Aethusa cynapium which is also known as the fool’s parsley or Fool’s Cicely or Poison Parsley which is an annual herb and belongs to the family Apiaceae. It is native plant to Europe, western Asia and northwest Africa.
The root is fusiform and the stem is smooth and hollow. The stems can grow to a height of 80 cm. The leaves are smooth and the smell is unpleasant. The flowers are small and compound in nature. The flowers are white in color. The foliage is shiny and yellowish green on lower sides.
This herb in low dosages is an Antidandruff; Antispasmodic; Aperient; Birthing aid; Cancer; Carminative; Digestive; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Expectorant; Galactofuge; Kidney; Odontalgic; Ophthalmic; Poultice; Skin; Stings; Stomachic; Tonic.
It is an European weed and appears like parsley and hence the name fool’s parsley.
But in overdose, the following characteristical symptoms are found:
– Incapacity to think ; confusion
– Great anxiety and restlessness followed by violent pains in head and abdomen.
– Head confused
– Vertigo, with sleepiness.
– Inability to hold head erect.
– Distressing pains in the occiput and nape of neck.
– Eyes: Dilated pupils
– Scrofulous ophthalmia ; edges of lids inflamed and agglutinated at night
– Mouth: Moist tongue; unpleasant, bitter taste, Aphthae in mouth and throat.
– Stomach: Intolerance of milk; it is forcibly ejected almost as soon as swallowed; then weakness causes drowsiness; in nursing children and Violent vomiting of curdled milk (Iris) and cheesy matter.
– Painful contraction of stomach, so severe as to prevent vomiting.
– Pains in epigastrium, with nausea.
– Abdomen: Coldness of the abdomen (Ambr.) and lower limbs.
– Swollen and tense abdomen.
– Colic, succeeded by vomiting, vertigo, and weakness.
– Stool; Diarrhea, Most obstinate constipation.
– Respiratory Organs: Respiration very difficult and short.
– Heart and Pulse: Violent palpitation of the heart.
– Neck and Back: Distressing pain in occiput and nape of neck, extending down the spine.
– Generalities: Epileptiform spasms, with clenched thumbs ; red face ; eyes turned downward ; dilated, staring, immovable pupils ; foam at the mouth ; teeth set ; pulse small, hard, accelerated.
– Sleep; Dozing of child after vomiting spells
Growing/Caring conditions for Aethusa cynapium :
– Plant in an area where the plant shall receive sun or partial shade.
– This plant needs moist soil.
– This plant needs well drained soil.
– The planting soil should be not too light or acid.
– Three of its sowings can produce fresh leaves enough for a year.
– Plant in green house in late winter.
– Plant the seedlings to individual pots in mid to late spring.
– Germination of seeds takes about 7 days at a temperature of 25°c.
– It could take about 4 – 6 weeks sometimes.
– The seed can be pre-soaked for 12 hours in hot water to reduce germination time.
– Care must be taken from the cooking of the seeds when heated for germination.