death, poisons & protection
Mercury, Air & Masculinity
Libra, cancer, Leo & Virgo
Lore says parsley will only grow in a household where the woman rules, and that it does well for pregnant women and witches.
Known to the Greeks and Romans, parsley has strong associations with death, poisons, and Persephone. Giving parsley as a gift is said to be unlucky. Some even say growing it in your garden invites death, but in truth, parsley is a helpful little plant with many uses.
However, a look-alike plant, fool’s parsley, is actually toxic, so any wildcrafting should be done with caution. Parsley is easily grown in the garden or found at the supermarket, so there’s little need to forage for it.
Relatively easy to grow, parsley is tolerant of most soils and is happy as long as it's in a sunny spot. It can be grown from seed, though it is known to have a low germination rate. It used to be said that if parsley wasn’t planted on a holy day, then faeries would steal the seed.
Once started, the plant will reseed itself, but it is good to refresh the seed every other year if you plan to always have parsley growing. Parsley also makes a good potted plant for a smaller garden and can even be grown in a sunny window.
There are a few varieties as well. The flat leaf seems to have a better taste, while the curly variety is used more often for garnish or as an ornamental.
I primarily grow parsley for the caterpillars! Swallowtails seem to love it.
Too much is bad for pregnant women. Parsley can stimulate the womb and cause a miscarriage or provoke menstruation, so pregnant women best avoid ingestion. Folklore also claims it will dry up a mother’s milk.
Related to carrots and dill, parsley is widely known for its culinary uses. Parsley is rich in iron, calcium, and other nutrients. It can be used in sauces, sandwiches, salads, or in pestos!
For a delicious pesto, toast half a cup of pine nuts in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes; flip halfway through. They will be lightly brown. Then, take the nuts, 4 cups of fresh herbs, 1/3 cup of olive oil, salt & pepper, and process in a blender or food processor. Add salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese to taste. Can be stored in the freezer.
Can be hung to dry, but the flavor is better fresh or when stored frozen in olive oil.
In ancient times, it was used in funeral celebrations and rituals for the dead. Bathing in hot water with parsley and sage permits one to connect and communicate with the dead. It can be smudged for similar effects.
Though most often used for magic involving spirits and the afterlife, parsley also lends itself to spells for purification and cleansing, transformations, fertility, or protection.
Medicinally, a cool parsley tea can help calm swelling or puffiness. It can also be used as hair rinse to keep lice away. Sipping parsley tea will aid in kidney and urinary problems.