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Parsley

SCIENTIFIC NAME(S): Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Mansfield, P. hortense Hoffman, and P. sativum. Family: Umbelliferae

COMMON NAME(S): Parsley, rock parsley, garden parsley

Parsley is one of the best known and most widely used herbs. It is actually a biennial, but is usually cultivated as an annual because the first year leaves have the best flavor. The crisp, tight foliage of the curly parsley is the most attractive variety to use fresh as a garnish, but the flat-leaved Italian parsley has a superior flavor when cooked.

History

Parsley leaves and roots are popular as condiments and garnish. In Lebanon, parsley is a major ingredient in a national dish called tabbouleh. An average adult may consume as much as 50 g parsley per meal.

Parsley seeds were used traditionally as a carminative to decrease flatulence and colic pain. The root was used as a diuretic and the juice to treat kidney ailments. Parsley oil also was used to regulate menstrual flow in the treatment of amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea, and is purported to be an abortifacient Bruised leaves were used to treat tumors, insect bites, lice and skin parasites, and contusions. Parsley tea once was used to treat dysentery and gallstones. Other traditional uses include the treatment of diseases of the prostate, liver, and spleen, anemia, and arthritis; as an expectorant, antimicrobial, aphrodisiac, hypotensive, laxative; and as a scalp lotion to stimulate hair growth.

Botany :- Parsley is an herb indigenous to the Mediterranean but is now cultivated worldwide. It is deep green, with divided, curled leaves

Uses of Parsley

Parsley, in addition to being a source of vitamins and minerals, has been used in the treatment of prostate, liver, and spleen diseases, anemia, arthritis, and cancer.

Side Effects of Parsley

Adverse effects from the ingestion of parsley oil include headache, giddiness, loss of balance, convulsions, and renal damage. Pregnant women should not take parsley because of its potential uterotonic effects.

Toxicology

Adverse effects from parsley are uncommon. People allergic to other members of the Umbelliferae family (eg, carrot, fennel, celery) may be sensitive to the constituents (especially in the flowers) of parsley. Because of the potential uterotonic effects, parsley oil, juice, and seeds should not be taken by pregnant women. Adverse effects from the ingestion of the oil have included headache, giddiness, loss of balance, convulsions, and renal damage. The psoralen compounds found in parsley have been linked to a photodermatitis reaction found among parsley cutters. This skin reaction is usually only evident if the areas that have contacted the juice are exposed to strong sunlight; it can be minimized by the use of protective clothing and sunscreens.

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