Forest parsley - Weed or food resource / Cow parsley - Weed or food resource




Ólafur Reykdal, Sophie Jensen

Supported by:

Matvælasjóður - Bára / Icelandic Food Innovation Fund


Ólafur Reykdal

Project Manager

This report was prepared for Ásta Þórisdóttir at the County Workshop for her Food Fund project Forest system - Weeds or underutilized food resource. Measurements were made of nutrients and contaminants in the forest system. Disciplines and other information were reviewed with regard to the utilization of the forest system for human consumption and other utilization. 

It was found that the leaves and roots of the forest system contain various nutrients and the foreign substances mycotoxins and heavy metals were not measurable or below the regulatory limit. A review of scientific articles revealed that the forest system contains the substance deoxypodopilotoxin (DOP), which has a cancer-cell-inhibiting effect. This substance is at the highest concentration in the roots of the forest system and limits the use of the plant for human consumption. Forest systems should not be consumed in large quantities. The use of the plant in textiles, packaging, paper and building materials could be examined. The report summarizes conclusions and recommendations. 

This work was carried out for Ásta Þórisdóttir as a part of her project on utilization of cow parsley. Analysis of selected nutrients and food contaminants were carried out. Information on cow parsley in scientific articles was studied. The nutrient content was reported. Mycotoxins and heavy metals were not detected or below the maximum limits set in regulation. The existence of the active compound deoxypodopylotoxin (DOP) in cow parsley was reported in the literature. This compound has antitumor activity which is not preferable for foods. Therefore, cow parsley should not be consumed in large amounts, particularly the roots which have the highest concentration. The utilization of cow parsley for textile, packaging, paper-like material and construction material should be studied. The report includes conclusions and recommendations. 

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