Parsley - Petroselinum crispum

Parsley intro, appearance and characteristics

Parsley is one of the most used herbs in the Danish kitchen and it has always been a part of the home pharmacy. It is a 2-year herb with a branched root unlike parsley which shoots from a taproot. It grows between 30-60 cm high. It grows with lush green leaves and every two years it shoots a large number of leaves before setting beautiful white umbel flowers. After flowering, the structure becomes somewhat coarser and it loses its flavor. which is a shame as the parsley is so nutritious and gives fresh breath after the meal.

Parsley locations
It is mainly known as a cultivated plant and although it is self-sowing, it is only rarely found freely in nature. However, it should be mentioned that parsley grows everywhere on Christiansø. If you find it in the wild, it will usually be in places with a bit of shade and a bit of sun throughout the day.

Funny stories:
In Roman times, the Roman gladiators ate parsley. They believed that parsley gave strength, quick reflexes and cunning. In the Middle Ages, parsley was called "the devil's herb" and it was believed that the devil had taken the tenth that did not sprout. It was said of the parsley that it had to walk 7 times down to the devil and back again before it sprouted. It went so far that it was said that whoever did not sow his parsley on Good Friday would be struck by misfortune. If the parsley was sown on a Good Friday, it could be used as protection against evil, for exorcism and as an aphrodisiac.

In ancient Hellas and Rome, parsley was attributed magical powers and it was believed that one could become invisible and gain supernatural strength if one ate the seeds. The herb was dedicated to Persephone, the queen of Hades. For centuries, Greek soldiers believed that any contact with parsley before a battle signaled impending death. Because of the herb's association with death, parsley was planted on Greek tombs to bring good luck to the departed. After each Olympiad, parsley wreaths were used to honor the winners of sporting achievements. The Greeks wore such wreaths during banquets because they believed that the vapors from the wine would be absorbed by the parsley and thus protect the wearer from getting drunk.

Parsley active ingredients and their effect

Parsley is full of nutrients. The herb is rich in minerals and vitamins. It contains calcium, phosphorus, iron, iodine, potassium, copper, chromium, magnesium, manganese, nickel, selenium and zinc. It also has a high content of folic acid and vitamins A, B, C, E and K. As parsley is a good source of calcium, it can be useful for those who consume little dairy products. Some of the ancient herbalists referred to parsley as a medicine and not as a spice. It was used as a diuretic in edema. It was also used as an antipyretic.

All parts of the parsley contain an essential oil, but the composition can vary quite a bit and is, among other things, depending on where the parsley grows. The essential oil has a high content of the phenylpropanoids apiol and myristicin. The oil from the seeds of smooth-leaved parsley contains mostly apiol, while the seed oil from parsley and root parsley is dominated by myristicin.

Parsley also contains flavonoids (including apiin), a glucoside, phthalates, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, C and E, K, and minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, sulphur, copper and manganese. Five grams of parsley covers the daily requirement for vitamin A, and 25 grams of fresh herb covers the daily requirement for vitamin C. The seed-bearing capsules have a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and in the root we find mucilage substances and sugar.

Parsley also has a high content of antioxidants, vitamin C and pigments, so-called carotenoids, and it can therefore contribute to strengthening the body and building resistance against infections and diseases. Those who eat food with many antioxidants have a lower risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and cataracts. Studies suggest that parsley can limit the harmful effects of some known carcinogens. It has been shown that eating parsley reduces the incidence of mutagens caused by eating fried food. This is presumably due to the chlorophyll content.

Other substances in parsley, such as vitamin C, flavonoids and carotenes, have also been shown to inhibit the cancer-promoting properties contained in fried food. After all, we normally associate the cancer-inhibiting properties with the essential oils.

Since fresh parsley contains a good amount of iron (25 g of fresh parsley contains more iron than 200 g of pork chops) and the plant's vitamin C content strengthens iron absorption, parsley can be useful for treating anemia (anemia). The plant also contains folic acid, which is necessary for the formation of red blood cells.

Parsley stimulates the appetite by increasing activity in the stomach and the secretion of digestive fluids. This leads to an improvement in both digestion and nutrient absorption, something that makes parsley an excellent tonic, especially during convalescence after illness. Parsley can also reduce intestinal gas production and relieve colic and other indigestion.

The medicinal effect is largely due to the content of the phenylpropanoids apiol and myrisiticin in the essential oils, which act as an antiseptic, diuretic, antispasmodic, fever reducer, menstrual inducer, appetite stimulant and increase the blood supply to the digestive tract, uterus and mucous membranes. The flavonoids are anti-inflammatory antioxidants.

Vitamin A is known as the vitamin of the eyes, skin and mucous membranes. The content of vitamin A in parsley is so high that just 5 g of parsley covers the daily requirement. It has been used throughout the ages to treat stress-related stomach ulcers and serious infections, it has also been shown to have a positive effect in connection with cancer. It strengthens the skin and the mucous membranes of the intestines, and it is necessary for the production of dye in the eye (visual purpura), which is important for night vision. It is also necessary for normal fetal development. As a curiosity to the latter, it can be mentioned that birth control pill users have less need for vitamin A

The B vitamin content in parsley can be described as a B vitamin complex, as it contains most of the B vitamins. However, it does not contain B 12. The B vitamins are synergistic and should be taken together for the greatest possible effect, which makes parsley a good alternative to B vitamins in pill form.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant and oxidizes very easily. Vitamin C is not one of the strongest antioxidants, but it enhances the effect of the other antioxidants.

