The Romans utilized the parsley plant, who gave it to gladiators before their fights. Today, it is still more than just a seasoning plant. However, one must take care since wild parsley can easily be mistaken for poison parsley.
Parsley Plant Scientific Facts
- Scientific synonyms: Petroselinum crispum (Miller) Nym., Apium crispum Miller, Apium Petroselinum L.
- Other names: Common parsley, garden parsley, rock parsley.
- French: Persil.
- Spanish: Perejil.
- Environment: Native to the eastern Mediterranean region, at present, it is cultivated almost worldwide.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The leaves, the fruits, and the root.
Healing Properties and Uses
The parsley plant contains apiin (the same glycoside found in celery) and flavonoids, which give it diuretic properties; an essential oil rich in apiol and myristicin, to which the plant owes its emmenagogue (promotes menstruation), vasodilator, and stimulating properties. It also contains vitamins A, C, and E (tocopherol), phosphorus, calcium, iron, and sulfur.
Parsley is a healthy seasoning plant that must never be forgotten since it contains vitamins A and C. Moreover, it is a natural remedy recommended in the following cases:
- Edema (retention of liquids) and cellulite;
- Coronary insufficiency;
- Lack of urine, mild renal insufficiency;
- Lack of appetite, anemia;
- Recovery, physical exhaustion. In this case, parsley root is especially recommended;
- Dysmenorrhea (irregular, scant, or painful menstruation). The fruit is mainly used for treating these ailments;
- Insect bites (spiders, wasps, etc.), applying a poultice of fresh leaves on the skin. It calms pain and reduces any possible inflammatory reaction of the bite.
How to use Parsley
- Infusion of leaves (with 30 grams per liter of water), of sliced root (with 15 grams per liter), or of fruits (2-5 grams per liter). Drink a cup before each meal daily.
- Juice of the fresh plant. Take 2-3 spoonfuls before every meal.
- Poultices with fresh mashed leaves, forming a paste which will be applied to the affected area.
WARNING! Pregnant women should avoid consuming high amounts of parsley since it has specific oxytocic properties (contracts the uterus), which could cause miscarriage.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 583. Print. [parsley plant]