The medicinal power of parsley root

Root parsley is a type of parsley with a thick, edible root. It is grown more for its root than for its leaves, which are otherwise edible. Root parsley looks a bit like parsnips. It is cream-colored and long but smaller than parsnip. This plant is mainly grown for its roots in Central and Northern Europe and tastes slightly like parsley. Just like regular parsley leaves, it has all kinds of medicinal aspects. Root parsley has its own specific taste. The taste is most similar to parsley leaves and that is of course not surprising. The bite is that of a parsnip. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.

Contents:

  • Naming root parsley
  • Free radical scavenger
  • Ingredients: parsley root
  • History of parsley root
  • Medicinal properties of parsley root
  • Parsley root in Ayurveda
  • Root parsley in the vegetable garden
  • Eating tips for parsley root

 

Naming root parsley

The Latin name of this plant is Petroselinum crispum subsp. Tuberosum . It is also called parsley root. Petroselinum is of course the Latin name for parsley plants. Crispum means ‘curly’ which refers to the leaf that grows curled, just like kale. Tuberosum is the addition that underground growing vegetables such as potatoes receive. In Dutch we know alternative names for this plant: parsley root and tuberous parsley. In English they say ‘parsley root’. In Germany the name ‘Wurzelpetersilie’ is used.

Root parsley is a real Dutch vegetable that we have now somewhat forgotten. People started eating this root in Hamburg in the 16th century. It was then widely eaten as a winter vegetable in Germany, Poland, Belgium and the Netherlands.

 

Free radical scavenger

A research team affiliated with the University of Novia Sad in Serbia and Montenegro concluded in 2007 that parsley root is an excellent scavenger of free radicals. Lipid perioxidation, the deterioration of fatty substances in the body, was also reduced by parsley root. Various extracts from the leaves and root parsley were used in the study. Both extracts appeared to have approximately the same effect against lipid perioxidation and free radicals. This is important to know because free radicals can cause all kinds of lifestyle diseases by starting inflammation at the cellular level, which is triggered by lipid perioxidation. These inflammations burden the immune system and, if they occur in too large numbers, can lead to a range of diseases, depending on the constitution of each person.

Parsley root contains proteins, lots of calcium, iron, carotene and vitamins B2 and C.

 

Ingredients: parsley root

Root parsley contains almost all minerals and vitamins, but they are all present in small percentages. These low percentages per 100 grams are around 10% of the RDI and are not a problem in this case. This is because the effect of vitamins and minerals actually reinforce each other. This makes root parsley a very healthy vegetable. Root parsley contains all the important amino acids, many proteins and even healthy fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6, albeit in low percentages.

History of parsley root

Parsley root originally comes from the Mediterranean region. In ancient Greece it was considered a sacred plant. The ancient Romans were also crazy about this vegetable. They brought the vegetable to the rest of Europe. Root parsley was widely grown as a winter vegetable, especially in Poland, Germany and the Netherlands.

Medicinal properties of parsley root

Parsley root was used by the ancient Greeks to tackle liver problems. The gallbladder also benefits from this long white root vegetable. It is a diuretic vegetable that purifies the blood. Furthermore, the root, together with the leaves and seeds, is used to combat flatulence, indigestion, several types of cramps and menstrual disorders.

Parsley root in Ayurveda

Dried parsley root and essential oil of this plant are used in Ayurveda, traditional Indian medicine, for its medicinal properties. In Ayurveda, medicines based on this vegetable are used internally for a large number of diseases: indigestion, menstrual cramps, constipation due to cough and cold, asthma, premenstrual syndrome, irregular menstruation, urinary tract infections, kidney and bladder stones, flatulence, intestinal colic, conjunctivitis, eyelid inflammation , earache, toothache and to stimulate the appetite. External indications of parsley root are: itching, insect bites, swelling and it is rubbed on the skin as an insect repellent.

Root parsley in the vegetable garden

Root parsley is rarely available in stores; the fastest way to obtain it is probably to grow it yourself. It grows well in unfertilized sandy soil. Fertilizing is not good for this plant. In our climate it is best to sow this plant in March or April. In the beginning it can grow in normal semi-dry soil, but when it comes to maturity, root parsley requires a lot of water. There are several

Raw vegetable mix with grated parsley root, grated carrot and grated beets plus a little vinaigrette / Source: Cyclonebill, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-2.0)

varieties of root parsley; there is the fakir and Berliner Eagle breeds. Fakir is ready for harvest earlier. Both types can be stored well, just like regular carrots. You can store them in the freezer compartment or in the vegetable drawer. In the past they were kept in a box with sand; that works fine too. It is better not to plant root parsley next to lettuce, but it grows better next to tomatoes, asparagus and broad beans.

Eating tips for parsley root

You can boil and puree the parsley root to make a cream soup together with cream. You can mix root parsley puree with butter; that is an excellent basis for a meal. This vegetable is also delicious grated in a salad. The taste of cooked parsley root is approximately between that of sweet parsnip and celeriac. You can add cubes of root parsley to the soup. In small slices it makes an excellent stir-fried carrot. You can easily mix root parsley with celeriac, parsnip or potato to create a mixed mix of basic vegetables. Root parsley tastes slightly spicier than potato.

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