Dietribes: Parsing Down Parsley 

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• Parsley's popularity dates back to antiquity, where the herb was an integral part of life for both the Greeks and Romans. It was used in prized crowns for races, and given as a strengthening feed to Homeric chariot horses. 

• Though parsley was considered an "herb of life" at funerals, superstition dictated that it must never be transplanted or there would be a death in the family.

• In Medieval times, herbs represented virtues: sage was strength, rosemary was love, thyme was courage, and parsley was comfort. Simon and Garfunkel gave a nod to these herbs and their traits in their song "Scarborough Fair."

• Have kidney stones, gastrointestinal disorders, constipation, jaundice, intestinal gas, indigestion, colic, diabetes, cough, asthma, fluid retention, osteoarthritis, anemia, high blood pressure, prostate conditions, or spleen conditions? Parsley may be for you!

• It can also be used as an aphrodisiac, and as a breath freshener. Or maybe the aphrodisiac part is just a side-effect of fresh breath!

• Some people apply parsley directly to cracked or chapped skin, bruises, tumors, insect bites, lice, parasites, or to stimulate hair growth. But if you'd rather ingest it and not eat it raw, you can also make parsley juice.

• As we all know, in foods and beverages, parsley is widely used as a garnish, condiment, food, and flavoring. It does it all!??

• In manufacturing, parsley seed oil is used as a fragrance in soaps, cosmetics, and perfumes.

• Just don't get confused and start thinking the Common Parsley Frog looks tasty …

• What do you Flossers garnish with parsley? It's a favorite of mine, I put it on most everything! Does anyone grow it in their gardens? (I wish I could!)

Hungry for more? Venture into the Dietribes archive.

‘Dietribes’ appears every other Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna Beyenbach. You might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.

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February 22, 2012 - 7:17am
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