Spotlight on Parsley
Latin name(s) - Petroselinum crispum
Description - Parsley is an aromatic herb growing to about a 1 ft (0.3 m) tall and twice as wide. It has bright green multi-compound curly or flat leaves. The leaflets are finely divided and held at the end of long stems and the whole plant has a rounded, mound-like shape.
If allowed to flower, it produces wide, flattened heads of tiny yellowy-green florets from June to August.
There are three varieties of parsley:
Attributed medicinal qualities - Parsley has been used as a medicinal herb since the Middle Ages, but there is little evidence to support its effectiveness other than its value as a natural vitamin supplement.
It is full of nutrients that help give it the name of one of nature's preventitive medicines. It has a relatively higher vitamin C content than an orange and it is high in vitamin B and potasium, has high iron, chlorophyll, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin A.
Scientists have found a substance that inhibits the development of certain cancer cells. Some even think that it may yet be proven that parsley helps to prevent cancer.
It is renowned as a cleansing herb. It helps to reduce bruising and
provides comfort for the stomach, ears, and eyes. (Mix the leaves with bread or meal to reduce heat and swelling in the eyes. Dilute the juice with wine to ease ear ache.)
Gets rid of wind in the bowel and stomach.
Clears obstructions of liver and spleen - the root is particularly good here. The root is also purported to be gGood for breaking up kidney stones and aiding bladder infections. And helps aid the symptoms of jaundice, fainting and dropsy.
The leaves fried with butter, allowed to cool and applied to the breasts are said to help prevent mastitis.
The Greeks used parsley in funerals and for wreaths long before it was used as a food.
The Romans used parsley at orgies to disguise the smell of alcohol on their breath.
Corpses were once sprinkled with parsley to deodorize them.
Today parsley oil, extracted from the leaves and stems, is used in commercial shampoos, soaps, perfumes and skin lotions.
Although the seed is not easy to germinate, sow seeds in Feb/Mar for summer/autumn and again in late July for winter/spring, though if left to run to seed, self-seeding is possible. Soaking the seed before sowing can assist germination.
Thin seedlings to 9" apart.
Protect in cold areas from late Oct.
The addition of side dressings of blood and bone throughout the growing season will keep the plants lush and healthy.
It is not generally bothered by pests
Culinary Uses - Parsley is an excellent source of vitamin C. The most familiar use of the leaves is in their fresh state , finely-chopped, as a flavouring to sauces, soups, stuffings, rissoles, minces, etc., and also sprinkled over vegetables or salads.
Parsley tea can be drunk after meals, When making a tea, simply steep a few sprigs in very hot water for a few minutes, and enjoy.
If you are in love, you should never cut parsley, for you will be cutting your luck as well!
Forget viagra, as seemingly parsley can provoke lust and fertility!
It can also be placed on plates to protect the food from contamination.
It has been used in baths for purification and for preventing misfortune.
The high chlorophyll content of parsley makes it a natural breath freshener. (That's why it's often served with fish!)
For the skin, you can infuse parsley into a lotion and use it to help make freckles fade away.
“Take of the seed of Parsley, Fennel, Annise and Carraways, of each an ounce; of the roots of Parsley, Burnet, Saxifrage, and Carraways, of each an ounce and an half; let the seeds be bruised, and the roots washed and cut small; let them lie all night to steep in a bottle of white wine, and in the morning be boiled in a close earthen vessel until a third part or more be wasted; which being strained and cleared, take four ounces thereof morning and evening first and last, abstaining from drink after it for three hours. This opens obstructions of the liver and spleen, and expels the dropsy and jaundice by urine. “ Culpeper