A bit of herb lore about parsley.
In European tradition, parsley was often associated with the dead. High medieval sources claimed that its roots had to grow to Hell and back seven times before it would sprout. This may be a reference to the fact that it is notoriously difficult to sprout and takes a lot of care and hard work to get going. (As a gardener myself, I understand.)
However, this common saying, this bit of folk-lore, may have its roots in an older Pagan tradition. Parsley is often associated with the dead. It was used in funeral rites by the Greeks, possibly associated with Persephone. It's sometimes considered unlucky to transplant parsley, with the preferred method being to grow it from seeds (which is notoriously hard to do and takes a long time, possibly giving rise to the earlier saying). English folklore associates it with marriage and love in a somewhat negative light. It appears it could be used to end love in some manner, or to cross lovers. The Romans, on the other hand, used it to bless weddings.
If one should ever be unfortunate enough as to encounter the Wild Hunt, the huntsmen and huntswomen may be appeased by an offer of parsley. It will also possibly appease malevolent-minded draugr
It can also be used as an offering to various goddesses, gods, and spirits, particularly those who deal with death, such as Odin, Freya, Hel, or even some land-wights (vaettir).
It can be used in rituals as a symbol of both death and rebirth.
My own memory (because this isn't an academic paper, dammit, and sometimes you just pick things up in odd places)
http://www.mythologydictionary.com/wild ... ology.html