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Botanical Name: Carum petroselinum (BENTH.)
Species: P. crispum
Synonyms: Apium petroselinum (Linn.). Petroselinum lativum (Hoffm.). Petersylinge. Persely. Persele.
Parts Used: Root, seeds.
Habitat: The Garden Parsley is not indigenous to Britain: Linnaeus stated its wild habitat to be Sardinia, whence it was brought to England and apparently first cultivated here in 1548. Bentham considered it a native of the Eastern Mediterranean regions; De Candolle of Turkey, Algeria and the Lebanon. Since its introduction into these islands in the sixteenth century it has been completely naturalized in various parts of England and Scotland, on old walls and rocks.
Garden parsley is a bright green, biennial, plant in temperate climates, or an annual herb in subtropical and tropical areas.
Where it grows as a biennial, in the first year, it forms a rosette of tripinnate leaves 10–25 cm long with numerous 1–3 cm leaflets, and a taproot used as a food store over the winter. In the second year, it grows a flowering stem to 75 cm tall with sparser leaves and flat-topped 3–10 cm diameter umbels with numerous 2 mm diameter yellow to yellowish-green flowers. The seeds are ovoid, 2–3 mm long, with prominent style remnants at the apex. One of the compounds of the essential oil is apiol. The plant normally dies after seed maturation.
Parsley is used for its leaf in much the same way as coriander (which is also known as Chinese parsley or cilantro), although it has a milder flavor. Two forms of parsley are used as herbs: curly leaf and Italian, or flat leaf (P. neapolitanum). Curly leaf parsley is often used as a garnish. Many people think flat leaf parsley has a stronger flavor, and this opinion is backed by chemical analysis which finds much higher levels of essential oil in the flat-leaved cultivars.
Another type of parsley is grown as a root vegetable. This type of parsley produces much thicker roots than types cultivated for their leaves. Although little known in Britain and the United States, root parsley is very common in Central and Eastern European cuisine, where it is used in most soups or stews. Though it looks similar to parsnip it tastes quite different.
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The use of curly leaf parsley is often favored, because it cannot be confused with poison hemlock, like flat leaf parsley or chervil.
Parsley requires an ordinary, good well-worked soil, but a moist one and a partially-shaded position is best. A little soot may be added to the soil.
The seed may be sown in drills, or broadcast, or, if only to be used for culinary purposes, as edging, or between dwarf or shortlived crops.
For a continuous supply, three sowings should be made: as early in February as the weather permits, in April or early in May, and in July and early August – the last being for the winter supply, in a sheltered position, with a southern exposure. Sow in February for the summer crop and for drying purposes. Seed sown then, however, takes several weeks to germinate, often as much as a full month. The principal sowing is generally done in April; it then germinates more quickly and provides useful material for cutting throughout the summer. A mid-August sowing will furnish good plants for placing in the cold frames for winter use
Parsley’s germination is notoriously difficult. Tales have been told concerning its lengthy germination, with some suggesting that “germination was slow because the seeds had to travel to hell and back two, three, seven, or nine times (depending on sources) before they could grow.”Germination is inconsistent and may require 3-6 weeks.
Furanocoumarins in parlsey’s seed coat may be responsible for parsley’s problematic germination. These compounds may inhibit the germination of other seeds, allowing parsley to compete with nearby plants. However, parsley itself may be affected by the furanocoumarins. Soaking parsley seeds overnight before sowing will shorten the germination period.
Parsley grows well in a deep pot, which helps accommodate the long taproot. Parsley grown indoors requires at least five hours of sunlight a day.
In parts of Europe, and particularly in West Asia, many foods are served with chopped parsley sprinkled on top. The fresh flavor of parsley goes extremely well with fish. Parsley is a key ingredient in several West Asian salads, e.g., tabbouleh which is the national dish of Lebanon. In Southern and Central Europe, parsley is part of bouquet garni, a bundle of fresh herbs used to flavor stocks, soups, and sauces. Additionally, parsley is often used as a garnish. Persillade is mixture of chopped garlic and chopped parsley. Gremolata is a mixture of parsley, garlic, and lemon zest.
