If you have ever experienced swelling in your legs (or your hands or feet for that matter) you know how painful it can become.
There are many reasons this swelling, known as edema, or the retention of fluids in the body, can occur:
- A sedentary lifestyle—sitting or staying in one position for too long
- Eating too much processed foods and foods high in salt
- Poor circulation
- Side effects of some medications
Often, a bit of swelling in your legs can be normal after standing or sitting for the day or during pregnancy for example, but chronic leg and ankle swelling—peripheral edema—can also signal a more serious underlying issue such as kidney disease, heart failure or liver disease, so it is always best to consult a physician if this swelling persists.
For cases of occasional swelling however, there are herbal remedies that can be helpful for reducing the swelling and helping your body eliminate any excess fluids. One such herb is parsley.
It Used To Be Recommended by Hippocrates
The word parsley is actually derived from two Greek words: “petrose,” meaning rock, as it often pops through rocky terrain and stone walls; and “selenium,” the ancient name for celery. When put together, it literally means “rock celery.”
There are essentially two types of parsley—curly parsley and Italian parsley (flat leaves) which tends to be the hardier of the two.
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While parsley is used as a garnish in almost every restaurant and home in North America, more often than not, we tend to pick it off the dish and leave it to the side.
But studies show that eating that parsley garnish can help protect you from a variety of diseases and ailments including, digestive disorders, urinary tract problems, menstrual pain, asthma, allergies, as well as help to lower blood pressure, improve your bone health, your breath and even help in cases of bronchitis.
In ancient times, Hippocrates recommended parsley as a general tonic for kidney stones and rheumatism as well as an antidote for poison. And according to “The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook,” parsley is a wonderful diuretic that helps the kidneys remove excess fluids from the body (edema).