Cilantro and parsley tea is an herbal infusion made by steeping fresh or dried cilantro and parsley leaves in hot water. This flavorful, aromatic tea has been used for centuries in traditional medicine thanks to its many potential health benefits.
What is Cilantro?
Cilantro, also known as coriander or Chinese parsley, is an annual herb that belongs to the Apiaceae family. All parts of the cilantro plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and dried seeds are most commonly used in cooking. Cilantro has a bright, citrusy flavor with hints of sage. It’s a popular ingredient in many cuisines around the world, including Mexican, Indian, and Thai.
What is Parsley?
Parsley is another herb that belongs to the Apiaceae family. The two most common types are curly leaf parsley and Italian flat leaf parsley. Parsley has an herbal, slightly bitter taste. Both the leaves and stems can be used to add flavor and freshness to dishes. Parsley is frequently used in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and American cooking.
Nutritional Contents of Cilantro and Parsley
Both cilantro and parsley are highly nutritious herbs that provide an array of vitamins, minerals and potent plant compounds like antioxidants. Some of the main nutrients found in these herbs include:
|Nutrient||Cilantro (per 100g)||Parsley (per 100g)|
|Vitamin C||27 mg||133 mg|
|Vitamin A||337 mcg||584 mcg|
|Vitamin K||310 mcg||1,230 mcg|
|Folate||62 mcg||152 mcg|
|Iron||1.77 mg||6.2 mg|
|Calcium||67 mg||138 mg|
|Potassium||521 mg||554 mg|
As you can see, both herbs provide important nutrients and antioxidants like vitamin C, A and K. Parsley is particularly high in vitamin K, a nutrient many people are deficient in.
Potential Health Benefits of Cilantro and Parsley Tea
Research suggests that consuming cilantro and parsley may provide the following benefits:
1. High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that help neutralize harmful free radicals and reduce oxidative stress in the body. Cilantro and parsley are rich sources of antioxidants like vitamins C and A, as well as polyphenols like flavonoids.
These antioxidants can help protect cells from damage and may play a role in preventing certain chronic diseases.
2. Supports Heart Health
The nutrients and antioxidants in cilantro and parsley promote heart health in a few ways.
First, they may help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The herbs’ antioxidants also protect LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and contributing to plaque buildup in arteries.
Research also shows that the vitamins C, A and B6 in these herbs could help prevent cardiovascular disease and stroke.
3. Aids Detoxification
Many people drink cilantro and parsley tea as a “detox drink” to help remove heavy metals and toxins from the body. Compounds like chlorophyll, polyphenols, flavonoids and vitamins in the herbs may have detoxifying properties.
Cilantro, in particular, has been used to chelate and remove toxic heavy metals like mercury, aluminum and lead from the body.
4. Supports Healthy Bones
Vitamin K is essential for healthy bones, as it improves calcium absorption and reduces urinary excretion of calcium.
Just one cup of parsley provides over 300% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin K. Getting enough of this vitamin can promote bone mineral density and reduce the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
5. Boosts Immunity
Regularly drinking cilantro and parsley tea may help keep your immune system strong. Vitamins C, A and antioxidants in these herbs can stimulate the production and activity of white blood cells that defend against infection.
Some studies also suggest parsley has antimicrobial properties that may fight off certain bacteria, fungi and viruses.
6. Supports Blood Sugar Control
Animal and test-tube studies indicate that parsley may help lower blood sugar levels and increase insulin production. This could make it useful for managing diabetes, although more research is needed.
The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in both parsley and cilantro may also help prevent diabetes complications like nerve damage, eye problems and heart disease.
7. Aids Digestion
Traditionally, parsley tea has been used to settle upset stomachs and aid digestion issues like bloating and gas. Researchers believe this is due to parsley’s ability to act as a diuretic, which may relieve water retention and pressure on the digestive system.
Cilantro and parsley’s antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties could also help protect the gut and reduce inflammation that often contributes to digestion problems.
8. Supports Liver and Gallbladder Health
Some studies indicate parsley may help stimulate kidney function and reduce water retention, both of which can lessen the burden on the liver.
The herb’s diuretic effect may also help flush out toxins from the liver and support the health of the gallbladder.
9. Protects Eye Health
Vitamin A deficiency is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. The vitamin A found in cilantro and parsley helps keep eyes healthy and protects against vision loss.
These herbs’ antioxidants may also prevent macular degeneration and slow the development of cataracts.
10. Freshens Breath
Parsley is often used as a natural breath freshener. It’s believed that compounds in the herb help neutralize odor-causing sulfur compounds in the mouth.
Cilantro may have similar effects, as its essential oils provide potent phytochemicals that can help cleanse the palate.
How to Make Cilantro and Parsley Tea
It’s easy to make refreshing cilantro and parsley tea at home.
Simply add 2-3 tablespoons of fresh cilantro and parsley leaves (or 1-2 tablespoons dried) to a mug. Pour in hot, but not boiling, water and let steep for 5-10 minutes.
Strain the tea into another cup, allowing the herbs to infuse the water with their vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a touch of honey to taste.
Drink 1-2 cups per day to enjoy the many benefits of cilantro and parsley tea.
Cilantro and parsley tea is considered very safe for most people when consumed in normal food amounts. However, there are some precautions to keep in mind:
- Pregnant women should avoid large medicinal amounts, as cilantro may stimulate menstruation.
- Those taking blood thinners should moderate consumption, as the vitamin K in parsley can interfere with medication.
- Cilantro may cause photosensitivity, so limit sunlight exposure after drinking large amounts.
- Some people are allergic to parsley and cilantro. Discontinue use if any allergy symptoms develop.
Enjoying cilantro and parsley tea is an easy, flavorful way to boost your nutrient intake and overall health. Thanks to their stellar nutrient profile, these herbs may help lower blood pressure, improve bone health, aid detoxification, regulate blood sugar levels, support digestion and more.
Brew yourself a warm cup of this aromatic tea to take advantage of the many potential benefits of cilantro and parsley.