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