Other Names: garden parsley
Composition: Parsley refers to the fresh or dried plant and root.
Most people recognize parsley as a garnish, but few people actually question why it is there. There are two schools of thought on this. The first is that it is a remnant of ancient custom dictating that an offering must be made to honor and appease the spirit of the life sacrificed for the meal. This wasn’t the only time parsley has been used to honor the dead. Wreath of parsley were commonly found at funerals and decorating tombs. Parsley is, in fact, strongly associated with the dead. It is steeped in superstition regarding Persephone and the underworld. It is rumored that the lengthy germination time of parsley is due to the seeds needing to travel to the underworld and back again to establish its long tap root. Native to the Mediterranean regions of Western Asia and Southern Europe, it was believed by the Ancient Greeks that parsley sprung from the blood of the hero, and son of death, Archemorus as he was consumed by serpents.
The second is that it is simply an extension of culinary use. Dried parsley is often used in cooking. Combined with thyme and bay leaves it becomes Bouquet Garni and is used to flavor soups, stews, and sauces. By itself, it lightens the taste of garlic and can also lighten the odor of fish. Crossing the culinary line, it was used medicinally as a nutritive tonic, to aid in tooth aches and bronchitis, as a cure for food poisoning, and even as an antidote to poison.
I can’t attest to its efficacy with poison but it can save you from some nasty breath. We can blame the Romans for that discovery. After feasting, and presumably before the orgies, they would nibble on parsley to get rid of any lingering mouth odors. Hence, it being used as a garnish today.
Of course there is all kinds of superstition surrounding this controversial little herb. European folklore says that only pregnant women and witches can grow parsley properly and that it should be planted on Good Friday for the best crop. Medieval Europeans believed that you could kill someone by plucking a sprig of parsley while speaking his name. Because of its association with death, many people believed that if parsley wouldn’t grow in the household garden, death would soon claim someone in that household. Some medieval farmers were so scared of parsley’s association with death and hell that they refused to grow it at all.
Parsley should not be consumed in large amounts by anyone with kidney troubles, pregnant, or breastfeeding. Parsley can help dry up a mother’s milk during the weaning process.
Interactions: none known
Dosage: 2-4 g twice daily
- prevention and treatment of kidney stones
- bladder infections
- urinary tract infections
- gastric upsets
- may help prevent cardiovascular disease
- supports bone health
- supports healthy eyes
- freshens breath
- encourage late menstruation
- prevent lice (an infusion rinse)
- treat a lice infestation (oil/externally)
- insect bites (poultice)
- swollen breasts and/or mastitis (poultice)
- bruises (poultice)
- chapped, dry, or darkened skin (poultice)
Deities – Persephone
Zodiac – Libra, Virgo and Cancer
Planet – Mercury
Element – Air
Gender – Masculine
Crystals – Red Aventurine, black obsidian and carnelian
- honoring the dead
- banishes negative or fearful energy
- communication with the spirit world
Simple Spells and Household Uses
- Use either wreaths or bundles of fresh parsley to decorate the Samhain altar.
- Wearing or eating parsley is supposed to protect against drunkenness and increase strength, vitality, and passion.
- Wear an amulet close to your skin with dried parsley in it to attract love and fertility into your life. This doesn’t have to be physical fertility but may be the seeds of new exciting ideas or opportunities.
- Place parsley seeds on your windowsill or altar to keep negative energies from entering.
- Take dried parsley and roll an oil-covered candle in it. Burn this candle during psychic or divination work for more powerful results.
- Take a bath with fresh parsley to purify and cleanse both your body and your mind. Or to communicate with spirits of the dead. It can go either way.
- Incense created with dried parsley can aid in communicating with the dead as well.
Increase your herbal education by Digging Deeper into other herbs and essential oils.
Disclaimer: Please note that I am a not medical professional and everything written here is a product of my own research. Don’t take any advice given here over that of a trained doctor. If you ingest any herbs, always make sure that you’re 100% sure that they’re safe. If you’re pregnant or giving to a child, always consult a doctor before ingesting herbs and plant you aren’t familiar with. Magickal instruction and spells are for personal entertainment purposes only. The desired result/outcome cannot be guaranteed as a result of using any magickal item, and should not be used as a replacement for medical/professional assistance.