Parsley Herb and Its Benefits
What is Parsley?
Parsley is a herb used in cooking and for health. It improves dishes with its flavour and has several healing properties. Parsley has a delicious vibrant taste.
It contains Vitamins A, B, C and K. Parsley is also a good sources of minerals. It contains iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, folate and phosphorus.
Parsley was grown for more than 2000 years and it was first used in medicine.
Parsley originates from Europe - Mediterranean regions of Italy and Tunisia. It is grown all over the world now.
Types of parsley
The three main types of parsley are:
- Flat leaf (Petroselinum crispum neapolitanum)
- Curly leaf (Petroselinum crispum)
- Turnip rooted (Petroselinum crispum tuberosum )
Turnip rooted types is relatively new and was cultivated only in the last 200 years. This type is gaining in popularity in the past 10 years because of its unique sweet flavour.
Flat leaf parsley types:
- Dark Green Plain Leaf
Curly leaf parsley types:
Turnip rooted parsley type:
Curly parsley leaves have a pleasant mild grassy flavour and a rich colour. Because of the curly leaf, it makes a decorative garnish for salads. Flat parsley leaves have a stronger flavour. Turnip rooted parsley has a bright and minty flavour.
Parsley grows 30 to 45 cm high and produces white or greenish flowers. It grows all year round in Australia. Italian parsley grown taller than the curly one.
Flat-leaf and Curly-leaf Parsley
How to grow parsley
Starting to grow parsley from seeds is very slow. But once established, it grows very quickly.
Parsley grows well in full sun or part shade. It thrives well in drained soil but it tolerates wet soil. It can be used in veggie gardens or as edges in the backyard.
Uses of parsley
Parsley can be used fresh or dried. Fresh parsley is recommend. The parts used are the leaves, the root and the seeds.
Flat leaf parsley is used in sauces, savoury pies, casseroles, stews, soups, meat, salads and fish. It is the main ingredient for tabbouleh and is used in preparing dips.The oil from seeds is used to flavour condiments, pickles, canned meats, sauces, and baked food. Parsley should be added towards the end of the cooking period in order to maintain its flavour, nutritional value and colour.
The leaves of fresh parsley are nutritious and constitute a natural mineral supplement. The plant encourages flushing out waste from inflamed joints via the kidneys. The leaves stimulate delayed menstruation and do contribute to alleviate the menstrual pain.
The folic acid contained in parsley helps reduce damage in the blood vessels and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in people with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease.
The parsley root is used in the treatment of rheumatic conditions, arthritis and cystitis.