Curly Parsley (a variety of parsley) is a perennial herbaceous plant, of Mediterranean origin.
Its nourishing properties are first documented during the Roman Era, when it was an indispensable ingredient of various juices that gladiators used. The Romans were also using parsley stems to make crowns, which they thought will protect them from excess alcohol consumption, especially during their feasts.
It had a similar use in modern eras, when the roughs of Athens` past were going around the taverns, binge drinking while wearing some parsley on their ear.
During the Homeric Age it was used for feeding war horses, because it was believed it will strengthen and benefit their health.
Curly parsley is a rich source of minerals, and has the biggest concentration of iron than any other green vegetable. It is also a great source of vitamins A and B, while it may have up to 3 times more vitamin C than citrus fruit.
Curly parsley acts beneficially towards the kidneys, bladder, liver, uterus and vascular system. It has an anti-cancer effect, because it is high on anti-oxidants – which act against carcinogens.
It has a proactive effect on arthritis, and helps with gland inflammation.
We can also make an infusion of curly parsley, in case we cannot consume a lot of it fresh in the form of a salad.
Curly parsley root infusion acts as a strong diuretic and enhances sweating, increases appetite and helps strengthening our body. It can also help to pass kidney stones and with cystitis.
Its leaves have a soothing effect, when used topically on bruises and insect bites.
Curly parsley juice mixed with some denatured alcohol can be used to massage and offer relief against nerve and arthritic pains.
Curly parsley can be used with everything! It can be found on most recipes, since its light, fresh and discrete taste is compatible with most ingredients.
There are many varieties, the more common being curly and flat leaf.
It is an excellent aromatic herb, with high concentration of antioxidants (mainly flavonoids, apigenin and luteolin) and vitamins A and C (with a concentration almost 3 times that of a lemon).
When combined with lentils, the high concentration of C vitamin helps to absorb iron.
It is an essential ingredient in salads, soups, risottos, mashed potatoes, omelets, legumes, meatballs and burgers and combines heavenly with olive oil.
Its flavor can withstand prolonged cooking, so it can be added from the beginning of food preparation.
Place a pot of curly parsley at the kitchen windowsill, provided it is well lit. It can easily be grown outside, since it is frost hardy. It requires a lot of watering during the summer months.
Use finely chopped leaves and stems.
TIP: the fresh taste of curly parsley can eliminate bad breath, especially after onion and garlic consumption.