Petroselinum Crispum stands for the binneal herbs: Parsle; that originated in the middle east, but naturalised all over the world. It is grown widely in the tropical and the subtropical countries in wide ranging temperatures with adequate irrigation. It is very much used as a garnishing ingredient for its fresh minty flavor in culinary preparation.
Good source of health chemicals
Apart from being a great garnishing herb, it is a strorehouse of many polyphenolic compounds, flavonoids, vitamin A, vfitamin K and folates. Folate is one of the components chemical in the Vitamin B complex. This compound prevents cancer due to anti oxidant properties and other chemicals of polyphenolic nature, reduces the chances of diabetes.
Myrecetin and Luteolin, 2 flavonoids found in parsley play an important role in the prevention of cancers and tumors. Cancers are caused due to unrestrained replication of the cells with faulty DNA. DNA, genetic material is found in the nucleus of the cells. The cell have membranes that are made of lipo proteins. The lipids in the membranes are attacked by the free radicals and cause the destruction of the cell membranes and this is lipid peroxidation.
Understanding lipid peroxidation
Free radicals like hydroxyl group or carboxyl group are released into the system due to good or bad metabolic activities. These radicals are also added to the system due to ingestion or due to inhalation of certain toxic chemcials in the environment .
The fatty acids easily react with free radicals with free oxygen and free nitrogen. After generation of the fatty radicals which are not quite stable, the end products react with oxygen atoms to saturate itself, thus forming peroxides of lipids. Sometimes, due to the excess of the free radicals in the system, the reaction continues to a great extend, however, there are anti oxidation vitamin E and vitamin A that try to terminate the oxidation by combining itself to the free radicals and stop the damage to the cell membranes.
Consequences of lipid peroxidation
It may be noted that stopping the peroxidation reaction may not be simple solution in the first place. The end products of the peroxidation that are generated will come to haunt. Malondialdehyde and 4 hydroxynonenal, 2 aldehyde products have major potential to cause a major concern for the system. This combine with the DNA proteins like deoxyadenosine and deoxyguanosine which completely disrupts the normal structure of the DNA. These are carcnogenic mutations that will cause tumors when allowed to replicate.
How myrecetin works against cancer?
Myrecetin, the polyphenol of the parsley causes the trapping of the free radicals thus protecting the lipid peroxidation, thereby preventing the generation of the mutagenic lipid oxidation by products. Myrecetin works within the tumors propagation mechanism causing death to the cells with defective DNA.It works with the oncoproteins, protein kinase B to stop the neoplastic transformation of the cells. Moreover, myrecetin acts on the cell cycle and stops the mitotic division of the cells. As the tumorous cells fail to multiply, the tumor growth gets arrested. The chemical helps in the stoppage of the shifting the site of the cancer to other sites of the body through its anti-metastasis action.
How does Luteolin work against cancer?
Like myrecetin,luteolin also exerts anti cancer action on the neoplastic cells; the cells that have undergone abnormal growth. Luteolin acts with the reactive oxygen species and traps those radicals, thus preventing them from damaging the cell membranes through lipid peroxidation.
Luteolin acts on enzyme oxidases, like xanthine oxidases, lipooxygenase, cyclooxygenase that causes the generation of the reactive oxygen species. Simultaneously,it supports the generation of anti oxidising enzymes present in the body; glutathione s transferase is one of those.
Luteolin supports the anti cancer protein P53. this protein checks for the faulty replication or defects in the DNA strands. Either it stimulates the mechanism for the repair of the DNA or initiates apoptosis or cell death. This process kills of the tumor in the first place.
Best way to take parsley and a word of caution
Parsley could be taken raw with salad or with soup. Its minty flavor is refreshing and acts well as a garnishing agent. Excess consumption of this herb may cause indigestion. In exteme cases it can cause anemia and kidney failure.