Parsley is a Greek word meaning “stone breaker”. The plant is a native of Sardinia and other parts of South Europe, but is now cultivated everywhere in the gardens of United States. It is an old time remedy, much ignored because of its being so common. Truly a very valuable food and not merely a decoration, as it is so often used.
All parts of it contain an essential oil, to which it owes its medicinal virtues, as well as its use in seasoning. The ROOT is the part most used by the pharmacopias, though the SEEDS are at least equally efficient.
It has a pleasant smell and a sweetish slightly aromatic taste, but loses this property by long boiling and by long keeping. For best results it should be used fresh.
The seeds, herb, and root increase the flow when the urine is scanty and are useful in dropsy, (care must be taken in this disease not to push the kidneys to the point of exhaustion) very useful in gravel, the aching back in the lumbar region, stone and congestion of the kidneys. Because the seeds contain apiol, it has been considered safe and efficient in obstructed menstruation and in both ammenorrhea and dysmenorrhea for many generations.
The Romans and the Greeks crowned their heroes with garlands of parsley. Also decked their banquet tables with sumptuous parsley garlands to absorb the fumes of too much imbibing. The Greeks considered parsley a sacred herb and made funeral wreaths and planted it profusely over the mounds of newly dug graves so that it might become a green velvety carpet.
Parsley is used freely for culinary purposes and is useful in removing traces of onions and garlic from the breath. It is also used in coloring some wines and sage cheese.
A French chemist claims the apiol obtained from the seeds proved to be a good substitute for quinine and ergot.
This herb is a source of calcium, thiamin (Vitamin B-1), riboflavin (Vitamin B-2), Niacin, and Vitamin C. Parsley is very rich in Vitamin A and in Vitamin C (3 times as much as an orange) and tremendously high in iron content.
Because of this plentiful supply of vitamins in parsley, it is considered excellent for arthritis pains—the following has been said to be successful: pour 1 qt. boiling water over 1 C. firmly packed parsley, both leaves and stems. Allow to steep 15 min. Strain through a coarse sieve and bottle at once. Cool quickly, keep under refrigeration. Drink a wine-glassful daily in 1 dose or several, undiluted or with water, it does not matter. A dash of salt makes it more palatable.
The usual form of administration is that of a strong infusion. The roots, seeds, or leaves may be used. Can be used either in infusion, decoction, or Fl. X.