Parsnip plant as a medicine

Parsnip plant as spice and medicine

Parsnip plant is a remarkable medicinal root with whitish colour, which is very aromatic as a spice and very tasty as a healthy food. Because of the nutritional and medicinal properties, it is among the most valuable vegetable crops, and is successfully grown like parsley, celery, carrots and other traditional root vegetables. On this occasion we have prepared several proposals and healthy recipes with parsnip, which will certainly enrich your menu.


Parsnip plant is also known as - Latin name 'Pastinaca sativa'. This is a durable biennial herbaceous plant of the Umbelifers family. From whitish spindle roots grows a strong, furrowed and from the middle heavily branched stem, which can reach a height of from 50 to 100 cm. The leaves are odd plumose, composed of 2-7 pairs of elongated, seated, jagged leaves. The gills are hairy and the end is usually three sided. Parsnip blossoms with tiny golden flowers, no cups. Composed thyroid blossom develops in July and August and after flowering flattened greenish-yellow fruits are formed. All parts of this plant are extremely peculiar, strong and pleasant, aromatic and have a spicy sweet taste. The smell and taste of parsnip, encouraged by its aromatic oils, which are mostly contained in the fruits, often up to 3.5 %. Because of nutritional and medicinal properties of parsnip plant is among the most valuable vegetable crops and is grown very much like other more prominent vegetables like carrots, parsley, celery and other local root vegetables and spices. Energy value of 100 grams of edible part of parsnip is about equal to the energy value of 100 grams of milk. Vitamin composition of it is very similar to a vitamin composition of other root vegetables. What this medicinal root is distinguished from other root vegetables is by its high mineral content, which is certainly of a particular physiological significance. It is rich with magnesium, copper, sulphur, iron, and sodium in small quantities, and is one of the valuable diet foods. Despite all this, in some areas it is almost totally unknown.
How parsnip was used through history 

Since ancient times, parsnip plant was used and cultivated as a vegetable, spice and medicinal plant. As a useful plants it was grown by ancient Romans and Greeks, and because of its fleshy and aromatic roots and the remedial effect it was very much appreciated. The Roman emperor Tiberius, much appreciated this plant that he brought it to Rome from the banks of the Rhine River and defeated Germanic tribes had to send this vegetable as a tribute. Until the 18th century, the root of parsnip was widespread in European culture and it was an important food, and then it was unjustly suppressed by potatoes, celery and carrots and other known plant cultures. Except as an animal feed, it was less used, but remained popular in the UK, where it is still obliged to spice various salads and a variety of vegetable dishes. But lately parsnip plant ceases to be solely cheap "country food" and more often is on the menus of those with refined taste and a healthy lifestyle.


Although in the official medicine parsnip plant has not been recognized as healthy, it is very interesting that the alkaloid pastinacin, which is in all parts of the plant, is used. Thus, in some countries pastanacin produced in pure form is used in stenocardia, a neurosis that causes the tightening of blood vessels, with cramps in the stomach and intestines and other health problems. On the other hand, in folk medicine parsnip plant is always highly appreciated. Records of its effects can be found in the ancient medieval books on medicinal plants, and they are again referring to even older records, the Roman writer Pliny and the Greek physician Dioscorides. In traditional medicine most often use of parsnip root is as a flavouring, food, and as a tea. Medicinal tea of parsnip is prepared from leaves, but only leaves of the wild varieties are used, while the leaves from cultivated varieties are considered completely worthless. Parsnip plant as food, spice and medicine does not cause any harmful side effects. Only some people do not tolerate it well and allergy for parsnip can cause a skin rash, which disappears as soon as you stop consuming this plant.


Ingredients: one small teaspoon of parsnip fruit or two tablespoons of grated fresh root, and 2.5 dl of boiling water.

Preparation: spicy fruit or grated fresh root of parsnip cover with boiling water. Having covered it let it stand for ten minutes, filtered the liquid should be good and easy to drink in small sips two to three times during the day.


Earth which is recommended for cultivation should be deep, loose, moderately moist and porous. Parsnip plant is well cultivated by seeds in spring, and it should be sown as early as in March or beginning of April, because the growing season lasts five to six months. Due to slightly lower germination seeds should be planted slightly thicker, and always should be used fresh, because last year seeds will sometimes not grow. Parsnip seed is best sown in homes in groups of three seeds at a distance three to eight centimetres. The plant rather slowly emerges, in favourable conditions only in 7-10 days, but between it you can sow radishes. When plantlets parsnip has sprung from the seeds and developed four to five true leaves, they should be thinned out so that in each house remains at least one. This culture is grown easily and gives a relatively high yield and good 4 to 6 kilograms per square meter. It should be dug shallow, weeded regularly and watered if the weather is dry. The root of the parsnip is collected in autumn, and lasts until spring. Although the maturity is known by leaf senescence, parsnip plant can be plucked before the leaves have withered, and it is best done after the first frost, because then the roots are sweeter. The fruits of the plant are collected before they fully ripen and fall off. You should collect the entire thyroid blossom, hang them to dry, and only when they are completely dry shake out seeds. Pastinaca sativa plant is very resistant and can be left in the billet to use and remove if necessary until the spring. During long periods of cold, roots can be removed from the earth and stored in damp sand, as well as carrots.

