Parsnip. Parsnip fruits

Parsnip. Parsnip fruits

Parsnip. Parsnip fruits

Specification & Spread

Parsnip fruits — fructus pastinacae sativae
Parsnip — pastinaca sativa l.
Carrot family – apiaceae (umbelliferae)

It is a herbaceous biennial plant with fusiform or hornlike fleshy, sweetish and edible root (root crop).
The stem is erect, branched at the top, 40–200 cm tall.
The radical leaves are macropodous, pedicellate ones are with an expanded vagina and naked. The leaf blade is oblong in outline, pinnate. The segments are ovoid, oblong-ovoid or lanceolate, serrated-serrate along the edge, not deeply incised into 1–3 lobes.
The inflorescence is a sophisticated umbrella. The covers are missing.
The corolla is yellow.
The fruit is yellowish-brown, rounded elliptical cremocarp.

It flowers in June – July, bears fruit in July – August.

Spreading. Parsnip is known only in culture. Before the appearance of potato in Europe, its thickened roots were widely used as food. Currently, parsnips are widely cultivated in Ukraine, the Caucasus, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan. It often runs wild and is found as a weed and ruderal plant.


The chemical composition of parsnip

Parsnip fruits contain furocoumarins –

  • bergapten
  • xantotoxin
  • sfondin as well
  • polyins,
  • flavonoids – rutin, pasteurnoside, hyperin, essential oil – up to 3.6%.

Heptyl, hexyl, and octyl-butyl esters of butyric acid give the plant a spicy scent.
The fruits contain K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cr, Al, Cu. The plant accumulates Se.

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Harvesting. The fruits are harvested by separate or direct combining, when the yellow color of 50% of the umbrellas turns brown.

Drying. After threshing the peduncles and sorting, the fruits are cleaned of impurities and dried in the shade in a ventilated area, placing a layer of 4-5 cm.

Storage. It is stored in normal conditions.

Rounded-elliptical, oblate fruits – cremocarps, usually disintegrating into the raw materials into two semi-fetuses – mericarpia. Mericarpia from the back is slightly convex with three filiform and two marginal pterygoid ribs. In the hollows between the ribs there are 4 dark brown secretory canals, on the ventral side there are 2 canals. The length of the fruit is 4-8 mm, the width is 3-6 mm. The colour is from greenish straw to dark brown. The smell is pleasant and peculiar. The taste is spicy and slightly burning.

Parsnip microscopy

When considering the cross section, it is clear that the mericarpium consists of the pericarp, endosperm, and the embryo. The epidermis of pericarp consists of oval cells, sometimes forming papillary warty outgrowths. In the mesocarp is sclerenchyma layer. In the ribs are conductive beams, surrounded by a highly developed mechanical tissue. Above the tufts are very small tubules with yellowish contents. The endosperm of a seed, consisting of large polygonal cells, contains fatty oil, aleurone grains and small druses of calcium oxalate. The pelvic secretory canals are large, oval-shaped, with one layer of excretory cells. The cavity of the channel is filled with oily contents, sometimes white granular mass, in which the needle-like furocoumarin crystals are visible.

Properties and application

Pharmacotherapeutic group. Photosensitizing agent.

Pharmacological properties. It is similar to the action of large ammy and scurfy pea.


The raw materials are used to obtain drugs with a photosensitizing effect.

  • Hypersensitivity,
  • acute gastritis,
  • gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer,
  • pancreatitis,
  • hepatitis,
  • liver cirrhosis,
  • acute and chronic nephritis,
  • diabetes mellitus,
  • cachexia,
  • arterial hypertension,
  • decompensated endocrine diseases,
  • thyrotoxicosis,
  • tuberculosis,
  • blood diseases,
  • chronic heart failure,
  • malignant and benign tumors,
  • cataracts,
  • multiple pigmented nevi,
  • pregnancy,
  • lactation.