Scientific name: Petroselinum crispum

Parsley is a well known herb used for many dishes in the kitchen as an extra flavor and for decoration. Originally in the Mediterranean region it was used primarily for medicinal purposes. So there appear to be various benefits to this seemingly average garnish…

Nutrients

  • Volatile oils – myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene
  • Flavonoids – apiin, apigenin, crisoeriol, and luteolin
  • Iron
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A (Beta-carotene)
  • Vitamin B6, B12
  • Folate
  • Chlorophyll
  • Potassium
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Others in lesser quantities

Health Benefits

  • Treatment for iron deficiency/anemia
  • Helpful with fatigue
  • Useful for bladder and kidney problems
  • Natural diuretic
  • Helps dry up a mother’s milk & good used as a poultice for mastitis (CAUTION: if still nursing, do not take parsley in large quantities)
  • Inhibits tumor formation
  • Anti-cancer
  • Antibacterial, anti-fungal
  • Supports heart health
  • Protects against rheumatoid arthritis (vitamin C)
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Immune system support
  • Improves digestion
  • Breath freshener

Cooking Tips

Used mainly as a garnish and added flavor in US cooking, the leaf and root are used in other areas of the world. It’s used not only for garnish, but added to salads, stocks and soups, sandwiches, smoothies, etc. It’s best to add parsley at the end of the cooking process or before serving for maximum flavor.

Pairingsparsley with vegetables

  • Meats
  • Eggs
  • Potatoes, pasta, rice
  • Vegetables, salads
  • Soups

CAUTION

  • Pregnant women: do not consume large quantities – it can cause uterine contractions
  • Breastfeeding women: parsley can affect the amount of milk produced
  • People prone to kidney stones: parsley has high levels of oxalates which may be problematic
  • Can make skin extra sensitive to the sun

Quick Remedies

(consult a doctor if experiencing any serious conditions)

  • Bad breath: simply chew on some fresh parsley leaves! You can dip them in vinegar for even better results.
  • Freckles, skin spots: rubbing fresh leaves or parsley oil on the area 3 times per day will slowly fade unwanted spots.
  • Acne: mix dried or fresh parsley with lemon juice and apply to the area
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, gout, asthma attacks: prepare a parsley tea by boiling leaves for 15 min. Feel free to add a bit of ginger and honey as well.

How to Grow

Planting

Where do you live?

Parsley is mainly a tropical plant, but can grow as an annual in colder areas. Once it flowers, the leaves will be bitter.

Put em in the ground

Plant in the spring, or fall for zones 7 and warmer.

  • Prefers rich, moist soil
  • pH around 6
  • Full to partial sun, warmth
  • Add mulch around the bottom

Care

  • Cut back the plants in the fall
  • Parsleyworm caterpillar will eat some leaves, but will not kill the plant
  • Whitefly is a problem bug and can be kept away by spraying under the leaves with insecticidal soap

Harvest

  • Harvest throughout the growing season as needed
  • Cut the stem from the base of the plant
  • Feel free to dry it, but the flavor will not be as good, so freezing is a better option