Parsnip plant in folk medicine

Cultivated parsnip is like most vegetable crops, originated from the wild parsnip, which comes from Europe. Wild parsnip plant grows on numerous meadows and pastures, often along roads, the raw terrain, the nutritional limestone and clayey soil. Although it is not particularly suitable for food, today is used in folk medicine for the treatment of kidney, bladder and other urinary tract infections, with dropsy, elevated body temperature, rheumatism, insomnia, pneumonia and other respiratory diseases. In addition parsnip plant to this day in some areas helps nursing mothers to have more milk. In addition to the wild plants, which occurs in several species and varieties, there are more than 30 different varieties of cultivated parsnip. Cultivated varieties can grow to a height of 130 cm, and they are different in the taste and smell of thick, soft and succulent roots, as well as by its length, which sometimes can reach up to 50 cm. Even though the wild parsnip has the same chemical composition and medicinal effects, only cultivated parsnip is used. The reason is that due to insufficient knowledge of the plants often some replace wild parsnip with some very similar, but poisonous plants, so there is a risk of poisoning. Besides wild plant can cause redness, burns on the skin, similar to nettle, especially if sweaty skin is exposed to sunlight comes into contact with its leaves.
  • RESPIRATORY SYSTEM: Parsnip herb calms the cough and helps with painful sore throat, pneumonia, asthma and bronchitis.
  • HEART: Strengthens the heart and heart muscle, regulates it and helps with dropsy and with water retention in the body.
  • BLOOD AND BLOOD WESSELS: Provides an excellent balance and regulates blood pressure and strengthens the walls of our blood vessels.
  • DIGESTION: Encourages better appetite, facilitates digestion, and eliminates digestive ailments and disorders.
  • STOMACH: Soothes uncomfortable cramps and intense pain in the stomach.
  • INTESTINES: Encourages faster and easier bowel movements, soothes unpleasant cramps and helps with bloating and heavy gases.
  • BLADDER AND KIDNEYS: parsnip plant very effectively cleans the kidneys, encourages their better work and urination, and helps with inflammation of the bladder and urinary tract, with kidney stones and sand.
  • JOINTS AND BONES: Effective in rheumatoid arthritis, gout and rheumatism.
  • MENTAL ILLNESS: It soothes, helps with restlessness, neurosis and especially with insomnia.
  • SKIN: parsnip plant stimulates sweating and so successfully reduces high fever.
  • OVERWEIGHT PROBLEMS: Regular intake of a thick soup of parsnip and leeks reduces body weight.

Parsnip Recipes
  • Root: The root of the parsnip is used almost identically as carrot root. Grated fresh root can be easily added to food as a flavouring and can also be cooked, fried, medicinal stews and soups, stews and light seasonal salads, mixed with many other vegetables, for example, with lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. From there you can prepare an independent soups, salads, stews, sauces and mashed, and from dried and milled roots an excellent bread can be made. In addition, the root of parsnip can be flavoured with jams, liqueurs, brandy and wine.
  • Leaves: parsnip plant has leaves that are inedible, except in wild varieties where the young leaves can be added as a flavouring to soups and stews.
  • Fruits: They can be grind into powder, stored in tightly sealed jars like aromatic, tasty and healthy spice add lettuce and salad of cucumbers or tomatoes, sour vegetables (such as pickles), dishes of pumpkin, sour cabbage and so on.

Cream soup of parsnip - RECIPE

Parsnip plant is very grateful to the kitchen, here are the ingredients for the first recipe:
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 1 medium sized potato
  • 4 parsnips, medium size
  • half a cup of dry white wine
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of milk
  • pepper
  • salt
  • 1 cup of cooked rice
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh chives

Preparation: On a low temperature heat the butter and olive oil. Add onion and fry until it becomes sweet, occasionally stirring it for about ten minutes. Add the potatoes finely diced and sliced ​​parsnip, cook for a few minutes, turn up the heat and add the wine. Simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, then add the broth and cook for 20 minutes. With a stick blender add the milk, and let the healing soup boil. Add the cooked rice, pepper and salt. Garnish with chives.

Parsnip and potato stew

That the parsnip plant is great for cooking, this next recipe will convince you.

  • 300 grams of parsnip
  • 200 grams of potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of spice mixture
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard
  • 2 gherkins
  • A decilitre of sour cream

Parsnips and potatoes wash and peel, and cut the potatoes into small cubes and parsnip into slices. Chop the onions also and lightly fry in the oil. Now add the parsnips, potatoes, cumin and mix of spices, fry briefly and then pour the boiling water. Cook the stew covered on low heat, until vegetables are tender fine, and then all should be peppered and salted. Pickles should also be cut into small cubes. Flour and mustard should be mixed with a little cold water, add diced pickles, and all together stir in a soup, boil very shortly and add a decilitre of sour cream and serve with vegetable or minced meat balls (it's your choice)

Breaded vegetables with creamy parmesan and wine

Another dish consisting of parsnip plant, here is what will be required of the ingredients:
  • A kilogram of seasonal mixed vegetables of your desire (parsnips, peppers, onions, carrots)
  • salt
  • mixture of spices
  • 2 eggs
  • champignons
  • flour
  • bread crumbs

Wash, peel and cook parsnip in a water that is slightly salted and peppered. When it softens remove, drain and cut into slices (1 cm thick). In the same way make carrots. Mushrooms, peppers and other vegetables clean and slice in the desired shapes. Roll them in flour, salted scrambled egg and bread crumbs, and fry. Serve with sauce of parmesan cheese and wine. For it a decilitre of sour cream will be required, 2 tablespoons of white wine and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix everything together until you get a cream.

As you can see parsnip plant is a remarkable spice in cooking, incorporate it into your menus. Enjoy!