Eating Parsley during Pregnancy - Health Benefits & Side Effects

Eating Parsley in Pregnancy – Is it Harmful?

Parsley is a popular herb that adds flavour to dishes. Its aroma and strong flavour can make any dish appealing. If you have a habit of adding parsley to whatever you cook, then you may wonder if you have to give up that habit when you are pregnant. When you are pregnant, you must pay attention to what you eat, as whatever you eat will affect your baby. So, be a little cautious before adding anything in your diet. Let’s find out if you can eat parsley during pregnancy or not.

Is Parsley Safe During Pregnancy?

“I accidentally ate parsley while pregnant,” “What will happen next?”

Parsley is a biennial herb which was earlier found only in the Mediterranean region. However, this herb is now grown in all parts of the world and is used in many culinary preparations. Parsley leaves can instantly charge any dish with its aromatic flavour. Some people even drink it in the form of tea. If you are wondering if you can drink parsley tea while pregnant, then, yes, you can drink parsley tea during this time. Its diuretic properties help in getting rid of the pregnancy-related swelling. Parsley is very safe for consumption during pregnancy; however, overconsumption should be avoided as it may lead to various health complications.

Health Benefits of Eating Parsley When Pregnant

Are you interested in knowing how parsley may prove to be beneficial during pregnancy? Here are some of the many benefits of parsley:

  1. This wondrous herb is rich in folic acid, which is essential for the development of the nervous system of the baby. It also keeps congenital abnormalities at bay.
  2. Parsley, being rich in vitamin B and vitamin C, helps one cope up with oxidative stress in pregnancy.
  3. Lowered immunity during pregnancy can make you sick often. However, consuming parsley, which is rich in antioxidants, can keep your immune system intact during pregnancy. Also, the antioxidants present in parsley can help fight against free radicals.
  4. It is a rich source of magnesium and potassium, the minerals which help reduce swelling. Potassium is also beneficial to maintain good heart health.
  5. This herb also has anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce joint pain and swelling during pregnancy.
  6. It helps combat digestion problems such as gas and bloating.
  7. In case you suffer from anaemia during pregnancy or have an iron deficiency, adding parsley to your pregnancy diet can prove to be helpful.
  8. Parsley has substantial amounts of calcium and vitamin K which is required by a pregnant woman to take care of her bone-health during pregnancy. It is also helpful in taking care of the osteoarticular system of the mother and the baby.
  9. It is also good for the skin. It even helps reduce swelling and calms the skin.

Tips to Keep in Mind While Consuming Parsley in the Early and Later Stages of Pregnancy

Here’s what you need to keep in mind while consuming parsley in the early and later stages of pregnancy:

Early Months: It is important that you consume originally grown parsley for maximum benefits. If feasible, grow it yourself and consume it. Here are some tips you should keep in mind while eating it in the early months of pregnancy:

  • Wash and clean parsley nicely and get rid of all the dirt and grime. Remove all the rotten and withered leaves as even smallest unprocessed leaves may cause food-poisoning or other complications.
  • Do not go in for greenhouse parsley as it has fewer benefits.
  • Always buy fresh parsley with crisp-looking leaves and stem and fresh aroma

Washing parsley

Later Months: Whatever you may have been following during earlier stages of pregnancy is recommended in the later stages of pregnancy too. However, it should be consumed in moderation during pregnancy, as an overdose may prove to be extremely dangerous.

Side Effects of Eating Parsley While Pregnant

There is no conclusive evidence available in regards to what is the permissible limit of consuming parsley during pregnancy. It is recommended that before you add this aromatic herb in your pregnancy diet, you should consult your healthcare practitioner. However, if you are thinking that if parsley can terminate a pregnancy, then the answer is yes; it may terminate a pregnancy because it works as an abortifacient if consumed in large amounts. Besides here are some of the side-effects of consuming parsley during pregnancy:

  1. Parsley oil may lead to fatal complications; it may cause severe damage to the kidneys and cause a seizure in some cases.
  2. It contains myristicin, which may travel through your bloodstream to the placenta and may reach your baby too. Myristicin can lead to increased heart rate in babies.
  3. Presence of myristicin may lead to various other complications such as loss of balance and dizziness.
  4. Many women enjoy tea with parsley seeds and extracts. However, regular consumption of this tea may lead to increase in myristicin and apiol. And, both these components may lead to disturbing effects on your health as well as your baby’s health.
  5. If you consume substantial amounts of parsley oil during pregnancy it may lead to haemoglobin issues in your baby.
  6. Apiol and myristicin can lead to uterine contractions and promote menstruation, and thus may lead to miscarriage or abortion during pregnancy. It may also increase your chances of going into preterm labour.
  7. If you are prone to allergies, then pregnancy may make you more prone to allergies due to the weakened immune system. Some women may become allergic to parsley during pregnancy and may develop rashes or other allergy symptoms.

These side-effects occur only when parsley is consumed in high volumes. Including it in normal meals and dishes is safe.

There are some potential risks of consuming parsley during pregnancy. However, there are many benefits that a woman can derive after pregnancy by adding parsley in her diet, such as:

  • It may help in the stimulation of breast milk and thus help the new moms in the lactating period.
  • It also improves the quality and quantity of the breast milk.
  • If a woman is trying to get pregnant, it may prove to be beneficial to include parsley in her diet.
  • If a woman is experiencing irregular cycles, consumption of this herb may prove to be fruitful.

