Holiday time is also food time-whether it’s traditional dishes or nouveau-cuisine, so much of the winter holidays are about food.

Most of the herbs we use to season our favorite holiday dishes have medicinal properties.

Whether you are making stuffing with sage and parsley, rosemary potatoes, or baked squash slathered with all of these culinary delights, you are getting some added benefits with each one.

Parsley has several healing and medicinal benefits, and can be considered both a food and a medicine. It is so much more than a lowly garnish!

Parsley is loaded with carotenoids (Lutein, Lycopene), folic acid, Vitamins A, C, & K, plus iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, parsley is called a ‘xue’ tonic ( xue is pronounced ‘Shu-ah’), meaning it invigorates the blood, enhances circulation, and can be used for anemia along with other herbs.

The parsley seed and root are not for use during pregnancy or for those preparing for pregnancy, but the leaf is fine. Chop it up, add it to salads, potatoes & more.

Parsley is a mild diuretic, so not only is it great for swelling during pregnancy and PMS, it should help reduce the bloating that might come along with overindulging at the holiday table.

Mixed with celery seed, parsley is great for gout and gouty arthritis. You would need big doses, probably in tincture form.

You do need more than a teaspoon here and there on a baked potato to really get a medicinal dose. If you’re into juicing, you are in luck. Parsley can be added to your recipe and taken that way as well.

You could drink dried parsley tea but I have rarely, if ever, seen it in teas or formulas. I would use it fresh as a food, tincture, or juicing.

Add it to your shopping list and enhance your health!