Parsley with its deep green, frilled or curly leaves, is one of the best-known and most widely used herbs, as much for garnishing as for cooking. Neapolitan parsley whose flat leaves are reminiscent of cilantro, is less decorative, has a sharper flavor, and is easier to grow.
A native of the eastern Mediterranean region, parsley was first recorded in a Greek herbal as long ago as the third century BC. It was used in ancient Rome in cooking and for ceremonial purposes.
The plant grows to a height of up to 18 inches, with a spread of 10 inches. The stems, which are also aromatic, are green and supple, the leaves curled or flat. The flowers, which appear in the plant's second year, are yellow-green.
Outdoors, seed is best sown in late spring, summer, and earlyfall in warm soil where it is to grow. Soaking the seed in lukewarm water speeds germination, while pouring boiling water along the seed drill both warms the soil and provides the necessary moisture. In winter, the plants should be protected by cloches or dug up and potted for overwintering indoors.
How to Use
Parsley has its culinary uses in nearly every category of food, in preparing soups, sauces, in marinades, and with meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables. Often a sprig of parsley is all that is needed to present a dish attractively.
Use the crushed leaves or their extracted juice for rejuvenating poultices or lotions, to make infusions for cleansers and creams to help support oily skins or skins with thread veins. May have anti-dandruff and deodorizing properties.
Health-wise,parsley is rich in vitamins A and C and contains substances that can help to reduce allergic reactions. An internal dose can help with menstrual cramps, inflammation of the bladder and prostate, while in the stomach it can reduce colic and indigestion. The stimulant effect on the uterus makes this herb one to avoid during pregnancy, but once the baby is born it may help stimulate lactation and milk flow.
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Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 tea bag for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the pot, cover and let steep for 2-4 minutes. Pour into your cup; add milk and natural sweetener to taste.
Iced tea brewing method: (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 5 tea bags into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea itself. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into the serving pitcher straining the tea bags. Add ice and top-up with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste.
Avoid in pregnancy.
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