We have a beautiful row of green herbs growing in the campus kitchen garden. It looks very much like parsely and I even put a brass plant marker in the front labeled parsely.
Unfortunately it isn't parsely, it's Lovage. It smells and tastes rather like celery and was cultivated in the old days, mainly in England, for it's medicinal value.
"The roots and fruit are aromatic and stimulant, and have diuretic and carminative action. In herbal medicine they are used in disorders of the stomach and feverish attacks, especially for cases of colic and flatulence in children, its qualities being similar to those of Angelica in expelling flatulence, exciting perspiration and opening obstructions. The leaves eaten as salad, or infused dry as a tea, used to be accounted a good emmenagogue. "
The description of which has made me steer way clear of it even when strongly encouraged to use it. The old uses differ from some current day gardeners and cooks who seem to be very proud of having it and use it in cooking regularly.
"The taste of the foliage is, admittedly, unsubtle -- much like celery's, but stronger. Nonetheless, it has its place in the kitchen. Early in the season, before bloom, it's a bit milder and you can toss a handful of the leaves into a green salad. They are also good in soups, stews, sauces and other cooked dishes, used the way you would celery. Even the hollow stems can be cooked, though I prefer the freshness of the leaves."
The two quotes are quite different and knowing the first keeps me from any enthusiasm for the second. And, I did learn a new word while researching lovage-'emmenagogue'. It sounds like demogogue and that's enough for me to stay far away.
Not to mention I miss having parsely around.