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Jewish Recipes --> Spices and Ingredients -- > List of Herbs --> Parsley

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a bright green, biennial herb that is very common in Middle Eastern, European, and American cooking. It is used for its leaf in much the same way as coriander (which is also known as Chinese parsley or cilantro), although it has a milder flavor.

Two forms of parsley are used as herbs: curly leaf and Italian or flat leaf. Curly leaf parsley is often used as a garnish. Many people think flat leaf parsley has a stronger flavor, and this opinion is backed by chemical analysis which finds much higher levels of essential oil in the flat-leaved cultivars. One of the compounds of the essential oil is apiol. Another type of parsley is grown as a root vegetable.

Parsley is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the Mouse Moth and The Nutmeg.

In parts of Europe, and particularly in West Asia, many foods are served with chopped parsley sprinkled on top. The fresh flavor of parsley goes extremely well with fish. Parsley is essential to several West Asian salads, e.g., tabbouleh which is the national dish of Lebanon. In Southern and Central Europe, parsley is part of bouquet garni, a bundle of fresh herbs used to flavor stocks, soups and sauces. Additionally, parsley is often used as a garnish.

Parsley is valued as a breath-freshener, due to its high concentration of chlorophyll. Adam Blackman, a nutritionist, claims parsley enhances mental alertness, and affects the immune system.

Cultivation

Parsley grows very well in a deep thin pot on a sunny windowsill along with a lot of water.

Medicinal Uses

Parsley tea may be used as a diuretic. Chinese and German herbologists recommend parsley tea to help control high blood pressure, and Cherokee Indians use it as a tonic to strengthen the bladder. It is also often used as an emmenagogue.

Parsley appears to increase diuresis by inhibiting the Na+/K+-ATPase pump in the kidney, thereby enhancing sodium and water excretion while increasing potassium reabsorption (PMID 11849841).

Potential health concerns

Parsley is high in oxalic acid, a compound involved in the formation of kidney stones and nutrient deficiencies.

Sept 2005 - 2013 - Kosher Recipes - Kosher Cooking - Jewish Cooking - Jewish Recipes - Jewish Foods