FRESH HERBS: PARSLEY (Petroselinum crispum)
PLANT CYCLE: Biennial
SOUL REQUIREMENTS: Rich, moist , well-drained, pH5.5-6.5
LIGHT REQUIREMENTS: Full sun to partial shade
PARTS USED: Roots, leaves, and seeds.
OF HISTORICAL NOTE: Ancient Romans wore parsley garlands around their necks at banquets in the hope that the herb would soak up wine fumes and keep them from getting drunk. Europeans during the Middle Ages wore parsley on Good Friday to ward off evil spirits.
MEDICINAL USES: One of parsley’s greatest attributes is its high vitamin content. It is full of vitamins A, B-complex, and C, as well as iron, calcium, and potassium. The root, which is high in potassium, can be used as a diuretic, laxative, and eyewash. Eaten raw or taken as a tea or tincture, the leaves can help alleviate bladder problems and freshen breath.
GROWING YOUR OWN: Parsley does well in most soil conditions in full sun to partial shade. Parsley takes a long time to germinate (typically 6 weeks). To speed up the process, soak the seeds in water for 24hours before sowing. Sow seeds directly into the ground in early spring, when the soil has reached 50F. Water the seeds frequently to help speed germination. Thin plants to about 8 inches apart.
HARVESTING AND STORING: Fresh parsley is much more potent than dried. Snip it as needed throughout the summer. To dry it, hang the plant, or lay the aerial parts on a screen in the shade. Crumble the dry leaves by hand and store in a well-sealed glass container.
CAUTIONS: Do not give parsley to pregnant cats; use sparingly for nursing felines. Do not give parsley to cats diagnosed with kidney disease.
THE INCREDIBLE EDIBLE HERB: Because parsley is packed with nutrition, and because fresh parsley is so much more potent than tried, you may simply want to serve up your cat’s meal with a parsley garnish. Parsley has a “green” taste that most cats enjoy, and may eat it with no encouragement from you.
DIURETIC: Promotes the production and secretion of urine. Used to treat water retention, cystitis, overweight, edema and types of skin infection. Examples: Parsley, cleavers, buchu, dandelion, nettles, cornsilk, horsetail, yarrow.
As a fresh herb Parsley you can grow yourself, harvest yourself, or buy a plant from your local supermarkt. Freshly cut or freshly dug herb conatins everything the plant has to offer, from enzymes, vitamins, and minerals to essential oils and exotic chemicals. Parsley as a fresh herb can be chopped, shredded, minced, or grated and added to your pets food with excellent results.
FRESH HERB PARSLEY PUREE
Recommended as daily tonic for all cats and dogs. Harvest or buy fresh Parsley (I use flat leaf Italian Parsley) and rinse well. Start with a small quantity and add them to your blender if you have no pestle and mortar. If you have a heavy pestle and mortar it will easier to use. If you have several pets to feed or want to make a large amount, limit the puree’s ingredients to herbs only. Mind you I make the herb puree first then add to my cats food.
Puree the ingredients well and add them in small amounts to your pet’s food. If your cat or dog is reluctant to accept new flavours, start with a pinch and increase the amount gradually until you are feeding 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight three or four times week.
With Daisy May who weighs approx 12lbs she has at least 1 teaspoon of finely chopped parsley in her conventional food at least four times a week. Also including two or three fresh food meals per week depending. Also including grated raw carrot and parsley, Daisy always licks her bowl clean when she has her fresh food prepared for her.
Medicinal teas are another way and more effective, to use filtered spring water to which you add a pinch of organic rock sea salt just before serving.
Recommended for all cats and dogs has a urinary tonic and to improve the effectiveness of herbs given for parasite prevention.
Add 1 large bunch (the size sold in supermarkets) of fresh flat leaf Italian or Curled Parsley to a pan containing 1 quart boiling water. Cover and let stand 3 or 4 hours, then return the covered pan to the stove and simmer over the lowest heat setting for 1 hour. Remove from the heat, let cool, and strain.
Add 1 teaspoon tea per 10 pounds of body weight to your pet’s dinner daily. For long-term storage, freeze the tea in ice cube trays, then transfer to a sealed plastic bag for storage.
This attenuated infusion of parsley is appropriate for long-term use with cats and dogs. Parsley water is part of a popular anti-parasite program.