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HERBAL - Roots used as a food, cooked in water or as broth or as salad for tuberculosis patients and kidney stones. The root of the Parsnip after the first year is very poisonous. Some cases of poisoning have been observed. A state of perfect "delirium tremens" was observed in several persons, illusions of vision, catching at imaginary objects, fighting with one another. A peculiar effect was produced on the stomach, the irritability was depressed and emetics would not act.
Medicinal Action and Uses
Culpepper wrote: 'The wild Parsnip differeth little from the garden, but groweth not so fair and large, nor hath so many leaves, and the root is shorter, more woody and not so fit to be eaten and, therefore, more medicinal. The Garden Parsnip nourisheth much and is good and wholesome, but a little windy, but it fatteneth the body if much used. It is good for the stomach and reins and provoketh urine. The wild Parsnip hath a cutting, attenuating, cleansing and opening quality therein. It easeth the pains and stitches in the sides and expels the wind from the stomach and bowels, or colic. The root is often used, but the seed much more, the wild being better than the tame.'
John Wesley, in his Primitive Physic, says: Wild parsnips both leaves and stalks, bruised, seem to have been a favorite application; and a very popular internal remedy for cancer, asthma, consumption and similar diseases.'
Poisonous Part All parts. Symptoms Skin irritation and rash after contact with cell sap and in the light.
Toxic Principle Furanocoumarin. Severity SKIN IRRITATION MINOR, OR LASTING ONLY FOR A FEW MINUTES.