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No evidence parsley regulates menstrual cycle or treats stomach pain

A post shared on Facebook in Nigeria claims parsley can “regulate the menstrual cycle” and “relieve pain in the lower abdomen”.

It suggests either eating the herb raw or cooked, or steeping it in hot water to drink as a tea. 

Parsley is a popular herb, commonly believed to be highly nutritious and have many health benefits.

But can parsley regulate the menstrual cycle or treat stomach pain? We checked.


Healthy doesn’t equal healing

Parsley is rich in vitamins A, C, K, and the leaves, seed, and root are used to make medicine. But there is not sufficient evidence to show that it relieves pain or treats other health conditions.

Africa Check asked Etete Peters, professor of medicine at the University of Calabar in southern Nigeria, about the claim in the Facebook post.

“Parsley may be beneficial to the body, but we can’t talk about it in terms of pain management. One of the common causes of stomach pain is an ulcer. We have no evidence that parsley could heal an ulcer, or any other cause of pain,” Peters said.

He added that a bland diet that included parsley could help with digestion and possibly reduce the pain from peptic ulcers, but advised people to stay away from any food to which they were intolerant. 

Adekunle Oguntayo, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Ahmadu Bello University in northern Nigeria, also told us there was no conclusive evidence that parsley could regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle. 

"Primarily, I am not aware of parsley regulating the menstrual pattern, because there are so many factors that could make the menstrual cycle irregular," he said.

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