as an enema). Parsley has a high content of oxalates (the chemical component of many kidney stones). It also contains chemicals that may cause rashes in patients exposed to ultraviolet light.