Also known as
Petroselinum crispum, Common Parsley, Garden Parsley, Curled Parsley, Devils Oatmeal, Petersylinge.
While all of us know parsley as a condiment and garnish, most of us never consume its most flavorful part of the root. Parsley has been an important food for at least 3,000 years. Parsley is thought to have originated in Sardinia, or the surrounding area, and to have spread across Europe by the 15th century. There are a great many myths and folktales concerning parsley. It was said to have come from the spilled blood of Archemorus when he was eaten by serpents. It was also long associated with Persephone and the underworld, which may certainly account for the lingering superstition that it is bad luck to transplant parsley; it should always be grown directly from the seed. Also, the Greek saying “to be in need of parsley” meant that someone was extremely ill and not expected to survive. Wreaths of parsley were also worn to honor the dead.
The root and leaves contain the same essential oil, although concentrations are greater in the root. The main components (10*30%) are myristicin, limonene and 1,3,8-p-menthatriene; minor components are mono- and sesquiterpenes. The curly varieties tend to be richer in myristicin, but contain much less essential oil)
The essential oil in the “seed” (3*6% of the total weight of the fruit) is either dominated by myristicin (60 to 80%; mostly var. tuberosum and var. crispum) or by apiole (70%; mostly var. latifolium). Seed may also contain allyl tetramethoxy benzene (55 to 75% in some varieties.
Leaf, whole or chopped, fresh or dried; “seeds” (actually fruits); and root.
Both the leaf and root can be used as tea or tincture; usually used in cooking. Both can be manufactured into an extract.
The most common use of parsley is as an edible breath freshener. In cooking, parsley lightens the taste of garlic and the odor of fish. Parsley can be added to almost any food except sweets.
Parsley root salad, very popular in German and Scandinavian cuisine, can increase risk of sunburn if eaten by fair-skinned person who take ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure. Parsley leaf and parsley seed do not have this effect.
For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.