Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Parsley: A Skin Care Product

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Parsley is one of those multi-faceted herbs that doesn't "get any respect" as Rodney Dangerfield would say. Most people think of it as simply an edible garnish, flavouring herb and breath freshener which has been adapted by the restaurant industry almost globally. In fact, it is so highly thought of in culinary circles that it is no wonder the classic French "garnished bouquet" used to flavour soups, stocks and stews is:

- two parts parsley
- one part bay leaf
- one part thyme

These herbs are either tied together, wrapped in cheesecloth or placed inside a tea ball before adding to the pot. When added this way, removal is easy. Personally, when I make vegetable soup, I chop the parsley finely and add it right to the pot.

(Don't forget bay leaves are indigestible, have sharp edges, and are tough to chew; so, be sure not to lose any bay leaves in the pot.)

No matter how familiar people are with cooking with parsley, most people don't think of using parsley in the bathroom. For a refreshing "tea" for those who like the taste or a mouth-freshening rinse for those who don't, pour a cup of boiling water over 2 tsp of dried parsley or a handful of fresh or frozen parsley and steep for 10 mins. Strain. (Parsley freezes extremely well and maintains its wonderful green color when frozen.)

Another way to use your "tea" is to add it to your bathwater for relaxing bath experience. Parsley is also a good way to treat minor skin irritations or to soothe dry, sensitive skin.

So, next time you see a sprig of parsley - remember it's not just a garnish.

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