Initially used in the Bible as a symbol of rebirth and spring, parsley has long been a key player in the wellness world.
It’s not hard to see where these religious associations come from either. Parsley seed is well-known for being a revitalising oil, cleansing our bodies and our homes to encourage a new, fresh start.
If you're curious about including this unique oil in your routine, we're detailing all the facts you need to know about its benefits, uses, and history.
What is Parsley Seed Essential Oil?
Parsley seed essential oil, also known as Petroselinum Sativum, is a warm and woody remedy extracted via steam distillation from the seeds of the common parsley herb.
Native to the Mediterranean, parsley seed oil is usually yellowish to brown in colour and has a distinct, underlying spiciness.
It is important to note that whilst parsley essential oil and parsley seed essential oil come from the same herb, they are separate oils and as such do behave differently, with parsley seed being the more potent of the two.
What are the health benefits of Parsley Seed Essential Oil?
Primarily composed of the hygienic constituent limonene, parsley seed oil has the strong cleaning properties we would expect, but is also able to protect our health and well-being in a number of other ways.
Some of the benefits of parsley seed essential oil include:
- Antibacterial and antifungal abilities
- Antioxidant properties
- Repelling insects
- Regulating the menstrual cycle
Is parsley seed essential oil antibacterial and antifungal?
Parsley seed oil has shown strong antimicrobial activity in a number of studies, which has made it a popular choice for all-natural cleaning around the home.
Research in 2014 found that parsley seed essential oil showed high activity against pathogenic bacteria, able to protect food from contamination and preserve its freshness.
Further research in 2016 found that it was also effective against various strains of bacteria and fungi, inhibiting their growth.
These antibacterial, antifungal abilities make the oil a wonderful natural cleaning product. A few drops of parsley seed essential oil in a spray bottle of water can form a useful homemade cleaning spray.
Is parsley seed oil an antioxidant?
Antioxidants can play a key role in defending our health, and antioxidant essential oils can boost this natural activity to help to make this defense more comprehensive.
A 2020 review found that parsley seed essential oil showed significant antioxidant activity. This allows it to protect our bodies against the oxidising effects of free radicals and prevent oxidative damage to cells.
Cell damage from free radicals can lead to severe health complications over time, so including antioxidants in your lifestyle is important for avoiding these circumstances.
Can parsley seed essential oil repel insects?
The faintly spicy scent of parsley seed oil is known to help keep insects at bay and prevent them from coming into the home or congregating around a certain area.
This is just another way that parsley seed essential oil can play a role in keeping our homes clean and hygienic.
Spraying parsley seed oil around areas you want to protect or diffusing the oil in your home is a great way to naturally repel pests. It can also be used to help treat insect bites when diluted with a carrier oil.
Does parsley seed oil regulate the menstrual cycle?
The regulation of menstrual cycles is an ancient application of parsley seed essential oil.
Sufferers of irregular periods have found that parsley seed oil not only helps to better regulate their cycles but also to reduce excessive bleeding and accompanying pain. This is due to the oil's ability to stimulate oestrogen production alongside other responsible hormones.
Parsley seed oil is also said to reduce water retention which can in turn reduce bloating – a common period symptom. Diluting parsley seed oil with a carrier oil and rubbing it onto the abdomen can help you to feel these effects.
How to use Parsley Seed Essential Oil
The benefits of parsley seed essential oil can be felt in a number of ways, so feel free to add it to your routine in as many or as few ways as you see fit. We've listed some of our favourite uses for parsley seed essential oil below.
Warm, woody, and lightly spicy, parsley seed essential oil is a great outside-the-box pick for diffusing in your home. It's also ideal for keeping pests away as well as tackling airborne bacteria.
Try adding 5-8 drops of parsley seed essential oil to your electric diffuser or oil burner to feel these effects. If diffusers aren't your thing, try sprinkling a few drops into your bath instead.
If you're struggling with uncomfortable menstrual symptoms or irregular periods, performing a massage using parsley seed oil on your abdominal area could help tackle these issues.
The antioxidant properties of parsley seed essential oil make it a highly useful ingredient in skincare products.
Try adding some to your existing moisturisers and serums, or try your hand at make your own all-natural cleanser by combining it with a non-comedogenic carrier oil.
Thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, parsley seed oil is a popular choice for use in homemade cleaners, or as an additional booster to existing cleaning products.
Add a few drops of parsley seed oil to a glass spray bottle with water and an emulsifier. Shake well and use at will on your surfaces.
History of Parsley Seed Essential Oil
Parsley seed's botanical name, Petroselinum, comes from the Greek word Petro, meaning stone. This is due to the ancient Greek's discovery of the parsley herb growing on rocky hillsides.
The ancient Greeks would then proceed to use parsley as a symbol of death, as well as a funeral herb that was often made into garlands.
During medieval times, parsley gained a reputation as a superstitious herb due to the amount of time it took to sprout. Many farmers believed the seeds had to travel to Hell and back in order to germinate, which led to a reduction in the herb's growth at this time.
Parsley was also adorned around the necks of the ancient Romans during banquets in order to absorb unpleasant food odours. This use very much parallels the modern uses of parsley seed oil.
Although parsley seed is a lesser-known oil, its rich medical history gives us many insights into just how many applications it has.
Not only does it offer comprehensive cleaning abilities for our homes, but it can help to make sure that internally we function just as cleanly.