All varieties of parsley are hardy biennials but are usually treated as annuals. They vary in height from dwarf to 60 cm/2 ft high. The most familiar varieties are curly-leaved parsley and the French or plain-leaved parsley. Curly parsley is perhaps the most widely used because it makes an attractive garnish. Grow curly parsley for decoration and French parsley for flavor. Parsley is a good source of vitamins and minerals such as potassium, Iron, vitamin C and vitamin A.
Parsley has been used as carminative, gastro tonic, diuretic, antiseptic of urinary tract, anti-urolithiasis, anti-dote and anti-inflammatory and for the treatment of amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, gastrointestinal disorder, hypertension, cardiac disease, urinary disease, otitis, sniffle, diabetes and also various dermal disease in traditional and folklore medicines.
Wide range of pharmacological activity including antioxidant, hepatoprotective, brain protective, anti-diabetic, analgesic, spasmolytic, immunosuppressant, anti-platelet, gastroprotective, cytoprotective, laxative, estrogenic, diuretic, hypotensive, antibacterial and antifungal activities have been exhibited for this plant in modern medicine.
The amount of parsley to use in savory dishes is a matter of individual taste but as a general rule it can be added generously. Chopped leaves can go into green salads, soups, fry parsley in oil until crisp and serve as an accompaniment to fish dishes. Hot parsley tea is a tonic and diuretic. It is believed to help those with rheumatism, and is of use to those who are wanting to remove excess fluid from their body tissues.
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