Tag Archives: Parsley

Smyrnium olusatrum

Botanical Name :Smyrnium olusatrum
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Smyrnium
Species: S. olusatrum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms: Alexanders. Alisanders. Black Pot-herb.

Common Names :Alexanders, alisanders, horse parsley

Other Names : Alexander parsley, Macedonia parsley, horse parsley. Alick,(Kent). Alisanders, skit, skeet, (Corn). Ashinder, (Scot). Megweed, (Suss). Meliroot, (Dor). Wild celery, (I o W).

Habitat : Smyrnium olusatrum is native to the Mediterranean but is able to thrive farther north (Ireland: Counties Down, Antrim and Londonderry.) It grows in hedges and waste places, often near the sea.

Description:
Smyrnium olusatrum is a  perennial herb, growing 3 or 4 feet in height, with very large leaves, doubly and triply divided into three (ternate), with broad leaflets;with a hollow and grooved stem. The sheaths of the footstalks are very broad and membraneous in texture. The yellowish-green flowers are produced in numerous close, rounded umbels without involucres (the little leaves that are placed often at the spot where the various rays of the umbel spring). The whole herb is of a yellowish-green tint. The fruit is formed of two, nearly globular halves, with prominent ridges. When ripe, it is almost black, whence the plant received from the old herbalists the name of ‘Black Pot-herb,’ the specific name signifying the same. (Olus, a pot-herb, and atrum, black.)

CLICK  & SEE

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils but prefers an open sunny position in a well-drained moisture retentive soil[200]. Hardy to about -15°c. At one time this plant was extensively grown for its edible leaves and stems but it has now fallen into virtual disuse, having been replaced by celery. The seeds are highly aromatic with a myrrh-like scent. A good bee plant.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in an outdoor seedbed in autumn and planted into its permanent position in late spring[1, 200]. Germination can be slow[200]. The seed can also be sown in situ in spring.

Edible Uses:
Aroma : pungent when crushed. Seeds aromatic.
Taste : bitter. Bland taste when bleached.

Leaves and young shoots – raw in salads or cooked in soups, stews etc. The plant comes into growth in the autumn and the leaves are often available throughout the winter. They have a rather strong celery-like flavour and are often blanched (by excluding light from the growing plant) before use. Leafy seedlings can be used as a parsley substitute. Stem – raw or cooked. It tastes somewhat like celery, but is more pungent. The stem is often blanched (by excluding light from the growing plant) before use. Flower buds – raw. Added to salads, they have a celery-like flavour. The spicy seeds are used as a pepper substitute. Root – cooked. Boiled and used in soups, its flavour is somewhat like celery. The root is said to be more tender if it has been kept in a cool place all winter.

It is intermediate in flavor between celery and parsley. It was once used in many dishes, either blanched, or not, but it has now been replaced by celery. It was also used as a medicinal herb. In the correct conditions.

Cultivated and blanched like celery, as pot herb. Made into sauce for fish. Young shoots and tops  of fleshy roots blanched and boiled or raw with vinegar. Roots as parsnip substitute.

It is now almost forgotten as a foodstuff, although it still grows wild in many parts of Europe, including Britain. It is common among the sites of medieval monastery gardens.

Medicinal Uses:
The whole plant is bitter and digestive. It has been used in the past in the treatment of asthma, menstrual problems and wounds, but is generally considered to be obsolete as a medicinal plant.

Disclaimer:
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.

Resources:
http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/s/smyrnium-olusatrum=alexanders.php
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/lovbla44.html
http://www.spookspring.com/Umbels/Alexand.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smyrnium_olusatrum

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Parsley

Botanical Name :Petroselinum crispum
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Petroselinum
Species: P. crispum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Common Name :Parsley

Habitat :Parsley is native to the central Mediterranean region (southern Italy, Algeria and Tunisia), naturalized elsewhere in Europe, and widely cultivated as an herb, a spice and a vegetable.

