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  • Writer's pictureDr. Pearl E. Whites

Does Eating Parsley Fix Bad Breath After a Meal?

Updated: Apr 26

Parsley after a meal--does it fix bad breath?

After eating a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant with your date, you cup your hands to your mouth, breathe into them and smell... Miasma. Putrid. Wretched. You reach for the last untouched item on your plate to bail you out--parsley. But does eating parsley after a meal really take away bad breath?


The Claim

The claim is eating parsley after a meal improves bad breath and helps with digestion. Chlorophyll reportedly nullifies sulfur compounds. that are formed after eating many types of foods. Chlorophyll is what makes plants green--ubiquitous in green, leafy, edible plants and not just in parsley so eating any green plant after a meal would technically have similar results.


Basic Facts

Certain conditions cause a long-term increase in sulfuric compounds that cause bad breath: smoking, poor oral hygiene, coated tongue, and dry mouth.  Short-term conditions causing bad breath (halitosis) is when we eat potent foods (image below) that create sulfuric gases and often lead to odorous burps or gas.

Variety of foods that cause bad breath after eating

The Truth

Studies show chlorophyll (parsley) and its variations have NO effect on masking bad breath.


What About a Breath Mint, Gum, or Parsley-Seed Oil?

Do mints and gums stop bad breath?

The quick-fix breath remedies immediately after a meal showed “no significant deodorant activity.” This means after a fancy meal and popping in a mint that you’ll simply have very minty bad breath.


If Eating Parsley Doesn’t Work, What Does?

Green tea is most effective in reducing bad breath after a meal--not parsley

Green tea is the most effective in reducing, masking, and deodorizing the sulfur created from eating potent foods that cause bad breath. Its effects wear off 1-3 hours after drinking the tea though. Toothpaste and green tea both inhibit sulfuric growth in the mouth while only green tea is effective against rancid odors in the stomach as well.

Hands down, green tea gives the best results; however, if you drink green tea just before going to bed know that it does contain caffeine so don't expect to sleep any time soon. Another report shows black cumin seed essential oil may also help but green tea is more practical.



woman drinking green tea, which works better than parsely

Parsley does NOT cure bad breath  and has minimal effect on sulfur compounds that are formed after eating. Bottom line, if you’re planning on getting close to someone right after a meal and you don’t want to seem creepy whipping out a toothbrush at a restaurant, save the embarrassment and order some green tea instead! Your partner will thank you…at least up to an hour.

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