Parsley (Petroselinum hortense) has been used traditionally as a diuretic and as an anti-hypertensive. The present study was an attempt to find the mechanism by which parsley works. The parsley seeds were soaked in water by the authors to make the liquid extract.
Rats were given the parsley extract in this study. The kidney function of the rats was studied by recording urine flow with and without the administration of the parsley extract.
Test results showed that the parsley extract significantly increased the volume of urine produced over a 24 hour period of time. The effect was not seen in the absence of adequate potassium, however. The parsley extract inhibited Na+-K+ ATPase enzyme in the kidneys. Parsley caused some “change in potassium transport.”
The authors conclude that parsley works by inhibition of the Na+-K+ pump, resulting in decreased K+ excretion and reduced Na+ and K+ absorption. This would have the end result of increased Na+, K+ and water in the kidneys. This would cause the diuretic effect to occur.
CONCLUSION: Parsley is a good diuretic and has been demonstrated to show increase in urine flow in rats. It may work by inhibition of the Na/K Pump in the kidneys.
NOTE: Petroselinium hortense is flat-leafed parsley. Petroselinium crispum is curly-leafed parsley. Read about heavy metal contamination of parsley and other vegetables grown in an old mining area of Romania.
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