Description:
Garden parsley is a bright green, hairless, biennial, herbaceous plant in temperate climates, or an annual herb in subtropical and tropical areas.]

click to see the pictures……>…(01).....(1)...(2).….(3)…..(4)....

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, 2–3mm 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.

In cultivation, parsley is subdivided into several cultivar groups depending on the form of the plant, which is related to its end use. These are often treated as botanical varieties, but are cultivated selections, not of natural botanical origin.

Leaf parsley:
The two main groups of parsley used as herbs are curly leaf (i.e.) (P. crispum crispum group; syn. P. crispum var. crispum) and Italian, or flat leaf (P. crispum neapolitanum group; syn. P. crispum var. neapolitanum); of these, the neapolitanum group more closely resembles the natural wild species. Flat-leaved parsley is preferred by some as it is easier to cultivate, being more tolerant of both rain and sunshine, and has a stronger flavor (though this is disputed), while curly leaf parsley is preferred by others because of its more decorative appearance in garnishing.   A third type, sometimes grown in southern Italy, has thick, celery-like leaf stems

 

Root Parsley:...CLICK & SEE
Another type of parsley is grown as a root vegetable, the Hamburg root parsley (P. crispum radicosum group, syn. P. crispum var. tuberosum). This type of parsley produces much thicker roots than types cultivated for their leaves. Although seldom used in Britain and the United States, root parsley is very common in central and eastern European cuisine, where it is used in soups and stews.

 

Though root parsley looks similar to the parsnip, it tastes quite different. Parsnips are among the closest relatives of parsley in the family Apiaceae, but the similarity of the names is a coincidence, parsnip meaning “forked turnip”; it is not closely related to real turnips.

Cultivation:
Parsley grows best in moist, well drained soil, with full sun. It grows best between 22–30 °C, and is usually grown from seed. Germination is slow, taking four to six weeks, and often difficult because of furanocoumarins in its seed coatPlants grown for the leaf crop are typically spaced 10 cm apart, while those grown as a root crop are typically spaced 20 cm apart to allow for the root development.

Edible Uses:
Parsley is widely used in Middle Eastern, European, and American cooking. Curly leaf parsley is often used as a garnish. In central and eastern Europe and in western Asia, many dishes are served with fresh green chopped parsley sprinkled on top. Green parsley is often used as a garnish on potato dishes (boiled or mashed potatoes), on rice dishes (risotto or pilaf), on fish, fried chicken, lamb or goose, steaks, meat or vegetable stews (like beef bourguignon, goulash or chicken paprikash).

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English: Mashed potatoes with a parsley leaf. ...

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Escargot cooked with garlic and parsley butter...

In southern and central Europe, parsley is part of bouquet garni, a bundle of fresh herbs used as an ingredient in stocks, soups, and sauces. Freshly chopped green parsley is used as a topping for soups such as chicken soup, green salads or salads such as salade Olivier, and on open sandwiches with cold cuts or pâtés. Parsley is a key ingredient in several Middle Eastern salads such as tabbouleh. Persillade is a mixture of chopped garlic and chopped parsley used in French cuisine. Gremolata is a traditional accompaniment to the Italian veal stew, ossobuco alla milanese, a mixture of parsley, garlic, and lemon zest.

Root parsley is very common in central and eastern European cuisines, where it is used as a vegetable in many soups, stews and casseroles.

Medicinal Uses:
Chew the leaf raw to freshen the breath and promote healthy skin. Infuse for a digestive tonic.  Bruised leaves have been used to treat tumors, insect bites, lice and skin parasites and contusions.  Parsley tea at one time was used to treat dysentery and gallstones.  Other traditional uses reported include the treatment of diseases of the prostate, liver and spleen, in the treatment of anemia, arthritis and cancers, and as an expectorant, antimicrobial, aphrodisiac, hypotensive, laxative and as a scalp lotion to stimulate hair growth.   Use in a poultice as an antiseptic dressing for sprains, wounds and insect bites.  Decoct the root for kidney troubles and as a mild laxative.  Apply juice to reduce swellings.  It also stimulates appetite and increases blood flow to digestive organs, as well as reducing fever. Another constituent, the flavonoid apigenin, reduces inflammation by inhibiting histamine and is also a free-radical scavenger.   The seed, when decocted, has been used for intermittent fevers.  It has also traditionally used as a carminative to decrease flatulence and colic pain.  The seeds have a much stronger diuretic action than the leaves and may be substituted for celery seeds in the treatment of gout, rheumatism and arthritis.  It is often included in “slimming” teas because of its diuretic action.   Oil of the seed (5-15 drops) has been used to bring on menstruation.  Avoid if weak kidneys

