Parsley is quite common. This wonderful green plant is very rich in vitamins. Parsley should be in every home. It is very handy to have a parsley plant in the window sill and pick a few leaves when needed.
Parsley is only grown from seeds. Germination takes anywhere from four to six weeks. If you want to speed up the process soak the parsley seeds in warm water overnight before planting. You can also get a parsley plant in most super markets now a day.
There are two main groups of parsley: flat leaf and curly leaf.
Flat leaf parsley is also known as Italian parsley. The flat leaf parsley is easier to grow as it is a stronger and more tolerant plant. The flat leaf parsley has a stronger flavor than the curly parsley.
Curly leaf parsley is often used as food garnishing. The deep green color does make dull colors of food more appealing. Parsley can be used to garnish just about any dish, soups, stews, steaks sandwiches, potatoes, and so on. You get the picture. Parsley gives your dish that little extra color and also the sense of freshness.
Chopped parsley is a wonderful ingredient in salads, sauces, vegetable dishes and egg dishes.
Parsley contains vitamin A, C and E. This herb also contains iron. Actually the parsley herb is extremely rich in iron. 100 g of raw parsley contains 6.2 mg iron. In comparison 100 g of spinach contains 2.7 mg iron.
The root is used for digestive problems.
The parsley herb is used for kidney and bladder troubles.
Parsley has breath-freshener qualities. Chewing parsley is said to reduce bad breath from for example garlic.
Warning: Avoid large quantities of parsley during pregnancy as can be irritant and toxic to some women. John Gerhard wrote in 1633 that parsley was known to bring forth a miscarriage and pregnant woman were strongly advised against eating large amounts of parsley.
Myth and Folklore
In Ancient Greece parsley was associated with mourning and death.
Old English folklore also considered parsley to be an unlucky plant. It is a known fact that parsley may be difficult to grown and it surely takes a long time to sprout.
That may be the reason that during the nineteenth century in England there was the following saying; “When parsley is sown it goes nine times to the Devil before it comes up. Only the wicked can make parsley grow.”
An old English superstition said that it was very unlucky to receive parsley as a gift, but auspicious to steal parsley.
Not all superstitions about parsley were of the unlucky nature. It was told that sowing parsley on a Sunday as the church bells were ringing was lucky. Also sowing parsley on Good Friday would ensure good fortune.
Some believed the superstition that the woman was the true master of a household where parsley grew well. “Where parsley grows in the garden, the missis is master.” Shropshire Burn, 1883.