Parsley and its origin date back to the 3rd Century B.C. Since then it is found growing in gardens, in the wild, in hydroponics and AeroGardens. There are two types of Parsley, the flat or curly leaf. Its nutritional value makes it one of the best culinary and medicinal herbs. Parsley is found mentioned in tales of myths and legends about Romans and Greeks.
When Parsley is consumed in average amounts is can be safe from side effects. It’s interesting to note that Parsley is also connected to magical powers and used in several ways. Preserving and storing Parsley, not a problem!
Parsley herb is a biennial, also known as the rock parsley and garden parsley. Curly Parsley forms a rosette-shaped leaf and has a tap root that stores food over the winter period. It grows a flowering stem in its second year the leaves are much sparser, and it produces umbels with yellow to greenish-yellow flowers.
Where did the name Parsley originate?
Parsley is Old English petersilie, and its Etymology has several different roots of the word in German, French, Latin and Greek. Parsley cultivated since 3rd Century BC. Originated in the Mediterranean in places such as:
First cultivated in 1548 in England and is now produced around the world.
Plant Description of Parsley
Family: Apiaceae. Scientific Name: Petroselinum. Biennial plant or annual. Can grow all year round indoors in an AeroGarden. Colour of the plant is green leaves.
Different kinds of Parsley
- Italian flat-leaf
- Curly leaf
- Root Parsley is known as Hamburg
- Japanese Parsley
How to grow Parsley indoors
Growing Parsley indoors differs from growing outdoors. The seed sprouts well in nutrient water and in peat. It takes about two weeks for the seed to germinate, it grows much slower that Dill and Basil. I have been growing Parsley in my AeroGarden unit in the kitchen, under LED lights, which replicates sunlight for a couple of months now. and it’s growing taller.
If growing Parsley outdoors and depending on where you live; Parsley can attract some wildlife into your garden, for instance, butterflies, caterpillars, bees, and birds that eat the seeds.
Nutritional Value of Parsley?
Parsley has lots of vitamins
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K – blood clotting and bone health
For further breakdown of nutrients on Parsley access the worlds healthiest foods website
Culinary use of Parsley
Curly leaf parsley is mild and bitter, used for garnishing. The flat-leaf Parsley is more flavoursome herb for home-cooked food and salads. Parsley is easy to grow in an Aero Garden.
I have to admit one thing; I never knew that the root of the Parsley could be eaten as a snack; in fact, I never thought it was edible! Parsley root as a vegetable is something new to me. I have learned you can be added to soups, stews or casseroles. Wow! I’ve been so wasteful, throwing the root out to the compost.
Parsley is often used as a tea and has many benefits, not scientifically supported as evidence. To make parsley tea, you can use fresh or dried leaves that you have stored in a cool, dry place. You can use the flat or curly leaf. If using fresh leaves, remove them from the stems—about ¼ cup of leaves and place in a tea infuser or teapot. Bring water to the boil and fill the cup with hot water and allow the leaves to steep for about 4 minutes. Parsley tea is lovely with a dash of lemon and honey. Enjoy!
Medicinal uses of Parsley
Not all claims on what Parsley is claimed to do is backed up with scientific evidence to support what has been noted here:
- Bone health
- Cancer-fighting compounds
- Protect eyesight
- Improve heart health
- Antibacterial properties
- Freshens the breath
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- High blood pressure
- Minimise kidney stones
- Gall bladder infections
- Reduce Urinary Tract Infections
- Improve ear health
- Pain reliever
- Immune system
- Cracked and chapped skin
- Insect Bites
My Aero Gardening is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein, we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regime, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.
Myths and Legends of Parsley
In ancient times the Romans and Greeks used Parsley in death ceremonies as a way to mask the scent of death. As a protection, the Greeks fed Parsley to their horses which were believed to give them strength.
The Greeks had a favourite story Seven Against Thebes
Parsley has been associated with deaths, graveyards, funerals, for a culinary herb it sounds frightening, doesn’t it, to think of Parsley and death.
Parsley in early Greek records indicated that the leaves cleaned the breath, the smell of garlic, settled a sick stomach, eased gas and bloating.
Grounding the root of the Parsley to a powder was good for the stomach and digestion.
Even the Romans used Parsley to protect them against evil, so too did the brides.
On the World of Tales web site, I came across a beautiful story, an Italian folktale of the Parsley and on the same site, there is another story called The Parsley Queen, which is a Japanese Folktale about the daughter of a peasant became Queen.
There are so many stories connected to Parsley such as The Adventures of Parsley the Lion who has a friend called Dill the dog. by Michael Bond
The ancient Greeks believed that Parsley started from the death of a hero. Because of its superstitious nature, Parsley was never put on the tables in homes.
Side effects of Parsley
It’s like anything we eat if eaten in excessive amounts can have adverse effects making it unsafe. For instance, Parsley used as an oil can be potent and create skin reaction if used in large quantities. Before applying it to the skin mix it with almond oil or olive oil or coconut oil before applying it to the skin,
Some other side effects of consuming parsley oil include headaches, giddiness, loss of balance, convulsions and renal damage.
Pregnant women should not take Parsley because it may have uterotonic effects.
Even though Parsley is safe to drink as a tea, it is recommended that patients who are undergoing surgery are advised to stop using the tea two weeks before the operations.
Magical uses of Parsley
Parsley is associated with death, rebirth, fertility, love, lust, protection purification cleansing, strength and spirit communication.
Did you know that the seeds of Parsley before it could germinate had to travel to hell and back? This association with Parsley links to death and the Devil.
Parsley is known to have been used in some spells such as
Storing and preserving Parsley
Wrap parsley in damp paper towelling, place in a closed container and store in the refrigerator and kept for upto five days
Dried parsley store in an airtight container in a cool dark place and will keep fresh for 3 to 6 months.
Freezing Parsley on a tray lined with baking paper and put in the freezer, once frozen placed in an airtight container and store in the freezer. Freezing parsley preserves the colour and flavour, however, it will lose it crispness, so it is best to use it in cooking.
Since Parsley was first noted and used as far back to the 3rd Century, it has been found growing in gardens, the wild, hydroponics and AeroGardens. I always thought there was two types of Parsley but there are now four!
Parsley’s nutritional value makes it one of the best culinary and medicinal herbs. It’s been written about, found in tales of myths and legends of the Romans and Greeks. When consumed in average amounts is can be safe from side effects. But what is interesting to note, is its connection to magical beliefs that is has powers and was once used in several ways.
Preserving and storing Parsley, not a problem!
If you are an AeroGarden lover or would like to become one, I would love to hear your feedback on the systems, plants you have grown or issues you have faced and success stories.