Herbivore: All About Parsley

This herb is more than just a garnish.
Curly parsley

Curly parsley

Curly parsley is more than a garnish to pretty up a dinner plate. It contains vitamins and antioxidants that can help maintain bone strength and good eyesight.

Curly parsley is more than a garnish to pretty up a dinner plate. It contains vitamins and antioxidants that can help maintain bone strength and good eyesight.

Who would have thought that parsley was once associated with death, heroism, and even the gates of heaven? This unassuming herb, so ubiquitous that supermarkets have been known to give it away, has a long and storied history. 

Herbal Lore

In early times, parsley wasn't used as a culinary herb but instead was reserved for more sacred purposes. The ancient Greeks were so keen on the herb that at the Isthmian games they crowned the winner with parsley and made parsley wreaths for the tombs of their dead. In fact, the Greeks believed that parsley had originated from the blood of the hero Archemorus. The ancient Romans associated parsley with death, while early Christians connected it with the apostle Peter. Though several types of parsley exist, most of us are familiar with the plain- or curly-leafed varieties.

Medicinal Uses

Parsley is high in iron and vitamins A, B and C. In folk medicine it's believed to relieve gout due to its diuretic properties. Herbalists commonly use parsley to treat allergies and sinus infections.

Culinary Uses

Widely used in American, European and Middle Eastern cooking, parsley is well known as a garnish on potatoes, rice, fish, chicken and in stews. It's also an essential part of the bouquet garni, the traditional European bundle of herbs used in stocks, soups and sauces. Parsley is a key ingredient in Middle Eastern dishes like tabbouleh.

Growing Parsley

Parsley seeds take three to four weeks to germinate, so it's a good idea to start the seedlings indoors. Once the seedlings have reached an inch high or so, they will need to be thinned out, as parsley plants will cover quite a bit of ground. Water well in dry weather and provide shelter from too much direct heat and light. Plain-leaved parsley varieties withstand cold temperatures better than the curly-leaved type.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Growing Parsley

Parsley is more than just a garnish. Get planting tips on how to add this vitamin-packed herb to your garden.

Herbivore: A Closer Look At Thyme

This popular herb is known for many uses beyond adding flavor to soups and stews.

Herbivore: Get a Dose of Good Luck by Growing Oregano

A closer look at the history, lore and uses for oregano.

Herbivore: The Rosemary Report

This fresh-smelling herb adds bright flavor to chicken and can even soothe a cough.

Herbivore: Love It or Hate It, Cilantro Has Staying Power

This versatile herb pairs well with fish, chicken and other meats.

Herbivore: The Scoop on Sage

Learn why sage has been one of the most sought-after herbs for thousands of years.

Rosemary-Lemon All-Purpose Cleaner

Clean green using natural ingredients straight from the garden.

A Garden for All Times

A historic garden has a blending of the old and the new.

All About Maples

Randall Hitchin shows several types of maples and how to properly care for them.

All About Sunflowers

Take a new look at sunflowers, including some exciting and unexpected varieties.

On TV

Flea Market Flip

7:30am | 6:30c

Flea Market Flip

8:30am | 7:30c

Flea Market Flip

9:30am | 8:30c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Lakefront Bargain Hunt

8pm | 7c

Caribbean Life

9:30pm | 8:30c

Mexico Life

10pm | 9c

Mexico Life

10:30pm | 9:30c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

Caribbean Life

12am | 11c

Caribbean Life

12:30am | 11:30c

Mexico Life

1am | 12c

Mexico Life

1:30am | 12:30c

House Hunters

2:30am | 1:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.