(Ocimum kilimandscharicum x ocimum basilicum – Dark Opal)
Parsley is a very well-known herb and most people have been in contact with it either as a flavouring or as a garnish on their food. It is a worldwide favourite and is a lovely addition to salads, soups and dips. There are two main varieties, the best known moss curled parsley (featured in the top picture) and the flat leaf or Italian parsley. Both of them has the same uses but Italian parsley has a more intense flavour and more robust growth.
Parsley is very well known as natures multivitamin, a half cup of parsley contains more beta carotene than 2 carrots, more vitamin C than two oranges, 20 times more iron than a serving of liver and more calcium than 500ml of milk. It is advised to take it fresh in order to get most of the nutrients. It can be eaten in salads or sandwiches or can be made into a tea by adding one cup boiling water to Â¼ cup chopped parsley. Stand 5 min and strain. It is used as a diuretic and to dissolve kidney stones and cystitis. It relieves painful prostate symptoms and urinary retention caused by an enlarged prostate. Parsley is very often used by herbalists to treat anaemia due to its high iron content that is easily absorbed by the body unlike other iron supplements, it is also an excellent detoxifier and blood cleanser. It helps to clear acne and promotes new growth of skin cells to repair damaged skin and reduce the formation of wrinkles. It acts as a tonic and gives you a boost in energy and mental vitality. Eat a fresh leave to freshen the breath and reduce odour after eating garlic.
Growing parsley is easy! All it needs is full sun or at least 7 hours of sun a day and well drained, well composted soil. It will thrive with a weekly deep watering to stimulate deep rooting and it can be grown in pots but will need daily watering then. In its second year it will send up its flowering spike which can be cut to stimulate more growth. If left to flower the plant will die after flowering. With this list of uses, you cannot call your herb garden a true herb garden without PARSLEY!!