Eating Parsley in Pregnancy – Is it Harmful?

6 min read

Written by Ambili Kartha

Ambili Kartha

parsley during pregnancy

Whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding, eating parsley is fine as long as you have it within limits. However, eating parsley in pregnancy in excess is likely to be unsafe during pregnancy since it might cause abortions or induce menstrual flow.

Even though parsley has its own great, flavorful taste, you must always consult a doctor before you plan to have some in your diet. Many of the herbs, in spite of their medicinal value, pose many unforeseen impacts on pregnancy. Does parsley fall into this group? Read on to understand everything about eating parsley in pregnancy.

Parsley is called by different names in different Indian languages. Let’s have a look at some of the top ones –

  • Hindi – अजमोद
  • Telugu – పార్స్లీ
  • Tamil – வோக்கோசு
  • Kannada – ಪಾರ್ಸ್ಲಿ
  • Malayalam – ആരാണാവോ
  • Odia – ଭୃସଙ୍ଗ ପତ୍ର |
  • Bangla – পার্সলে

In This Article

Is it Safe to Eat Parsley in Pregnancy?

Parsley is a popular herb used for flavoring food items globally. It has its own range of health benefits and side effects as well. Parsley helps in stimulating the uterus and can cause uterine contractions. You can have parsley regularly during other times. But, when you are pregnant, it is vital to consult a doctor first and then work your way through the consumption amounts.

It is safe to consume during pregnancy, but its over-consumption will have various health complications. So, your doctor is the one to determine if you can eat parsley, and even if you do, then what your right amount is.

Everything You Need to Know About Consuming Parsley During Different Pregnancy Stages

Whether you are in your early stages of pregnancy or focusing on the last trimester, there are some tips to focus on when planning to consume parsley.

Make sure to have a direct chat with your gynecologist to understand the right amount to consume every day This amount is likely to change based on the level of pregnancy you are in. But, before any of that, it is time to focus on some important tips first.

1. Can Lead to Abortion or Miscarriage

Excess consumption of parsley can lead to abortion or miscarriage. Always consult your doctor or gynecologist before consuming this herb. Depending on your pregnancy stage and its complications, doctors can make the right decision for you to follow.

2. Side Effects Because of Myristicin Content

Parsley has its own side effects that you should remember because of its myristicin content. It can increase the heart rate of your unborn child. Moreover, the oil from parsley can cause some damages to the kidneys. Be sure to focus on these points well before you even think of consuming parsley.

3. Proper Cleaning is a Must

Be sure to wash and then clean the parsley leaves properly to remove germs and dirt from the surface. Avoid using rotten leaves as that might lead to unwanted food poisoning.

4. Natural Parsley Growth Without Chemical Fertilizer

To be on the safer side, you should try to grow parsley at home without the use of fertilizers. This way, you can ensure that the herb is safe to consume.

Side Effects of Eating Parsley in Pregnancy

Research studies are still going on regarding the right amount of parsley that pregnant women can consume without worry. There is no conclusive recommendation on the optimal consumption limits.

Here are some side effects that can affect you and your unborn child. So, let’s get on with the details.

1. Allergic Reactions

Consuming parsley when pregnant can sometimes lead to some allergic reactions, mainly if you are sensitive to carrots, dill, or celery.

2. Hemoglobin Issues

If you consume parsley oil in large amounts, it can result in some hemoglobin issues in your baby’s blood. The most common problems can be seen in the form of lowered hemoglobin levels, leading to fetal anemia.

3. Increase Myristicin and Apiol

Having green teas with parsley seed and leaf extracts can increase the levels of myristicin and apiol in your body which may not be safe for you or your growing baby when you are pregnant.

4. Balance Loss and Dizziness

Myristicin in parsley oil can cause additional side effects like balance loss and dizziness.

5. Affecting Heartbeat in Unborn Child

Myristicin will reach out to your baby directly as it passes through the placenta. When it reaches your unborn child, it can affect the heartbeat, leading to an increased rate.

6. Damages Kidneys

In some severe cases, parsley oil might damage kidneys and can cause seizures. So, if you are carrying a life inside you, it is better to consult a doctor first before adding parsley to your menu.

Don’t go for main parsley dishes but use them as a garnish on top, which will give that added flavor but without much consumption. In case of a complicated pregnancy, stay away from having parsley based on the advice of your doctor.

Top 6 Health Benefits of Eating Parsley During Pregnancy

Top Health Benefits of Eating Pa

You might have been a huge fan of parsley, and it has helped you in flavoring your food. The good news is that now, even doctors are recommending parsley when pregnant because of the impeccable health benefits that come with it. So, let us focus on those benefits first.

1. Perfect For Glowing Skin

Parsley is excellent for healthy and glowing skin. During pregnancy, some women face rough skin texture or major breakouts. Consuming parsley during this point will help you to take good care of your skin from within.

2. Avoid Iron Deficiency

If you can add parsley to your diet, you can keep iron deficiency, a common issue among pregnant women, at bay. Parsley is rich in vitamin K and calcium and helps maintain your bone health while you are pregnant.

3. Perfect For Relieving Joint Pain

Some women suffer from joint pain during the late stages of pregnancy. Well, that’s when parsley comes to the rescue. Parsley can reduce joint pain because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It can even fight issues like gas and bloating.

4. High Source of Magnesium And Potassium

Parsley has magnesium and potassium minerals that reduce swelling of feet and hands during pregnancy. It can even keep your heart healthy.

5. Excellent Antioxidant

Parsley is an excellent antioxidant, which helps in boosting your immune system during pregnancy. It is rich in Vitamin B and C.

6. High in Folic Acid

If you are looking for folic acid-rich foods, parsley is the perfect herb for you. Folic acid is crucial for the nervous system development of the fetus.


1. How Much Parsley Should I Eat Per Day?

For proper intake of Vitamin K, having ten sprigs of parsley is more than enough. But, make sure to opt for organic parsley only.

2. Is Parsley Better Cooked or Raw?

Parsley is known to have a good amount of flavone apigenin. When cooked, the beneficial effects of the herb may go down. For this reason, always eat this leaf raw to enjoy its health benefits.

3. Can Parsley be Poisonous?

If you are not allergic to parsley, it is safe to consume, but within limits. Most of the time, natural parsley leaves are non-poisonous, but rotten or chemically induced leaves may not be safe to consume. Rotten leaves can lead to food poisoning easily.

4. What Happens When You Eat Parsley Every Day?

Parsley is an excellent source of vitamin K, which helps your blood clot and results in a healthy bone structure. Consuming parsley every day and within the given range will actually help you get enough Vitamin K in your blood. Moreover, this leaf is rich in vitamin C too along with other antioxidants. So, that reduces any health risks like heart diseases, cancer, stroke, and even diabetes.

Read Also: Shrimp During Pregnancy Is It Safe To Eat?

Ambili Kartha,B. Sc Zoology (St Xavier’s college for women)

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