Long before the 1960s when smoking parsley was a poor man's substitute for cannabis (marijuana), parsley was the most commonly known herb worldwide and throughout history. It was used medicinally, both as a food and as the basis for traditions and superstitions.
Parsley wreaths crowned athletes in ancient Greece and Hippocrates spoke of its medicinal properties. A poison antidote in medieval times, superstition also held that plucking a sprig of parsley and speaking the name of an enemy could bring about that person's death.
As a fresh or dried kitchen herb, parsley provides calcium, iron and vitamin C. It benefits blood pressure and is a pain reliever for arthritis.
Effects of Smoking
Smoking parsley may produce some euphoria or act as a mild aphrodisiac, but there has been very little research to date about toxic side effects.
Basis for Abuse
According to the Iowa Health System, parsley, mint, oregano or marijuana are often "carriers," sprayed with illegal, highly addictive phencyclidine (PCP, "angel dust" or "rocket fuel") for an extra "kick" when smoked.
Dangers of PCP
PCP-users suffer garbled speech, impaired concentration and hallucinations; repeated use produces potential overdoses, accidental homicide or suicide, with symptoms lasting up to a year after discontinuing use.