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Earthnotes
Herb Library

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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.



PARSLEY
(Petroselinum crispum)
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Also see: Parsley Piert

CAUTION! Should not be used medicinally if pregnant, have spasmodic menstrual pains, peptic ulcers or kidney disease.

NOTE: Flat-leaved Italian variety produces the best flavor.

CONTAINS: Vitamins B, C, E, calcium, iron, manganese, potassium.

PROPAGATION: By seed. Biennial. There's an old saying that parsley seed goes the the devil and back again before it sprouts. However, germination can be improved by soaking the seeds for a day or two in water that has a tiny amount of seaweed fertilizer in it. OR, pour boiling water over seeds in a bowl and allow to soak overnight.
NEEDS: Full sun to light partial shade and rich, moisture-retentive well-draining soil. The vegetable garden is a good spot. A most desirable variety to grow is Giant Italian parsley (P.c. 'Neapolitanum'), a large flat leafed variety. There are also curly varieties and a variety which is grown primarily for its roots.
HARVEST: Pick leaves on stems of first-year plants from the outside towards the center as with celery. Freeze or dry, or freeze-dry the leaves. The root can be dug in fall.

USES

MEDICINAL:
Roots and seeds are used.
High in vitamins and minerals; also a source of manganese.
Diuretic.
Strong tonic for the heart, kidney and liver.
Parsley tea has been used for bladder problems.
Has been used as a blood cleanser and for anemia and iron deficiency.
Has been used for edema, dropsy, urinary stones, flatulence, intestinal colic, anorexia (to stimulate the appetite), jaundice, weakness of the bladder, migraine, asthma, abdominal cramps, dyspepsia, skin problems, rheumatism, gout, arthritis, and upset stomach.
Has been used for conjunctivitis.
Has been used post-childbirth to involute the uterus and also to increase milk flow in nursing mothers.

CULINARY:
Used fresh or dried as a healthful seasoning.

COSMETIC:
In the herbal bath it is refreshing and a skin tonic.

OTHER:
Lures beneficial insects to the garden.

COMPANION:
Carrots and tomatoes.

LANGUAGE:
Merriment.



PARSLEY PIERT
a.k.a Breakstone parsley
(Aphanes arvensis syn Alchemilla arvensis)
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CONTAINS: Tannins.

An annual herb which is found on stony ground and along old walls throughout Britain, Europe and western Asia. Was once used as a salad herb and pickled for winter use.

PROPAGATION: By seed sown in dry weather.
NEEDS: Well-drained soil in sun or part shade. Tolerates stony or gravelly soils and both types of pH. Is grown as a crop.
HARVEST: Leaves are taken while plant is flowering and used fresh or dried in infusions, liquid extracts and tinctures. Can also be frozen.

USES

MEDICINAL:
Astringent and has diuretic effects.
Soothes irritated or inflamed tissues, especially the urinary mucosa.
Has been used internally for kidney and bladder stones or gravel and associated problems.
Has often been combined with Agathosma or Cytisus scoparius for kidney and bladder complaints and with Althea officinalis to increase the demulcent effect for kidney stones.

DOSE: TRADITIONAL DOSAGES FOR PROFESSIONAL NOTE ONLY
All others buy commercial preparations and follow directions carefully.
2-4 grams, dried, 3 times daily. Or: 60 grains 3 times daily.
INFUSION = 1 to 2 tsps of dried herb to 1 C. water just off the boil; steep 10-15 minutes. Take 1 C. three times daily.
TINCTURE = 2-4 mls 3 times daily.




©2001 by Ernestina Parziale, CH

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