Parsley (petroselinum crispum) is a biennial herb with a fleshy root and finely divided, compound and curly leaves in a basal rosette. Greenish yellow flowers and small dry fruits are formed on erect double umbels in the second growing season. The wild forms of common parsley, as well as the cultivated Italian parsley (var. neapolitanum) have flat, non-curly leaves. Turnip-rooted parsley is a cultivar with edible roots.
Parsley is native to Europe and western Asia. It is cultivated as a garnish, salad ingredient, spice and to a limited extent as a medicinal plant in many parts of the world.
Features and Benefits (based on home remedies) of Parsley
Leaves are most commonly used as a culinary herb.
Parsley contains an essential oil (fruits: 2-6%; herb: 0.5%) which has very high levels of the phenylpropanoids apiol, myristicin or allyl-tetramethoxybenzol. Furthermore, it also contains biologically active flavonoids (including apiin) and traces of furanocoumarins.
- Parsley leaf and root are employed to treat gastrointestinal and urinary tract disorders (treatment and prophylaxis of kidney gravel)
- Leaves have been applied topically as emulcent and itch-relieving treatment for skin problems
- Parsley leaf, root or fruits are commonly included in diuretic, laxative and slimming teas and in other diuretic preparations
- It is able to render most scent odorless when chewed, even strong garlic odors