Parsnip belongs to the celery family, it is a volute
plant with a thick, sweetish and pleasantly smelling root.
The stem is sharp-ribbed. The leaves are pinnate. The flowers are yellow.
Fruits are round-elliptical, flattened, yellowish-brownish.
Blooms in July – August. The fruits ripen in September.
Known only in culture.
This is the most ancient culture of the Incas of Peru – even the
Quechua Indians cultivated arakachu for the sake of large, juicy,
protein- rich edible roots, the upper part of them (close
to the stem) has a slightly pungent taste, and the
long and thick roots extending from it resemble very tender carrots
(from for this it is sometimes called Peruvian carrot – Peruvian
carrot). These roots are used as a stewed vegetable
and in soups. Unfortunately, arakachu can
only be cultivated in tropical climates, since even in the subtropics
it loses all its nutritional benefits.
Dried root vegetables of parsnips are used in powder
spices, mixtures. Parsnip greens, although slightly spicy, are
also used in cooking, both fresh and
dried. Often it is used when preparing
soup mixtures for future use , it is added to any vegetable dishes for
flavoring. An important role is played by parsnips in the canning
industry, being an indispensable ingredient in many
canned foods, for example, vegetables.
Useful properties of parsnips
Raw parsnips contain (per 100 g):
Calories 75 Kcal
Parsnips contain carotene, vitamin
C, carbohydrates, essential oils. Essential oil – enhances
libido. Roots contain vitamins B1,
mineral salts, essential oils. In terms of the content of easily digestible
carbohydrates, parsnip is one of the first among
root crops. Parsnip contains a significant amount of potassium and has the ability to reduce the water content in the body,
promotes blood circulation, improves digestion, and has a
beneficial effect on the nervous system. The
complex of vitamins, macro- and microelements found in it in parsnips
is close in composition to the complex of vitamins in spinach leaves,
but somewhat less in quantity.
Parsnip leaves contain a lot of essential oils, and the root
contains three times more than carrots sweet and harmless even for diabetics fructose and sucrose.
more vitamins and minerals (trace elements) than parsley. But a completely unique property of
parsnips is the content of substances that relieve spasms.
When used correctly, grated fresh parsnip root
relieves even bouts of hepatic and renal colic.
Parsnip improves digestion, strengthens the walls of capillary
vessels, has an analgesic and expectorant effect, and
has tonic properties. Parsnip was used
in ancient medicine as a diuretic for edema,
as a means of stimulating sexual activity, increasing
appetite, for hallucinations, as an analgesic for renal,
hepatic and gastric colic, as an anti-cough
and for softening and separating phlegm.
In modern medicine, parsnips are used for the treatment
and prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Experimental
studies have shown that parsnip furocoumarins
increase the sensitivity of the skin to ultraviolet rays,
which contributes to the repigmentation of discolored
skin areas in people suffering from vitiligo.
Parsnip fruits are a raw material for the production of drugs “Beroxan”,
“Eupiglin”, etc. for the treatment of vitiligo and
alopecia areata, as well as furocoumarin pastinacin – a vasodilator
for the prevention of angina attacks in
coronary insufficiency and heart neuroses accompanied by
coronary spasms, with spastic phenomena, renal
and gastrointestinal diseases.
In the old days, in the village, to increase mood and stimulate
appetite, they used a tincture of parsnip roots on moonshine.
Parsnip was used to restore the strength of the seriously ill.
In these cases, an aqueous infusion of its roots was taken in
100 ml with 1 tablespoon of honey 3 times a day 30-40
minutes before meals. The course of treatment was 30 days.
But few people know that parsnip, and especially its root,
is able to relieve spasm of blood vessels. It is used
for hypertension, angina pectoris, muscle cramps. Parsnip
infusions have a sedative effect, therefore
they are used for neuroses, as well as to improve sleep.
Dangerous properties of parsnip
Parsnip is contraindicated in young children, people of age, as well as
with individual intolerance.
In addition, parsnips should not be consumed in case of photodermatosis – inflammation of the
skin, provoked by increased sensitivity to sunlight
. This is due to the fact that parsnips contain furocoumarins,
which increase the skin’s sensitivity to light.
It is noteworthy that on hot days, an
essential oil is released from the parsnip leaves , which causes burns on the skin. Therefore, when in contact
with this plant, gloves must be worn.
Baked parsnips can be the “right” substitute for unhealthy fries. Find out how to cook it from the suggested video.