History of parsley
Parsley has a long history of herbal and medicinal use. It is difficult to locate the precise origin of parsley because it has not always looked as it does presently. Originating in the Mediterranean, the Greeks were using parsley before written history. According to ancient Greek mythology, parsley came from Archemorus, and was therefore associated with death. Parsley was then hung on tombs and even worn as crowns during Greek games similar to the Olympics. Romans also used parsley in death rituals, sprinkling bodies with the herb to help squelch the smell. Despite the several uses for parsley, Greeks did not eat the herb. They would, however, plant parsley as a border to gardens and use it to feed horses. Parsley is mentioned often throughout history, and not only for its culinary and medicinal properties. The early Greeks made crowns of parsley to bestow upon the winners of the Nemena and Isthmian sports games, in the same manner that bay wreaths honored the Olympians. Parsley is used in the Hebrew celebration of Passover as a symbol of spring and rebirth. In medieval times parsley was surrounded by much superstition, one belief being that the long germination period for the seeds was due to them having to travel to hell and back seven times before sprouting. Superstitious farmers would refuse to transplant parsley and some were even too afraid to grow it at all. Long ago, parsley was believed to counteract poisons because the smell could overpower that of garlic. Although parsley was frequently used as a medicinal treatment, it was not used as a spice until the middle ages in Europe. Charlemagne is known to have had parsley grown as a spice, and even had parsley seeds used to flavor cheese. Among those medicinal purposes includes treatment for urinary tract problems, bronchitis, and digestive disorders. Modern science has proven that parsley does, in fact, have some healing qualities. Parsley is rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamins A and C, and compounds that clear toxins from the body. It also reduces inflammations, contains histamine inhibitors and is a free radical scavenger. Commercially, oil from the seeds is used to scent Oriental style perfumes and colognes. Because of the high chlorophyll content, it acts as a great breath freshener. Scientists have even isolated a compound, apiol, which is now used in medications to treat kidney ailments and kidney stones.
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Is it easy to locate the precise origin of parsley?
Who used parsley before the written history?
What did Romans spread the dead with parsley for?
Did ancient people eat parsley?
What does parsley symbolize in the celebration of Passover?
Why medieval farmers were afraid of parsley?
What was the main reason for parsley to counteract poisons?
Who was the first to use parsley as a spice?
What diseases are treated by parsley?
Why is parsley a good breath freshener?
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