Parsley (Zhou Ye Ou Qin)
Botanical Name: Petroselinum crispum, P. crispum radicosum group, P. neapolitanum
There are two main varieties of parsley, French curly leaf (P. crispum/aka Argon) and Italian flat leaf (P. neapolitanum). A well-known culinary herb, it is also used medicinally to help cleanse the blood and support the health of liver and kidney functions. Parsley is an excellent digestive herb with among other attributes, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and diuretic properties.
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How to use Parsley and take FULL advantage of it's healing powers!
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Also Known As: Argon, Curly Parsley, Flat-Leaf Parsley, Italian Parsley, French Parsley, Rock Parsley, Garden Parsley
Organs/Systems: Kidney, Liver, Digestive System, Uterus
Key Actions: Anti-inflammatory, Antibacterial, Antioxidant, Hepatic, Antidiabetic, Diuretic, Carminative, Aperient, Emmenagogue, Galactagogue, Anthelmintic, Antihistamine.
Medicinal Uses: Detoxification, poor appetite, cystitis, edema, gonorrhea, urinary tract infections (UTIs), kidney stones, bloating, constipation, gas, promote menses, nourish blood, heart disease, reduce risk of cancer, eczema, insect bites, swollen breasts, sprains, dandruff, inflamed eyes, menstrual cramping, stimulate uterine contractions, allergies, hay fever, coughs, asthma.
Also Known As: Ou Qin (Petroselinum sativum)
Meridians: Stomach, Kidney, Bladder
Key Actions: Tonifies Blood, Promotes Digestion, Relieves Stagnation, Regulates Qi, Relieves Dampness, Clears Toxins, Warms the Middle
Medicinal Uses: Induces measles, urinary tract infections, jaundice, food retention, bloating, seafood or meat poisoning, anemia, asthma, congestion, gout, arthritis, lower blood pressure, poor appetite, constipation, stimulate uterine contraction, menstrual cramping, rheumatism, acid reflux, stomach cramping, colic, allergies, lice, skin ulcers, bruises, insect bites.
Parsley is native to the Mediterranean region. It has now been naturalized and is grown in many parts of the world. It grows best in moist, well-drained soils with full sun.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Leaves, Roots, Seeds
Flavors/Temps: Leaves – Pungent, Bitter, Salty, Slightly Warming. Roots – Sweet, Neutral.
Caution: Considered safe. Large doses of parsley are not recommended for pregnant women as the herb can help to stimulate uterine contractions. Parsley can also increase blood clotting so large amounts of parsley may interfere with the blood thinning effects of Warfarin (Coumadin).
Key Constituents: Essential oils (including Apiol and Myristicin which have antibacterial properties), Vitamin A, C, and K, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Iron, Luteolin, Apigenin, Coumarins.
History/Folklore: Popular the world over, parsley is used in many culinary dishes for its light scent and fresh taste. The herb is especially popular in French, Meditattanean, and Iranian cuisine. Parsley is high in antioxidants, vitamin A, C, and especially vitamin K as well as minerals. As a healing herb, parsley is commonly used to cleanse and strengthen liver and kidney function.
Parsley leaves and especially the roots, are considered highly nourishing to blood. Parsley can help stimulate the uterus to cause uterine contractions that can help start and regulate a delayed menses. Large doses are not recommended for pregnant women for this reason.
Traditionally parsley was popularly and effectively used as a poultice to treat inflamed eyes, eczema, insect bites, swollen breasts, and to “dry up the milk” of wet-nurses. It has a long history of being served as a garnish that can be eaten to help promote digestion.
In ancient Greece, parsley was used to tonify digestion and to aid the female reproductive system. It was associated with Persephone, the goddess of the underworld. It was revered as a symbol of oblivion and death and often used as funerals to make wreaths for graves.
In ancient Rome, parsley was considered sacred and used in religious ceremonies and at burial and funeral banquets. It is believed that it was the Romans who introduced the plant to Britain.
St. Hildegard of Bingen, a 12th century nun and herbalist, recommended parsley as a tonic for the cardiovascular system.
European folklore says that parsley was best grown by pregnant women and witches. It was said that only a witch could germinate parsley. The best crops were planted on Good Friday. In the Middle Ages it was considered bad luck in Britain to destroy a parsley plant, because it would upset the spirits of the land. However, giving a sprig of parsley within a bouquet of flowers was considered to bring good luck and health.
In early Christian traditions, parsley is associated with St. Peter. It was laid at his altar to ensure good weather for farming or a large celebration.
Used externally parsley is useful for treating skin ailments including bruising, insect bites, lice, skin ulcers, and as an antifungal.
Chinese parsley is not actually parsley, but in fact, cilantro (aka coriander). In Oriental medicine parsley as we know it, is used to tonify blood, the Kidneys, Liver, and Bladder systems.
The word “parsley” is a merger of the Old English word petersilie, and the Old French word peresil, which both derived from the Latin petroselinum, meaning “celery” and “rock or stone”. A reference to a type of parsley grown in southern Italy, that in particular resembles celery with its thick leaf stems.
The P. crispum radicosum group of parsley is grown as a root vegetable instead of for its leaves. Root parsley is common in central and eastern European cuisine where it is used in soups, stews, and even eaten raw. It looks like parsnip but has its own unique flavor. The roots have a stronger diuretic action than the leaves. The roots look like a carrot root only they are a lovely cream-color.
Parsley is used as an ingredient in some fragrances and soaps.
How to use Parsley to take FULL advantage of it's healing powers!
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