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pastinaca sativa L.
(French) Le Panais. (German) Die Pastinake.
Tincture of roots of second year.(, when they are very poisonous).
Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Rosiflorae / Rosidae; Apiales; Umbelliferae / Apiaceae - Carrot / Celery Family;genus;Pastinica;species;sativa
Introduced by Dr. Umber. No proving.
Description of the substance
More or less pubescent biennial up to 100 cm. Stem hollow or solid, angled or terete. Basal leaves usually simple pinnate, rarely (subsp sativa var fleischmannii) 2-pinnatisect; secondary veins inconspicious; segments (2-)5-11, acute or obtuse, crenate-dentate, the teeth with a cartilaginous mucro; petioles slender, not spongy. Rays 5-20, more or less angled. Bracts and bracteoles 0-2 mm, caducous. Fruit 5-7 mm, broadly elliptical; wing 0.25 - 0.5 mm wide; vittae on the commissural face not reaching the ends of the fruit.
Parsnip is related to the carrot, which it resembles, at least in the root and habit of growth. Unlike the orange-colored roots of carrots, parsnip roots are creamy white on the exterior and white on the inside. Parsnips are reported to have originated in the Mediterranean area, where wild forms were used for food by the Romans. By the 16th century, parsnips were cultivated in Germany, England, and soon thereafter in the American colonies. Even American Indians learned to grow and store them for eating in the winter.
It has a tough, wiry root, tapering somewhat from the crown, from which arises the erect stem, 1 to 2 feet high, tough and furrowed. The leaf-stalks are about 9 inches long, the leaves divided into several pairs of leaflets, each 1 to 2 inches long, the larger, terminal leaflet, 3/4 inch broad. All the leaflets are finely toothed at their margins and softly hairy, especially on the underside. The sheath at the base of the leaf-stalk is about 1 1/2 inch long, the first pair of leaflets being 4 inches above it. The modern cultivated Parsnip has developed a leaf-stalk 2 feet long, the first pair of leaflets being several inches above the sheath. The leaflets are oblong, about 2 inches across at the basal part and 4 1/2 inches in length (more than double the size of those of the wild plant), and are entirely smooth and somewhat paler in colour. The flowers in each case are yellow and in umbels at the ends of the stems, like the carrot, though the umbels do not contract in seeding, like those of the carrot. The flowers of the cultivated Parsnip are of a deeper yellow colour than those of the wild plant. The Parsnip is a biennial, flowering in its second year, throughout June and August. The fruit is flattened and of elliptical form, strongly furrowed. Parsnip 'seeds' as the fruit is commonly called, are pleasantly aromatic, and were formerly collected for their melicinal value and sold by herbalists. They contain an essential oil that has the reputation of curing intermittent fever. A strong decoction of the root is a good diuretic and assists in removing obstructions of the viscera. It has been employed as a remedy for jaundice and gravel.
Part of the parsnip's attraction as a vegetable is its ability to be frozen in the ground, thawed out in the soil, and then later eaten. Its adaptability to colder climates contributes to its low level of popularity as a fresh vegetable in Florida gardens. Winters here are seldom cool enough to produce the vigorous roots and the sweetness imparted to the roots by cooler soils. However, many Florida gardeners will have fair to good results upon occasion.
The parsnip top closely resembles the top of broadleaf parsley. The popular variety `Harris Model' developed good top growth but spindly roots when planted in North Florida trials in September.
Start parsnips from seed in a manner similar to that for carrots. Normally, about 120 days are required from seeding to root harvest. Seed of this biennial are readily available. They are not long-lived in storage, as it is best to purchase new seed each season.
---Habitat---The Wild Parsnip is a native of most parts of Europe, growing chiefly in calcareous soils, by the wayside and on the borders of fields.
---Cultivation---Parsnips require a long period of growth, and should be started, if possible, the latter part of February. In choosing the seed, the older varieties should be avoided, as there is no comparison between them and the newer and better kinds. The 'Student,' already mentioned, is suited in every way for the average small garden.
No specially good soil is required, though a strong soil is preferable to a sandy one; poorish or partially exhausted soil is no drawback, as there should be no recent manure in the top spit, for in common with carrots, its presence tends to form forked roots. The ground, however, should be deeply trenched and a slight dressing of manure may be buried deeply. Roots will be poor if grown in soil which has hardly been turned over, but if the land is deeply dug, plenty of lime, old mortar rubbish or wood ashes being mixed in, fine roots will be produced.
One ounce of Parsnip seed will sow a row 300 feet long. The seed is best sown in drills about 1 inch deep, as soon as the land is anything like dry enough to work. Drop three seeds together, 8 inches apart, and let the rows stand 15 inches asunder. After the plants appear, there is very little to do except to thin them and hoe, at intervals; no stimulants are needed. Thinning may be done as soon as they are well in their second leaf.
As the Parsnip is hardy, there is no need to lift the roots in autumn. The crop will be ready for use in September, but it may be left in the ground and be dug throughout the winter as required, and the remainder not finally raised till the middle or end of February, when the site the roots occupy has to be prepared for the crop of the ensuing summer