This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Petroselinum Pharm. Lond. & Edinb. Apium hortenfe feu petrofelinum vulgo C. B. Api-um Petrofelinum Linn. Parsley: an umbelliferous plant, with deep green winged leaves, of which those that grow on the stalk are divided into fine oblong narrow segments: the seeds are small; somewhat crookedly planoconvex, of a dusky greenish colour, with four yellow ridges along the convex side; the root long, whitish, about the thickness of the finger. It is biennial, a native of moist grounds in the southern parts of Europe, and common in our culinary grounds.
The roots of parsley are sometimes used in apozems, and supposed to be aperient and diuretic, but liable to produce flatulencies. Their taste is sweetish, accompanied with a slight warmth or flavour, somewhat resembling that of a carrot. Rectified spirit takes up, by digestion, all their active matter, and on infpiffa-ting the tincture, leaves it entire in the extract; in which, the sweetness is very considerable, the the warmth very weak. Distilled with water, they impregnate the first runnings pretty strongly with their flavour: when large quantities are distilled, there separates a small portion, two or three drams from two hundred pounds, of essen-tial oil, which partly swims on the water, partly links, and partly concretes about the nose of the worm into a butyraceous matter.
Ol. petrolei Ph. Lond.
Petroleum sulphurat. Ph. Lond,
The leaves of the plant have a greater warmth and less sweetness than the roots. In distillation with water, they yield a greater quantity of es-sential oil, about ten drams from two hundred pounds, smelling agreeably of the herb, and in taste moderately pungent.
The seeds, laid to be carminative, resolvent, and diuretic, and commended in the German ephemerides for destroying cutaneous infects in children, are in taste warmer and more aromatic than any other part of the plant, and accompanied with a considerable bitterness. In distillation, three pounds yielded above an ounce of essential oil, great part of which funk in the watery fluid. They give out little by infusion to watery menstrua, but readily impart all their virtue to rectified spirit: the tincture loses nothing considerable in being gently infpiffated to the consistence of an extract, which proves a moderately warm, pungent, bitterish, not very grateful, aromatic.