PETROSELINUM CRISPUM= PETROSELINUM SATIVUM= PETROSELINUM HORTENSE
APIACEAE (formerly umbelliferous) are rare in tropical regions and in the southern hemisphere , they include among others carrot, celery, anise, coriander, fennel, chervil but also the dangerous hemlock.
They are herbaceous plants of small or medium size often with a hollow stem and well cut leaves; they are annual, biennial or perennial.
The inflorescence is quite typical, it is an umbel; the peduncles which support the flowers generally diverge from the same point and the flowers with little or no color open almost at the same level at the periphery of the umbel then towards the center.
The fruit (or seed) is dry.
Many ammiaceae = apiaceae secrete essential oils which are generally more concentrated in the fruits.
Among apiaceae, the great hemlock Conium maculatum is known for its toxicity: 5 to 10 g of leaves (by mouth) can cause death, be careful because it can be confused with celery or wild parsley.
Parsley is a condiment and a medicinal plant that is widely used and popular around the world.
It is believed to be native to southern Europe (it was known to the Greeks and Romans) but it now grown in all climates, however its lifespan is shorter in the tropics.
There are several crop varieties: flat leaf parsley (neopolitanum) is more widespread than the curly leaf parley (crispum) ,.
There is also a variety with a large root edible (tuberosum), root parsley.
The leaves, fruits and root of parsley are used in herbal medicine, the essential oil of fruits (seeds) is used in aromatherapy
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION AND PROPERTIES
PARSLEY LEAVES- Fresh parsley leaves contain a lot of vitamin C (100 to 200 mg per 100 g, for the record oranges contain 40 mg per 100 g), a large amount of vitamin K, as well as provitamin A (carotenoids) , mineral salts and iron.
PARSLEY ROOTThe root of parsley, a taproot lookin like a white carrot, has long been used as a diuretic but it is also known to have antispasmodic properties on the smooth muscular fibers of the digestive and biliary system (stomach, intestines, gall bladder).
PARSLEY ESSENTIAL OIL
The leaves and especially the fruits (seeds) of parsley contain an essential oil with a strong and characteristic smell whose composition is dominated by two biochemical constituents:
- apiole or apiol (about 20%)
- myristicin (40 to 45%)
But the typical smell of parsley leaf is apparently linked to the presence of other terpenes in much smaller quantities, notably "p-mentha-1,3,8-triene".
Apiol and myristicin (also found in nutmeg) are NEUROTOXIC and cause convulsions and mental disorders in high doses.
At high dose (1 g per kg), apiol is abortive by blood congestion of the small pelvis, and can cause serious disorders, hepatic, renal, and bleeding (haemorrhages of the mucous membranes, intestinal haemorrhages).
Parsley essential oil is used externally as an antiseptic and a vulnerary (healing).
PARSLEY DIET CONDIMENT
The fresh leaf of parsley, flat or curly, is above all a widely used condiment which flavors and perfumes many hot dishes or raw vegetables (salads, tabbouleh) by providing vitamins, mineral salts and anti-oxidants.
Parsley is an appetite-stimulating plant.
Parsley can accompany meats as well as fish, eggs, vegetables, soups, sandwiches or pancakes (or cereal pancakes), but not sweet dishes.
PARSLEY IN PHYTOTHERAPY AND AROMATHERAPY
- Infusion of leaf, root or seed :
A teaspoonful of dry leaves, parsley seeds, or 10 to 20 g of parsley root in 1/4 liter of very hot water 3 to 4 minutes of infusion.
This infusion is slightly diuretic, digestive and genital antispasmodic (accompanying a treatment for dymenorrhea).
Consumed regularly, it provides anti-oxidants, facilitates digestion and renal elimination of water.
Seed tea reduces intestinal gas and helps their evacuation (carminative):
Ex: seed tea: 10 g of seeds in ½ liter of boiling water to drink during the day or a teaspoon of seeds to swallow with a little water.
- Parsley essential oil
It is used with caution.
- Diluted in a vegetable oil (1 to 2 drops of essential oil of parsley in 10 drops of vegetable oil) as a massage application on the abdomen or lower abdomen in addition to a digestive or genital antispasmodic treatment (dysmenorrhea) or on bruised (bruising) or irritated areas.
- by mouth: it may be used but with caution, 1 to 3 drops per day as urinary disinfectant (but there are more effective plant extracts (see Cystitis ), as digestive and genital antispasmodic (dysmenorrhea).
- Traditional uses :
- Insect bites: crushed fresh leaves applied to the bite for ten minutes then rinse with cold water.
- Very itchy skin : direct application of crushed leaves.
- Breasts painful by milky engorgement: poultice of bruised leaves on the breasts.
- Syrup of the 5 roots (ache, asparagus, butcher's broom, fennel and parsley): syrup to improve appetite (aperitive) and which facilitates digestion (eupeptic).
- In homeopathy, PETROSELINUM is a medicine recommended in certain urinary disorders: cystitis, urethritis frequent urge to urinate (eg: PETROSELINUM 9CH 3 granules 3 times a day).
Remember that the cutaneous application of parsley leaves can be accompanied by an inflammatory reaction to light (photosensitization) and that people who follow an anticoagulant treatment based on antivitamin K must take into account the intake of vitamin K of parsley counteracting the treatment .
The parsley leaves can be kept for a few days in a cool place and for many months in the freezer but to preserve all the aroma of the parsley it seems preferable to dry it at medium temperature (around 30 °), for medicinal use a 1/10 alcoholic tincture is easily made (100 to 200 drops per day).
The parsley root dries fragmented when it is too large, and can also make an alcoholic tincture at 1/10 (dry root) 100 to 200 drops per day, reduce the doses by two when using the alcoholic tincture at 1/5.
PARSLEY CULTIVATIONParsley is a plant from the Mediterranean region, but it grows very well in all temperate or subtropical countries.
A CONDIMENT RICH IN VITAMIN C
Parsley is widely used fresh in many traditionnal food and recipe.
It is an aperitive and digestive plant, easy to grow in most countries.
Its antiseptic and emmenagogue essential oil should be used with caution as it is potentially toxic.e.
Copyright 2020 : Dr Jean-Michel Hurtel