Your cart:
You have 0 item items in your cart
View cart
Total Price
Have a question? Click here to Ask a Chef


Common Name

Latin Name Family Country/Origin
Petroselinum crispum (curled parsley) Petroselinum neapolitanum (Italian parsley) Petroselinum sativum (Hamburg parsley) Apiaceae formerly Umbelliferae Southern Europe

Unlikely as it seems, parsley was used as a funeral herb and also medicinally before it took its place as the king of the garnish.

Parsley has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years. The ancient Greeks added parsley to wreaths to hang and to wear, they placed parsley at grave sites, and would use parsley to mitigate the odorous nature of funerals.

The ancients used parsley to decorate chariots and victorious athletes, as a breath freshener and to slow the effects of alcohol. The Romans were the first to use parsley as a garnish.

It wasn't until the Middle Ages that parsley was used as a flavoring agent. It was around this time that superstitions surrounding parsley began to surface. One belief held that if you picked some parsley by the stem while saying the name of your enemy, it would result in their death. Another suggested that parsley seeds traveled to hell and back seven times before beginning to sprout.

Parsley was first found growing among rocks, which eventually led to its Greek name 'petros', meaning 'stone'. Parsley made its way to North America in the 17th century. Parsley remains one of the most popular culinary herbs and has retained its position as king of the garnish.

A member of the carrot family, parsley is a biennial herb with three main varieties. The first type is referred to as curly leaf and is often featured in France's bouquet garni (thyme and bay leaves) and fine herbs (tarragon, chives and chervil). Parsley is beautifully bright green and has a slightly bitter strong 'green' flavor. Parsley is rich in chlorophyll and as such is often used as a post-garlic or post-fish natural breath freshener.

Italian flat leaf parsley has a stronger aroma than curly leaf and with a touch less of bitterness. The third variety, Hamburg parsley, is reminiscent of celery and the root is often used instead of the leaves.

Purported Medicinal Qualities*

Parsley is rarely thought of as a medicinal herb. Normally used as a garnish, parsley is an extremely nutritious plant containing high concentrations of many vitamins and minerals, as well as other unique health properties. Though to be a cure-all by Hippocrates, recent research suggests that parsley may help prevent certain types of cancers by reducing the effects of carcinogens in the body.

Historically, parsley has been used to:

  • Aid digestion
  • Lower blood pressure
  • As a source of vitamin A, B, C and beta-carotene, iron and calcium
  • As an anti-inflammatory
  • As an anti-oxidant
  • As a source of folic acid
  • Freshen breath
  • Prevent or relieve urinary tract problems
  • Relieve insect and lice bites and stings
  • As a carminative
  • As a source of chlorophyll

*Always check with your healthcare provider before consuming, inhaling or otherwise ingesting any non-prescription or prescription natural or homeopathic substance or pharmaceutical. is not recommending, suggesting, inferring or otherwise endorsing the use of any herb or spice as a medication.

Culinary/Suggested Use

Parsley is one of the most widely used herbs in the world. Popular as a garnish, parsley will enhance almost any dish with its light, fresh flavor. Purchase fresh parsley that is bright green and not wilted. Wash it immediately before using and store unused parsley in the refrigerator in a glass of water. Fresh parsley should be added towards the end of cooking, as it will retain its flavor and color better. Dried parsley has a less intense flavor than fresh and should be purchased in small amounts because it loses its flavor quickly.  Food for thought:

  • Add chopped garlic and parsley to olive oil and brush over fish and broil or barbeque for a nice, light sauce
  • Add chopped parsley to stews, soups, stocks, eggs, vegetables, meat, etc.
  • Add parsley to pesto for extra color and flavor, or substitute basil with parsley entirely for a truly unique pesto flavor.
  • Add chopped fresh parsley to garlic bread/butter
  • Add chopped fresh parsley to green salads
  • Saute chopped parsley, garlic and lemon or orange zest and add to chicken, lamb or beef stew.
  • Add chopped parsley to olive oil, lemon juice and zest and red wine vinegar, and use as a meat, poultry or seafood marinade.

view other A-Z Spices