Tea may be used as an enema. Chinese and German herbologists recommend parsley tea to help control high blood pressure, and the Cherokee Indians used it as a tonic to strengthen the bladder. It is also often used as an emmenagogue.
Parsley also appears to increase diuresis by inhibiting the Na+/K+-ATPase pump in the kidney, thereby enhancing sodium and water excretion while increasing potassium reabsorption. It is also valued as an aquaretic.
When crushed and rubbed on the skin, parsley can reduce itching in mosquito bites.
Constituents: Parsley Root is faintly aromatic and has a sweetish taste. It contains starch, mucilage, sugar, volatile oil and Apiin. The latter is white, inodorous, tasteless and soluble in boiling water.
Parsley fruit or ‘seeds’ contain the volatile oil in larger proportion than the root (2.6 per cent); it consists of terpenes and Apiol, to which the activity of the fruit is due. There are also present fixed oil, resin, Apiin, mucilage and ash. Apiol is an oily, nonnitrogenous allyl compound, insoluble in water, soluble in alcohol and crystallizable when pure into white needles. The British Pharmacopceia directs that Apiol be prepared by extracting the bruised fresh fruits with ether and distilling the solvent. The residue is the commercial liquid Apiol. It exercises all the virtues of the entire plant. Crystallized Apiol, or Parsley Camphor, is obtained by distilling the volatile oil to a low temperature. The value of the volatile oil depends on the amount of Apiol it contains. Oil obtained from German fruit contains this body in considerable quantity and becomes semi-solid at ordinary temperature, that from French fruit is much poorer in Apiol. In France, only the crystalline Apiol is official, but three different varieties, distinguished as green, yellow and white, are in use.
Apiol was first obtained in 1849 by Drs. Joret and Homolle, of Brittany, and proved an excellent remedy there for a prevailing ague. It is greatly used now in malarial disorders. The name Apiol has also been applied to an oleoresin prepared from the plant, which contains three closely-allied principles: apiol, apiolin and myristicin, the latter identical with the active principle of oil of Nutmeg. The term ‘liquid Apiol’ is frequently applied to the complete oleoresin. This occurs as a yellowish liquid with a characteristic odour and an acrid pungent taste. The physiological action of the oleoresin of Parsley has not been sufficiently investigated, it exercises a singular influence on the great nerve centres of the head and spine, and in large doses produces giddiness and deafness, fall of blood-pressure and some slowing of the pulse and paralysis. It is stated that the paralysis is followed by fatty degeneration of the liver and kidney, similar to that caused by myristicin.
Parsley has carminative, tonic and aperient action, but is chiefly used for its diuretic properties, a strong decoction of the root being of great service in gravel, stone, congestion of the kidneys, dropsy and jaundice. The dried leaves are also used for the same purpose. Parsley Tea proved useful in the trenches, where our men often got kidney complications, when suffering from dysentery.
A fluid extract is prepared from both root and seeds. The extract made from the root acts more readily on the kidneys than that from other parts of the herb. The oil extracted from the seeds, the Apiol, is considered a safe and efficient emmenagogue, the dose being 5 to 15 drops in capsules. A decoction of bruised Parsley seeds was at one time employed against plague and intermittent fever.
In France, a popular remedy for scrofulous swellings is green Parsley and snails, pounded in a mortar to an ointment, spread on linen and applied daily. The bruised leaves, applied externally, have been used in the same manner as Violet leaves (also Celandine, Clover and Comfrey), to dispel tumours suspected to be of a cancerous nature. A poultice of the leaves is said to be an efficacious remedy for the bites and stings of poisonous insects.