Other Uses:
Parsley attracts some wildlife. Some swallowtail butterflies use parsley as a host plant for their larvae; their caterpillars are black and green striped with yellow dots, and will feed on parsley for two weeks before turning into butterflies. Bees and other nectar-feeding insects visit the flowers. Birds such as the goldfinch feed on the seeds.

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Photograph of caterpillar of the Black Swallow...

Photograph of caterpillar of the Black Swallowtail en ( Papilio polyxenes en ) on its Curly Parsley en ( Petroselinum crispum en ) host plant. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may click to learn more  uses of Parsley…..(1)l….(2)

Known Hazards:
Parsley should not be consumed in excess by pregnant women. It is safe in normal food quantities, but large amounts can have uterotonic effects.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsley
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

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Cymopterus fendleri

Botanical Name : Cymopterus fendleri
Family : Apiaceae – Carrot family
Genus: Cymopterus Raf. – springparsley
Species: Cymopterus acaulis (Pursh) Raf. – plains springparsley
Variety : Cymopterus acaulis (Pursh) Raf. var. fendleri (A. Gray) Goodrich – Fendler’s springparsley
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms: Cymopterus glomeratus,Cymopterus acaulis variety fendleri.  (Biscuitroot)

Common Names: Chimaja

Habitat :Cymopterus fendleri is native to  South-western N. America – Arizona.  Found at an altitude of 1500 – 1800 metres in Arizona.

Description:
Cymopterus fendleri is a perennial plant.  It is the most common of the spring Parsleys in the Four Corners area and one finds them scattered over much of the high desert trails in small or large patches.  This tiny Parsley is similar to a number of spring blooming members of this family. The half-sphere of tightly packed clusters of flowers, often golden, is characteristic of a number of flowers in this genus and family.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile…….

click to see the pictures
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires dry or moist soil.

Edible Uses:        
Edible Parts: Leaves.
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Leaves – cooked. The plant has a particularly strong and pleasant odour, it is used as a flavouring in soups and stews. Root – raw or cooked. Used as a flavouring. An aromatic flavour.

Medicinal Uses:  
The leaves and seeds are brewed as a tea for weak stomach and indigestion with gas. Steeped in whiskey or tequila, a sip serves the same purpose. Simple tea of leaves and seeds.

Disclaimer : 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.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cymopterus+fendleri
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CYACF
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.swcoloradowildflowers.com/yellow%20enlarged%20photo%20pages/cymopterus%201.htm

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Parsley

Botanical Name: Carum petroselinum (BENTH.)
Kingdom: Plantae
Family: Apiaceae/Umbelliferae
Genus:     Petroselinum
Species: P. crispum
Order:     Apiales
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.

Description:

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.

Cultivation:
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.

Medicinal uses:
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.

Other uses:

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.

Health risks:
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.

Disclaimer:
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.

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsley

http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/parsle09.html

Mirackes of Herbs

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Chervil

Chervil

Image via Wikipedia

Botanical Name :Anthriscus cerfolium
Family:    Apiaceae
Genus:    Anthriscus
Species:A. cerefolium
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Apiales

Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium), sometimes called garden chervil, is a delicate annual herb, usually used to season mild-flavoured foods such as poultry, some seafoods, and young vegetables. It is a constituent of the French herb mixture fines herbes. Some cooks refer to chervil as “gourmet’s parsley.”

Classification: Chervil is a member of the parsley or carrot family, Apiaceae.

click to see the pictures.....(01).....(1)……...(2).………….(3)………….

