Parsley is a plant of Mediterranean origin; in Italy it is easily found as a spontaneous plant in places with a mild climate, in non-cultivated areas, well sunny. If the foliage is consumed, harvested fresh, or even dried, the flavor of the dry leaves, however, tends to lose much of the aroma due to the essential oils contained in the plant, which, being very volatile, tend to disperse with drying.
It is generally cultivated as an annual plant, although usually small shrubs can endure short, light frosts; the foliage of the plants of some years tends to become leathery, therefore it is preferred to re-plant the plant every year, to obtain more tender and delicate leaves.
Parsley - Petroselinum sativum: How to consume parsley
This plant is consumed using directly the raw leaves, roughly chopped. Sauces can also be produced by grinding a large quantity of leaves in a mortar, mixed with garlic and oil, for a very intense and pleasant aroma, to be used with grilled or boiled meats.
In ancient times parsley was used as an abortive, since it contains an alkaloid which causes muscle contractions; in fact to cause this type of symptoms it is necessary to consume a very large quantity of parsley leaves.