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Fool's parsley

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  • Botanical: Aethusa cynapium
  • Family: Apiaceae
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Fool's parsley


Aethusa cynapium



Known as

poison parsley, Hundspetersilie,

Old Use

medical, culinary

Parts Used



convulsions, diarrhea, gastritis, gastrointestinal

Stomach & Intestinal

diarrhea, digestion, gastritis, gastrointestinal, gastric inflammation




It has a fusiform root and a smooth hollow branched stem growing to about 80 cm high, with much divided (ternately pinnate) smooth leaves with an unpleasant smell, and small compound umbels of small irregular white flowers.

Properties & Uses

Although fairly toxic, fool's parsley has occasionally been used in folk medicine. The herb is sedative and stomachic. It has been used in the treatment of gastro-intestinal problems, especially in children, and also to treat convulsions and summer diarrhoea.

other use

Leaves - raw or cooked. 


The entire plant is poisonous though less so than Conium maculatum. Small amounts can cause pain, confusion of vision and vomiting. The dried plant might be safe to eat


Most of Europe, including Britain, to the Caucasus and south to Algeria.


Polyynes (only in freshly-harvested leaves), aethusin, aethusanol A, aethusanol B, Flavone glycosides, rutoside, narcissine, camphor, oil-3-glucorhamnoside, Ascorbic acid

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.