The next time you pass over that bit of green garnish on your plate, stop
and think again, for that parsley — so commonplace as to go almost
unnoticed — is one of the oldest, tastiest, most nutritious, and easiest to
grow of all our culinary herbs.
The cultivation of parsley predates written history. Native to the
Mediterranean area, parsley was commonplace in ancient Greece, not as a
culinary herb, but as an ornamental plant used to decorate graves and make
funeral wreathes. The origin of this association with death is a bit
obscure, but seems to derive from the myth of Archemorus, a young man who
was killed by a giant serpent while aiding the Seven Heroes against the
tyrant of Thebes; in memory of the youth’s sacrifice and death the Seven
instituted a new athletic competition, the Nemean Games, the victors of
which were crowned with garlands of parsley. It was not until Roman times
that parsley became a popular culinary herb, used not only in combination
with other herbs to augment flavor in foods, but also alone as a after-party
means of cleansing the palette and removing the smell of alcohol from the
breath. (From whence comes our use of parsley as a garnish.) Parsley has
continued in culinary use ever since, and during the Middle Ages was also
used cosmetically as a cure for baldness, and medicinally as a diuretic.
In addition to consuming large quantities themselves, the Romans also fed
parsley to their racehorses to keep them strong and fit. Given what we know
today of the number of vitamins parsley contains, it is no wonder: parsley
is a veritable natural megavitamin. One cup contains more beta carotene than
a carrot, twice as much vitamin C as a orange, more calcium than a cup of
milk, and the iron equivalent of twenty servings of liver!! (Mothers of
finicky eaters, take note!). With its mild, gentle flavor, parsley is the
perfect flavorful and healthy addition to many dishes — there really is no
reason not to grow some of your own. ~ by Michael Weishan
Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses:
- One of the health benefits of parsley is because of its diuretic properties is that it is used as natural treatment for the removal of urinary and kidney stones as well as to provide relief from painful urination.
- The vitamin A in parsley is known to be helpful in maintaining good vision as well as minimizing the risk of diabetes and arteriosclerosis.
- The medicinal benefits of parsley also include it being to control the levels of blood cholesterol as it is rich in anti oxidants. Thus parsley is also known to be very effective in maintaining good blood pressure and promoting good health of the heart.
- Another one of the health benefits of parsley is on account of the presence of the essential oil Eugenol which is used in dentistry as an anti-septic agent and an anesthetic for gums and teeth
- The medicinal uses of parsley are also on account of the presence of various minerals in this herb such as potassium which is an important component that is required to counter the effects of sodium and thereby control the blood pressure levels and the heart rate. Similarly the iron present in parsley helps in the production of red blood cells.
- Health benefits of parsley also include it being very effective in preventing age related macular degeneration of the retina which is a common problem among the elderly. This is mostly because of the ultra-violet light filtering and antioxidant properties of parsley.
- Parsley is also known to be effective in promoting weight loss as it promotes the metabolism of fat, proteins and carbohydrates.
- Additionally, as one of the natural parsley remedies, the vitamin K present in parsley is known to promote good bone health and also tends to minimize the neuronal damage caused to the brain among those suffering from Alzheimer’s.
- Parsley is also used as a natural treatment for medical issues such as inflammation and congestion of the bladder and the kidneys or even the presence of stones and gravel in the kidneys. The leaves and the roots of the parley herb are known to be very beneficial for the maintenance of good health of the spleen and the liver.
- One of the parsley remedies for unmanageable and stiff fingers is to prepare some parsley tea and then consume it once cooled.
- Another one of the uses of parsley is that it is used as a natural treatment for bad breath which may even be on account of chewing tobacco. In this home remedy the parsley should be dipped in some cooking vinegar and then chewed on slowly.
Precautions/ Side effects/ Warnings:
One the other hand there are certain side effects of parsley because of which it should not be given to pregnant women as it may result in muscle contractions of the uterus as well as uterine bleeding. Similarly people who have undiagnosed or untreated kidney problems should not consume large quantities of parsley as it may result in bleeding.. One should also not consume essential parsley oil in isolation as it is known to be toxic and may result in nosebleeds, bloody stools and kidney shutdown. ~ home-remedies-for-you.com
Magickal Uses Of Parsley
Parsley is bound to Mercury and air. In ancient times, it was associated with death and funeral ceremonies. Today, magically speaking, Parsley is associated with lust, good luck, communicating with other planes, protection, purification, fertility, reincarnation, health, strength, vitality, divination, passion, meditation, rituals for the dead, and happiness.
Parsley is used in purification baths by placing a mesh bag under the tap water and running the bath water over it. Use a small amount of dried herb as an incense with incantations related to physical well-being and happiness, and in rituals for the dead, including communication. Make a Tea of parsley and call the powers of earth, or wear it in a charm or sachet to increase strength, health, protection, and vitality, and to evoke lust and passion. Parsley on the plate is supposed to protect the food from contamination, and eating it is said to increase fertility and lust.