It has many important functions in the body. It increases the absorption of iron and is involved in the formation of bones, teeth and connective tissue. It promotes wound healing, helps the skin to maintain elasticity and is necessary for the formation of stress hormones. It strengthens the immune system and prevents cancer. Tobacco, stress, P pills and alcohol increase the need for vitamin C.

Vitamin K is a vital factor in the blood's ability to coagulate. Patients on blood-thinning medication should not take this vitamin without medical supervision. Pregnant women should ensure that they get enough of this vitamin.

Iron is very important for our well-being. It has an influence on the immune system and body temperature regulation. Contributes to the production of hemoglobin and thus has an influence on oxygen metabolism. Paradoxically, too much iron can lead to anemia.

Calcium strengthens the heart, blood vessels, bones and teeth. It is important for wound healing and is necessary for the muscles' ability to contract. Calcium is also important for blood pressure regulation and the blood's ability to coagulate. The presence of vitamin D is necessary to be able to absorb calcium. Calcium also has an influence on hormone balance.

Potassium is necessary for normal muscle and nerve function, and normal heart rhythm. It participates in a number of enzyme functions as well as protein turnover. Potassium is very important for acid/base balance and fluid balance.

Copper has an important role in energy production and fat metabolism and participates in the metabolism of hormones. It has an antioxidant function and is thus important for the immune system. It also has an important function in protection against premature aging and participates in the production of melanin, which gives color to skin and hair. Copper also contributes to cell protection and to maintaining the elasticity of the vessel walls.

Chromium is a vital trace mineral. It can improve diabetics' production of insulin. Contributes to normal fetal growth and has a positive effect on the circulation

Nickel is a vital trace mineral that plays an important role in iron absorption and cell protection. Excessive intake of nickel can cause contact allergies and is a carcinogen. Let the water run a little when you need to draw drinking water, the nickel level may be inappropriately high in the first tap water.

Selenium increases resistance to viruses and bacteria and prevents cancer. Selenium works with zinc, A, B, C and E vitamins to protect the body against free oxygen radicals. It inhibits the body's ability to develop cardiovascular diseases. It delays the aging process and prevents rancidity of the cells and cell damage.

Zinc is found in all body cells and in all body fluids. It is one of the minerals that we have difficulty getting enough of, which i.a. is due to poor quality food and a daily excretion of up to 2 grams. There is no possibility of depot formation in the body. Normal diet only covers a little over half of the recommended zinc requirement. Zinc is of great importance for mental well-being & psychological balance. Deficiency can cause problems from irritability, low stress threshold to depression and anorexia and it can also mean that you lose the desire to eat.

Easy recipes


Crushed parsley leaves can be used as a soothing and antiseptic poultice on sprains, insect bites, scrapes and wounds.

For the skin

Parsley can be put in water overnight and then you can use the water as a cleanser for the skin. However, you should not use grated parsley root or parsley leaves in face masks, as the essential oil in parsley can cause inflammation, swelling and rashes if it comes into direct contact with the skin.


To clean the body of waste substances """"from the inside"""" by e.g. oily skin and pimples, in addition to the external treatment, you can also drink an herbal tea made from parsley and other cleansing herbs. The pressed juice of fresh parsley can be used topically for toothaches, and the seeds or leaves soaked in water can be used as a hair rinse to remove dandruff and head lice. And then it gives the hair a nice shine.

Easy food recipes

Parsley pesto

50 g. Dry cheese, e.g. parmesan, western cheese, comté, prima donna, or cheddar.
1 bunch fresh parsley
1 dl olive oil
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 cloves of garlic

Rinse the parsley, chop it roughly and mix it with the other ingredients. The oil can be replaced by water if you want the pure taste of herbs.

Storage and durability
In a storage tin or glass in the fridge for 3 – 5 days.

Creamy parsley - oyster soup

4 large potatoes
1 tbsp. butter
1 large bunch of broad-leaf parsley
1 onion
6 slices of quality bread
2 dl whipping cream 38%
2 stalks of celery
12 oysters
1.5 kg of mussels
2 cloves of garlic

Here's how you do it:
Rinse and sort the mussels. Open the oysters and strain all the moisture into a bowl.
Coarsely chop the onion and celery. Peel the potatoes and cut into cubes, peel the garlic and pick the leaves from the parsley, save both stems and leaves.
The mussels are steamed in 3 dl of boiling water, in a pot with a lid, until they open (2-3 min.). Strain the mussel soup through a cloth.
Onions, celery, garlic and potato cubes are sautéed in butter without colouring. Add clam soup, oyster water and the stalks from the parsley, add water to just cover. Let it simmer until the potatoes are completely tender.
Just before serving, add cream and blend the soup with the raw parsley leaves. Return to the pan, taste and add the mussels. Heat through carefully, it must not boil or it will turn brown.
The bread slices are cut free from the crust, cut out a bit neatly, smeared with a little butter and baked in the oven until crispy and golden.

Oysters are placed in warm soup plates and a little soup is poured over.
The crispy quality bread is provided