Parsley is a common herb to most households and one we always have in stock here in Pantree and at Lyttleton Gardens. Herbs like Parsley bring meals to life with flavour and character. They infuse our meals with impressions landscapes, climates and cultures. “Without going out of my door, I can know all things on Earth”. Well… we know George Harrison wasn’t singing about herbs! But herbs and spices allow us to travel from the Blue Mountains to Italy, Morocco, India and Thailand with one bite. Cumin, Turmeric, Parsley, Coriander, Basil, Lemongrass or Kafir lime added to soups, noodle dishes, stews, sauces and dips…. just to name a few of these magnificent herbs and spices brings a flood of imagery to mind.
Parsley is an incredible nutrient accumulator for the soil in your garden as it forms very strong roots which mine for nutrients deep down. It is a fantastic plant for protecting soil against erosion as these strong roots promote microbial, fungal and earthworm activity in the soil around it. It is a very vigorous, productive, giving plant.
Herbs like parsley ‘top up’ a meal with essential nutrients as well as phytochemicals that aid digestion and increase the absorption of these nutrients. Herbs added to meals make food your medicine. Parsley is rich in calcium, iron and vitamin C. Like nettle (find our blog post on nettle over here) Parsley is a strengthening herb, wonderful during convalescence and when feeling undernourished or worse for wear. Its mineral content makes it a grounding herb, nourishing people when depleted while also brightening the mind and emotions.
When thinking of parsley think of clear and vital waters. Parsley tends to cleanse and brighten the fluids of the body. If you are foggy headed or have had a few days of eating poorly, add parsley to salads, juices and meals to clear and enliven the body again.
Parsley is a urinary cleanser, good for keeping the urinary tract healthy. It is also a diuretic and is used to reduce fluid retention. Parsley aids digestion and calms the tummy and is used as symptomatic relief if you tend towards unsettled bloating, flatulence or colic after eating (it’s important to address the actual cause of these symptoms too, especially if ongoing).
The leaf and root of parsley are used medicinally. In medicinal doses Parsley is used to stimulate menstruation where it is unnaturally absent. This means it isn’t used in medicinal doses for pregnant women, but is still very beneficial during pregnancy in culinary amounts. Parsley is also used to treat painful gout and to improve the health of the liver and gall bladder.
Parsley leaf can be added to fresh juice as a tonic. It makes a beautiful pesto, green herby risotto and is an essential ingredient in that gorgeous salad tabbouli. The leaf and root can be infused as a tea also.