Parsley is believed to have originated in southern Europe, around the Mediterranean, and has been cultivated since about 320 B.C. In ancient times, parsley wreaths were believed to ward off drunkenness. According to Greek mythology, parsley sprang from the blood of Opheltes, the infant son of King Lycurgus of Nemea, who was killed by a serpent while his nurse directed some thirsty soldiers to water. Thus, Greek soldiers associated parsley with death and avoided contact with it before battle. A completely different meaning is imparted to the herb in the Jewish Seder, the ritual Passover meal. Because parsley is one of the first herbs to appear in the spring, it is used in the Seder to symbolize new beginnings. The ancient Romans ate parsley after
Family Apiaceae Scientific name Petroselinum crispum Common name parsley
^ Contains some vitamin C
meals to freshen their breath, and the Roman physician Galen prescribed it for epilepsy and as a diuretic. In Europe during the Middle Ages, parsley was regarded as the devil's herb and was believed to bring disaster on anyone who grew it unless it was planted on Good Friday. Nevertheless, medieval abbess and herbalist Hildegard of Bingen and the 17th-century herbalist Nicholas Culpeper prescribed it in various forms for heart and chest pain and for arthritis. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, parsley was prescribed for a variety of medical conditions. However, none of these uses is recognized in modern medicine. Today, parsley is used primarily as a flavoring agent and a garnish.
Parsley is a hardy plant that can be grown easily in almost any soil. It can be planted in the spring for summer use and in late summer for winter growth and spring harvesting. Soaking the seeds overnight before planting helps germination. Flat-leaved parsley is cultivated more easily than the curly-leaved types.
When selecting parsley, bunches that look freshly picked, not wilted or yellow, should be chosen. Fresh parsley can be wrapped in damp paper towels and stored in an open plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
The curly-leaved varieties of parsley are used as a flavoring, a salad ingredient, and a garnish. Flat-leaved parsley, with its stronger flavor, is frequently used as a seasoning in Italian cooking. Dried parsley may be substituted for the fresh herb by using one-third of the amount of the fresh herb specified by the recipe.
A serving of parsley contains some vitamin C.
1 Tblsp. chopped,
1 Tblsp. chopped, uses_
When selecting parsley, bunches that look freshly picked, not wilted or yellow,
Was this article helpful?
Did You Know That Herbs and Spices Have Been Used to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis Successfully for Thousands of Years Do you suffer with rheumatoid arthritis Would you like to know which herbs and spices naturally reduce inflammation and pain 'Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis with Herbs, Spices and Roots' is a short report which shows you where to start.