Parsley Tea Benefits and Side Effects

Learn How to Make Parsley at Home

Parsley flakes condiment or spice in a wooden rustic spoon over a white background
manoa / Getty Images

Parsley is commonly used by cooks as a garnish and to increase flavor in savory dishes. But what is parsley tea good for? 

As it turns out parsley tea benefits your health in some surprising ways, but not all of the advantages are supported by strong scientific evidence. If you learn how to make parsley tea at home it's possible to enjoy the savory drink and possibly gain wellness perks to boot.

What Is Parsley Tea?

Parsley is an easy-to-find seasoning herb. Some people use parsley leaves instead of salt on their food to reduce their sodium intake. Or they add it to a plate to dress up a meal. Parsley is widely available in most grocery stores and can even be grown at home. 

Parsley tea is an herbal tea. Herbal teas are not made from leaves of the Camellia sinensis and do not contain caffeine. There are different kinds of parsley: curly leaf (Petroselinum crispum) and flat leaf (Petroselinum neapolitanum) or Italian parsley. The kind used in parsley tea is up to you, based on your flavor preferences.

How to Make Parsley Tea at Home

The quickest way to enjoy parsley tea is by using a parsley tea bag. You'll find many brands online and in many health food stores. Parsley tea bags are manufactured using dried leaves, so you can store them in a cool dry place and they will last much longer than fresh parsley.

However, it is also very easy to learn how to make parsley tea at home. Since the herb is inexpensive, making the tea at home is also cheap.

How to Make Parsley Tea in 5 Simple Steps

  1. Choose your desired parsley: flat, curly, or Italian. Remove the leaves from the stems. Gather about 1/8-1/4 cup of leaves for each cup of tea. Place the leaves in the bottom of your cup or into a tea infuser. Note: you can also use a french press to make parsley tea. To do so, simply place the loose leaves at the bottom of the press
  2. Heat water to boiling
  3. Fill the cup or press with hot water. 
  4. Allow the leaves to steep for about four minutes. Steep longer if you prefer a stronger cup. If you are new to parsley tea, start with a weaker cup and gradually increase the strength of your tea as you get used to the taste.
  5. Remove the parsley leaves with a spoon or remove the infuser and discard the leaves. If you are using a press, place the plunger on top and slowly press down to separate the leaves from the tea.

Flavor your tea with lemon or a dash of sugar if desired. Eventually, enjoy parsley tea without sugar to gain the benefits of parsley tea without increasing your sugar intake.

Parsley Tea Benefits

There are several rumored benefits of consuming parsley and you may take advantage of some of these benefits when you consume parsley tea. For example, parsley is often used to freshen breath and you are likely to gain this benefit when drinking parsley tea (keep in mind, however, that adding sugar to your tea will reduce the dental benefits). Many women also suggest that parsley helps to reduce menstrual cramps and others say that consuming parsley or parsley tea helps them to eliminate excess water weight.

However, not all claims about parsley tea benefits are grounded in scientific fact. According to the Therapeutic Research Center's Natural Medicines Database, there is not enough scientific evidence to support the use of parsley for:

  • Kidney stones
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Cracked or chapped skin
  • Bruises
  • Tumors
  • Insect bites
  • Digestive problems
  • Menstrual problems
  • Liver disorders
  • Asthma.
  • Cough
  • Fluid retention and swelling (edema)
  • Other conditions

Parsley is high in vitamin K, C, A, E, and B vitamins. Parsley also provides fiber, iron, copper, calcium, and potassium. But since you don't eat the parsley in your tea, you won't benefit from fiber and you'll get only very small amounts of other vitamins and minerals.

Parsley Tea Side Effects

Parsley is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, consuming large amounts of parsley (more than you would typically consume in amounts commonly found in food) can be dangerous. You're not likely to consume a lot of parsley if you simply have a cup of tea each day. But if you make tea with parsley oil or ground parsley seeds your intake could be much higher than normal.

People who consume too much parsley may experience anemia, liver or kidney problems. If you have diabetes, fluid retention, high blood pressure, or kidney disease you should talk to your doctor to see if consuming parsley is safe for you as it may cause side effects that can worsen your condition. Patients who plan to undergo surgery are often advised to avoid parsley in the two weeks prior to their procedure. 

Sources:

Alyami, Fahad & Rabah, Danny. Effect of drinking parsley leaf tea on urinary composition and urinary stones′ risk factors. Saudi journal of kidney diseases and transplantation: an official publication of the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation, Saudi Arabia. 22. 511-4.

Kaefer, Christine M., and John A. Milner. “The Role of Herbs and Spices in Cancer Prevention.” The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 19.6 (2008): 347–361.