Culpepper tells us:
‘It is very comfortable to the stomach . . . good for wind and to remove obstructions both of the liver and spleen . . . Galen commendeth it for the falling sickness . . . the seed is effectual to break the stone and ease the pains and torments thereof…. The leaves of parsley laid to the eyes that are inflamed with heat or swollen, relieves them if it be used with bread or meat…. The juice dropped into the ears with a little wine easeth the pains.’
Formerly the distilled water of Parsley was often given to children troubled with wind, as Dill water still is.
Medicinal Action and Uses—The uses of Parsley are many and are by no means restricted to the culinary sphere. The most familiar employment of the leaves in their fresh state is, of course, finely-chopped, as a flavouring to sauces, soups, stuffings, rissoles, minces, etc., and also sprinkled over vegetables or salads. The leaves are extensively cultivated, not only for sending to market fresh, but also for the purpose of being dried and powdered as a culinary flavouring in winter, when only a limited supply of fresh Parsley is obtainable.
In addition to the leaves, the stems are also dried and powdered, both as a culinary colouring and for dyeLg purposes. There is a market for the seeds to supply nurserymen, etc., and the roots of the turnip-rooted variety are used as a vegetable and flavouring.
Medicinally, the two-year-old roots are employed, also the leaves, dried, for making Parsley Tea, and the seeds, for the extraction of an oil called Apiol, which is of considerable curative value. The best kind of seed for medicinal purposes is that obtained from the Triple Moss curled variety. The wholesale drug trade generally obtains its seeds from farmers on the East coast, each sample being tested separately before purchases are made. It has been the practice to buy secondyear seeds which are practically useless for growing purposes: it would probably hardly pay farmers to grow for Apiol producing purposes only, as the demand is not sufficiently great.
Indigestion: Parsley aids digestion and helps prevent the stomach and intestines. It is one of the most popular remedies for indigestion.A couple of springs of fresh herb or a 1/4th. teaspoon of dried herbs can be taken with a glass of water in this condition.
Eye Problems: Raw parsley juice ,mixed with carrot juice, is effective in all ailments connected with the eyes and the optic nerves. It is good for weak eyes, ulceration of the cornea,cataracts,conjunctivitis and opthalmia.
Manstrual disorders: The herb is an effective remedy for scanty menstruation. It also assists in the regularization of monthly period.Cramps as a result of menstrual irregularities are relieved and frequently corrected by the regular use of parsley juice, specially when combined with beet, carrot and cucumber juices.
Insect bites: Bruised parsley is very good medicine for for bites and stings of insects.
Wounds: Likewis, it is very effective when applied on bruised and inflamated joints.It is most cleansing suppuration when applied to open wounds.
Bad breath:It is very effective remedy for bad breath.Coarsely chopped parsley springs should be boiled in water with a quarter teaspoon of ground cloves.It is then strained and can be used as a mouthwash or gargle several times a day.
Boils: The herb is proved beneficial in the treatment of boils. It should be steeped in boiled water till it is soft and juicy . It can be applied on the boils when comfortably hot and rapped with a clean muslin.
Parsley is known as best cleaning treatment for kidneys :-
Procedures:Take a bunch of parsley (MALLI Leaves) KOTHIMBIR(DHANIYA)and wash it clean
Then cut it in small pieces and put it in a pot and pour clean water and boilit for ten minutes and let it cool down and then filter it and pour in a cleanbottle and keep it inside refrigerator to cool.
Drink one glass daily and you will notice all salt and other accumulated poisoncoming out of your kidney by urination also you will be able to notice the difference which you never felt before.
It canbe added freely to salads and hot soups. Uncooked parsley is palatable and easy to digest when used by itself or cooked with other green vegetables like cabbage or roots. It can be taken as a beverage.
Parsley should not be used in pregnant women. Parsley as an oil, root, leaf, or seed could lead to uterine stimulation and preterm labor.
Parsley is high (1.70 g per 100 g, in oxalic acid, a compound involved in the formation of kidney stones and nutrient deficiencies.
Parsley oil contains furanocoumarins and psoralens which leads to extreme photosensitivity if used orally.
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
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