Plant Description:
Chervil is a member of the Carrot family and its leaves highly resemble carrot tops. The young green leaves, which smell similar to Anise, are collected before they lose their pungency and often preserved in vinegar.

Chervil is a warm herb. Its taste and fragrance fill the senses the way warmth does, slowly, subtly. You notice chervil in the background, and you are glad to find it there because its flavour and fragrance are themselves warm and cheering.

There are two main varieties of chervil, one plain and one curly. Hardy annuals, they have a fernlike leaf structure as delicate and dainty as their flavor is subtle. The stems are branched and finely grooved, and the root is thin and white.
Flowers. Small, white, in compound umbels.
Leaves. Opposite, light green, compound, leaflets subdivided into opposite deeply cut leaflets. Only lower leaves have stalks.
Height: 2 ft.

Cultivation:
Chervil goes to seed quickly in the heat, and in fact, unlike most other culinary herbs, prefers a cool, moist and shaded location. To promote growth and a longer season, pinch off the tops. Successive plantings will help to give you a longer harvest. Chervil also has a very long tap root, and does not like to be transplanted so be sure to sow the seeds in the desired location. Chervil is one of those herbs that does well growing in containers. As the plant matures, the leaves tend to turn a purple, bronze color. At this stage they also lose the pungency of their taste, so use only the young green leaves.

Culinary Uses:

That subtle, tender flavor-part anise, part parsley-that you’ve been trying to identify in the fish sauce, will almost certainly turn out to be chervil, the most retiring of the sister spices that make up the fines herbes of French cuisine, but one that’s good company and not to be overlooked.

.Subtlety is key when using chervil in cooking. Although chervil will never dominate a dish, many cooks use it to enhance the flavours of other herbs accompanying it in recipes. Chervil is an important inclusion in the traditional French fines herbes blend of tarragon, parsley, chives and chervil. Chervil complements scrambled eggs and omelets, cream cheese and herb sandwiches, salads and even mashed potatoes.

Chervil is one of the staples of classic French cooking. Along with chives, tarragon and parsley, it is used as an aromatic seasoning blend called “Fines Herbes.” Most frequently it is used to flavor eggs, fish, chicken and light sauces and dressings. It also combines well with mild cheeses and is a tasty addition to herb butters. This blend is the basis for ravigote sauce, a warm herbed veloute served over fish or poultry. When a recipe calls for “Pluches de cerfeuille” — it is leaves of chervil that are required. Chervil is what gives Bernaise its distinctive taste. Chervil, being a spring time herb, has a natural affinity for other spring time foods: salmon, trout, young asparagus, new potatoes, baby green beans and carrots, salads of spring greens. Chervil’s flavour is lost very easily, either by drying the herb, or too much heat. That is why it should be added at the end of cooking or sprinkled on in its fresh, raw state. One way to keep chervil’s flavor is to preserve it in white wine vinegar. Because its flavor is so potent, little else is needed as flavoring when added to foods. This makes it a low calorie way to add interest to meals. Chervil’s delicate leaves make it an attractive herb to

Medicinal Properties:
Chervil had various traditional uses. Pregnant women bathed in an infusion of it; a lotion of it was used as a skin cleanser; and it was used medicinally as a blood purifier.
In various folk medicines, Chervil was used as an eyewash to refresh the eyes. Chervil was also made into a tea and ingested to reduce blood pressure. The active constituents of Chervil include its volatile oil, which has a smell similar to Myrrh. Chervil is also a rich source of bioflavonoids, which aid the body in many ways, including Vitamin C absorption.

As with most herbs, chervil is an aid for digestion. When brewed as a tea it can be used as a soothing eye wash. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 Tbs. fresh chopped chervil and let this steep for 20 minutes. Be sure to cover this to keep in all the volatile oils. When cool, moisten a cotton ball with some of the mixture and place over closed eyes for 10 minutes. Definitely refreshing.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resource:en.wikipedia.org and www.theepicentre.com