- Family Umbelliferae [Apiaceae]
- Apium graveolens var. dulce
- Celery, Smallage, Apio (Mexico)
- Bergapten in the seeds could increase photosensitivity. Therefore, the essential oil should not be used on the skin before going out into bright sunshine.
- Avoid the oil and seeds in large doses during pregnancy as they can act as a uterine stimulant.
- Do not use seeds intended for cultivation as they are often treated with fungicides
- celery eaten either before, or after, vigorous exercise has been known to induce allergic responses in some people.
Celery is found in Europe, from England and Lapland to southern Russia; in western Asia as far east as India; in Africa and South America. It still grows wild, as well as being cultivated, in parts of North America, Mexico, and Argentina. It is said by some, that celery is native to Britain, despite its being known in Egypt and China for thousands of years before it reached Europe.
It is a bienniel with a ridged, shiny stems and medium to dark green, glossy leaves growing from the top, reaching about twenty inches in height. Mainly known as a vegetable, celery also has long been used for its medicinal qualities. The seeds are harvested after the plant flowers in its second year.
The common celery of today is a cultivated descendant of the wild celery, which was highly valued by ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Chinese both as a food flavouring and as a medicine. Records show its cultivation for at least 3,000 years, notably in pharaonic Egypt, as well as China in the 5th century BCE.
The Romans wore a wreath of celery around their heads to ease a hangover.
During medieval times, celery was popular for its ability to relieve aches and pains, to calm nerves, and to benefit the digestion.
- increases uric acid excretions
- urinary antiseptic
- volatile oil (3-n-butylphthalide)
Roots, above-ground foliage and stems, seeds, extracted oil
Celery has at least eight different components that may be effective against cancer, including substances that neutralize the effects of some carcinogens.
It also has some mild antifungal and antibacterial properties.
3-n-butylphthalide has proven to reduce blood pressure.
Traditional Uses: (see above)
Infusions from the seeds are used for rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Diluting the essential oil is also effective for these conditions.
The essential oil is used in warm water to soak painful, gouty areas of the feet.
Root tinctures have been used as a diuretic in hypertension and urinary disorders, as well as being a component in arthritic remedies or used as a kidney stimulant and cleanser.
Celery juice from the whole, fresh plant is taken for joint and urinary tract inflammations, as well as for rheumatoid arthritis, cystitis, or urethritis, weak conditions, and nervous exhaustion.
The root is used as an effective diuretic, urinary stones, as well as acting as a bitter digestive remedy and liver stimulant.
Although the fresh stalk has much less of the medicinal properties than other parts of the plant, eating them fresh can stimulate milk flow during lactation, although wild celery is more effective for this.
The seeds are used mainly as a diuretic and can help clear toxins from the system, especially in cases of gout where uric acid crystals collect in the joints. Slightly bitter, they also act as a mild digestive stimulant.