Saw a news feed today touting parsley’s power to “cure” arthritis pain. It’s true, but I think it’s important to understand WHY it works. Real understanding leads people to action, which could remove the need to TREAT arthritis by simply removing the cause of the collection of symptoms we’ve given the name. Arthritis literally means “inflammation of the(itis) joints(arthro)”, so when your doctor tells you you have it he has really just said back to you in Latin what you told him in the first place.
So WHY did your joints inflame? One word-ACID. Waste acids collect in the joints, especially when you aren’t moving as much as you need to. The acids come from normal muscle function waste and from your body’s unsuccessful efforts to break down protein. WHY does red meat affect arthritis? The fibers in red meat are really tough, lots of work for your stomach, and impossible if you are taking any kind of antacid. The right acids in your stomach are critical for digesting heavy proteins; without them the undigested matter moves on to the small intestine before the job is finished. That results in those fibers turning to waste acids, irritating the villi that should be absorbing the nutrients in to the bloodstream. Instead, the nutrients aren’t accessible and acid flows through the intestine wall. Sugar does the same thing and also feeds bacteria. WHO has to make up the difference? Your kidneys, which filters waste out of the bloodstream. This is WHERE the parsley comes in. Parsley is classified as a bitter herb, with an affinity for the kidneys because it contains lots of potassium, which is essential for their function. That combination of qualities makes it an adaptogenic herb for kidney support, meaning it helps “stuck” kidneys figure out WHAT they really need to be doing. In this case, that is working harder at flushing out the waste acid instead of letting it accumulate, meaning that joints don’t hurt as much because they are not being burned up inside! Potassium and other trace minerals abundant in the plant also support the creation of healthy cells to replace lesser quality ones as they die, and the chlorophyll is a natural alkalizer.
If you are dealing with rheumatoid arthritis (inflammation of the joints caused by the strep bacteria; I was diagnosed with the juvenile form when I was 12 but that will be another post) parsley will still be helpful (though you will likely need lymphatic and blood quality herbs as well), but your kidneys now also have to filter out dead bacteria and other debris, while impaired by the additional stress of decreased bowel function caused by antibiotics.
For all of the reasons listed above parsley is named as a diuretic in many herb books. It’s also often listed as helpful in dealing with kidney infections, which are just an extension of the same problems. I got a call from a client one day dealing with scanty, burning urine and a fever. Because of past experience she was anxious to avoid taking antibiotics and wanted an appointment, but I was completely booked until late that day and the following morning. I told her to buy fresh parsley and pineapple juice, put them in the blender together, and choke them down as often as possible; I would fit her in the following afternoon. She called mid-morning and left a message that she was feeling fine, all symptoms had disappeared, and she would keep it up over the weekend to make sure things kept going well. No wonder I still have to work for a living!