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Produce Facts: Parsley

Dec 31, 2015
parsleyParsley is a popular culinary and medicinal herb native to the Mediterranean and has bright green, fern-like leaves that grow from a centrally positioned green stem.

When used in cuisine, it adds flavor to a wide range of dishes such as salads, soups, stews, tomato sauces, meat and fish.

Italian parsley has strong flavor and flat leaves. Curly parsley is bitter and it has wrinkled or creased leaves. Hamburg parsley develops large roots six times bigger than the plant. Its root can be eaten but is less popular than its leaves.

Gardeners like to companion plant parsley near roses to keep them healthier and to intensify their smell, and near tomatoes because parsley attracts bees, the main pollinators of tomatoes. 
 
When used for medicinal purposes, its benefits are many:
  • Parsley is rich source of vitamins K, C, A and vitamins in the B group. It also contains dietary fibers and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron.
  • Parsley was used in the ancient Rome as ingredient of salads, to eliminate effects of hangover and as ornament in the form of garlands for the head.
  • Chew parsley to eliminate bad breath, especially after eating garlic.
  • Parsley has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties too. Leaves can be used in treatment of superficial wounds, while juice squeezed from a root reduces swelling. (Caution: those pregnant should avoid parsley because it may induce contractions of the uterus and may result in miscarriage.)
  • Tea made of parsley improves blood circulation.
  • Parsley is included in soaps and body lotions because it’s good for dry skin.

Important Facts

  • Store from 32-34° F and above 95% humidity.
     
  • Parsley should have good green color and be free from seed stems and yellow or discolored wilting leaves.

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