Herb of the Week - Intro, Parsley & How to Make an Herbal Tea

Intro TGIF! Time to start a new segment to my blog. I took an extensive Herbology course a couple years ago and would like to share that knowledge on a weekly basis. And, teaching is the best way of learning and for me, retaining information. So, every Friday or so, I will do a post on a different herb; how they are used culinary and medicinal purposes. I hope you enjoy!

Parsley

IMG_0210

I picked parsley to begin as it is probably the most common known herb as it usually accompanies steak or fish on a plate as a restaurant. This bit of green adds to the eye appeal of the plate to get your salivary glands going before you begin to eat, but you can also eat the parsley! It is an excellent breath freshener and palate cleanser to get you ready for dessert. Parsley, or Petroselinum crispumm, is very high in Vitamin C and iron and also contains vitamin A, several B vitamins, potassium and calcium.

There are several types of parsley - curly leaf, flat leaf (Italian) and Parsnip-rooted. I typically only use flat leaf myself as it has more flavor than the curly leaf. I've chopped it up to add to homemade salad dressing, or just thrown it in with the other leaf lettuce to give salads more flavor pops. It can be used in pesto recipes and also by itself, as a tea. Parsley tea has been used for kidney and bladder issues as it is a diuretic and blood purifier.

Expectant mothers and nursing mothers take note - parsley should not be consumed in large amounts as it is an Emmenagogue. Emmenagogues are herbs used to correct the female reproductive system to stimulate menstruation and promote normal menstruation, so they could cause an early birth or dry up your milk.

Parsley can be dried or frozen to be used when not in season.

How to Make an Herbal Tea:

Using dried flowers, leaves or seeds: Place 1 teaspoon of your herb in a cup of boiling water and let steep for 5 minutes.

Using fresh flowers or leaves: Crush and bruise 1 tablespoon of your herb in a cup and add boiling water and let steep for 5 minutes.

Using roots, stems or bark: Crush and bruise if fresh, then add to water, boil for 3 minutes and let steep for 2 minutes.

Herbal teas are great replacements for sodas and juice as well as having medicinal properties.

I hope you enjoyed this new segment. Let me know what you think!

With love, hugs and smiles,

Carolyn

 

References used:

Lust, John. The Herb Book. New York: Benedict Lane Publications, 1974.

Kowalchick, Claire & Hylton, William H. Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs. Pennsylvania: Rodale Press, Inc., 1998

Ritchason, Jack, N.D.. The Little Herb Encyclopedia. Utah: Woodland Health Books, 1995

Herbal Healer Academy Herbology Correspondence Course by Marijah McCain, N.D.