Can I Eat Cooked Parsley When Pregnant?

Yes, it is safe to consume cooked parsley during pregnancy. When cooked, some of the volatile oils are reduced from fresh parsley, which may make it even safer for pregnant women. Remember not to eat too much-cooked parsley, as it can still cause problems.

How Much Parsley to Eat in Pregnancy?

When pregnant, you should not consume more than 1/2 cup of parsley a day.

Different Ways to Include Parsley in Your Pregnancy Diet

Here are some ways to enjoy parsley and pregnancy.

  • Add parsley to your salads or green juices.
  • Use parsley as a spice to add flavour to your meals.
  • To your pasta dishes or sandwiches, add parsley pesto.
  • Brew a cup of parsley tea during pregnancy and enjoy.
  • For an extra nutrient boost, add parsley to your smoothies.

Recipes Using Parsley as a Garnish for Pregnant Women

Here are some yummy parsley recipes that you can enjoy during pregnancy.

1. Creamy Tomato Basil Soup With Parsley Pesto

What You Need

For the Tomato Basil Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 oz (800g) canned diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or coconut cream for a dairy-free option
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Parsley Pesto

  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to Cook

  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until translucent.
  2. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  3. Pour in the canned diced tomatoes and vegetable broth. Stir in the dried basil. Bring to a simmer and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Alternatively, you can carefully transfer the soup to a blender in batches to blend until smooth.
  5. Return the blended soup to the pot and stir in the heavy cream (or coconut cream). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep the soup warm over low heat.
  6. To make the parsley pesto, combine fresh parsley, grated Parmesan cheese (if using), pine nuts or walnuts, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor. Blend until well combined.
  7. Ladle the creamy tomato basil soup into serving bowls. Drizzle a spoonful of parsley pesto over each bowl.
  8. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.
  9. Serve the soup warm with crusty bread.

2. Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Chickpea Salad With Parsley Vinaigrette

What You Need

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups mixed salad greens
  • Fresh parsley leaves (for garnish)
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to Cook

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. In a bowl, toss the cubed sweet potatoes and chickpeas with olive oil, ground cumin, salt, and pepper.
  3. Spread the sweet potatoes and chickpeas on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender and slightly caramelized.
  4. While the sweet potatoes and chickpeas are roasting, prepare the parsley vinaigrette. In a blender or food processor, combine chopped parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
  5. Once the sweet potatoes and chickpeas are roasted, remove them from the oven and let them cool slightly.
  6. In a large bowl, toss the roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas with mixed salad greens.
  7. Drizzle the parsley vinaigrette over the salad and toss to combine.
  8. Garnish with fresh parsley leaves.
  9. Serve the salad as a nutritious and delicious meal.


1. Can Pregnant Women Eat Raw Parsley?

Yes, you can eat raw parsley, but only after thoroughly washing it. Do consume it in moderation.

2. Is It Safe to Consume Parsley Sauce During Pregnancy?

Yes, consuming parsley sauce in moderate amounts during pregnancy is generally considered safe.

3. Can Parsley Interact With Any Medications in Pregnancy?

Yes, parsley can interact with certain medications, like diuretics and lithium, during pregnancy, so consult your doctor before consuming it.

4. Does Parsley Help With Edema When Pregnant?

Parsley may be beneficial in managing edema during pregnancy due to its diuretic effect.

5. Is Parsley Effective in Managing High Blood Pressure While Pregnant?

According to a study, parsley extract could reduce blood pressure in hypertensive rats, indicating its antihypertensive potential. But it is best to connect with your healthcare provider and check.

6. Can Parsley Help to Treat Anaemia During Pregnancy?

The elevated iron content in parsley might assist in addressing pregnancy-related anaemia resulting from insufficient iron levels. Moreover, the inclusion of vitamin C in the herb promotes the absorption of iron within the body.

7. Does Parsley Help With UTI in Pregnancy?

Parsley holds compounds that potentially possess antibacterial and diuretic qualities, potentially aiding in eliminating causative pathogens from the body during pregnancy. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that UTIs require proper medical treatment, so it’s advised to consult your doctor beforehand.

Pregnancy is a delicate time when a woman has to be extra careful in whatever choices she makes and this holds true in the context of food that she may consume throughout her pregnancy journey. You should not consume this herb in large amounts or in the form of oil. However, if you wish to add parsley to your pregnancy diet, it is strictly recommended that you include this herb only after consulting your doctor.


1. Emmanuel Olorunju Awec, S Olatunbosun Banjoko; Biochemical and haematological assessment of toxic effects of the leaf ethanol extract of Petroselinum crispum (Mill) Nyman ex A.W. Hill (Parsley) in rats; National Library of Medicine;; April 2013

2.Microbiological Surveillance Sampling: FY18-21 Fresh Herbs (Cilantro, Basil & Parsley) Assignment;;

3. Pregnancy and diet;;

4. Herbal teas during pregnancy and breastfeeding;;

5. Fatmah Almoayad, Insherah A. Assiri, Haifa F. Almarshoud,; Exploring the Use of Herbal Treatments During Pregnancy Among Saudi Women; National Library of Medicine;; November 2021

Also Read:

Fenugreek during Pregnancy
Consuming Triphala While Pregnant
Eating Raw Vegetables during Pregnancy

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