PARSLEY ESSENTIAL OIL
Description: The oil is extracted from the seeds, roots and leaves. The seeds contain more essential oil than the leaves and roots, but an extraction from the entire plant is the most esteemed. Parsley oil is colourless, or a very pale yellow and it smells more bitter than the fresh plant.
The principal constituents: a.-terpinene) pinene) and a crystalline substance, apiol, with glucoside apiin, myristicine, an oleoresin and palmitic acid.
Apiol was discovered by Jovet and Homelle in 1850) and in 1890, Mourgues wrote a paper about many of the other chemical and physiological constituents of parsley.
Dangers: The physiological action of the oleoresin in parsley has not yet been fully researched, but the indications are that it acts as a distinct stimulus on the nerve centres of the brain and spine. In large quantities this can produce the opposite effect to that desired, and can be dangerous. Symptoms can be sudden low blood pressure, giddiness, deafness and slowing of the pulse. Apiol and myristicine have been implicated in miscarriage.
Parsley is mostly used in aromatherapy as a carminative, tonic and diuretic. Although it was used by the ancients to salute and help men, I have found it most useful in helping women. Echoing the findings of researches in the nineteenth and our own centuries, I find the plant a marvellous remedy for women of all ages, not only as a tonic for the nervous system, but for all the female menstrual cycle problems ¬flatulence, water retention, pain, indigestion and all other symptoms around period time. It is the supreme remedy for all of us, and we should eat parsley every day, adding it to salads, sauces and stews although it is better raw than cooked.
Make a tisane of the leaves – a large handful boiled in a litre (1 3/4 pints) mineral water for 2 minutes, then infused for 10 minutes – and drink around the time of a period. This is good for rheumatism, too: drink several times daily for a few days until symptoms have disappeared. With a little honey added, this tisane can also relieve tonsillitis.
For dysmenorrhoea, make up an oil to massage into stomach and lower back: 30 ml (2 tbsp) soya oil, 5 drops parsley, 2 drops chamomile and 1 drop tarragon.
For cystitis, mix an oil containing 30 ml (2 tbsp) almond oil, 2 drops wheatgerm, and 15 drops parsley and massage on the tummy, sacrum area and top of the hands. Baths containing parsley oils are good too for PMT and cystitis, and a little fresh juice extracted from parsley leaves should be drunk by sufferers of the latter first thing in the morning.
Fresh parsley juice made from crushed leaves is famed for its ophthalmic value. For conjunctivitis, or tired, sore or irritated eyes, put a little juice into the affected eye(s), four times a day. It will also soothe hay fever eyes. The juice can also help reduce the pain and inflammation of wounds and stings, and speed their healing.
Eating parsley is said to incease the flow of breast milk, and to sweeten the breath after eating garlic.
Parsley is very helpful for broken capillaries. Boil three sprigs of fresh parsley in 600 ml (1 pint) water for 2 minutes, then leave to steep for 5 minutes. Add a drop each of rose and calendula oils, and leave to cool. Drip on to a piece of gauze or cotton wool, apply to the face, and relax for a few minutes.
An oil containing parsley oil is helpful, too, strengthening and draining broken capillaries or bruises. Mix together 10 ml (2 tsp) soya oil, 5 ml (1 tsp) wheat germ and 1 drop each of parsley an
(See also psoriasis and varicose veins.)
Parsley is the omnipresent garnish on many restaurant dishes, and all too often it is left at the side of the plate. It would probably do more good for us than the main ingredient of the meal, as 25 g (1 oz) parsley contains more iron, for instance, than 100 g (4 oz) liver. Parsley is a rich source of vitamins A, Band C; it also contains calcium, potassium and some copper. So, use and eat parsley in salads, sauces, stuffings, marinades, in herb butters, in vegetable dishes, court bouillons and stocks. It is an essential ingredient of a bouquet garni and the chopped fines herbs in an omlette. It helps digestion of meats, fish, eggs and vegetables.
The roots of parsley were once candied, like those of fennel, to store for winter medicinal use. The leaves and stems can be used for a greenish-yellow dye. The oil from the seeds is used as a flavouring for a variety of products, from ice cream to seasonings.
d chamomile. Massage very gently into the affected areas.