Celery (Apium graveolens) is a biennial plant specie in the family of Apiaceae whose other members include carrots, dill and parsley. Celery is a common vegetable known for its leafy stalk that has a distinctive flavor and crunchy texture popularly added to salads and dishes. Unknown to many, this leafy vegetable contains potent amount of antioxidants and antiinflamatory substances coupled with unique combination of vitamins and minerals can provide valuable health benefits to man especially for hypertension.
Celery plant grows to a height of up to 500 cm. Celery has leaf stalks that are conical in shape growing from a common base and are topped with leaves that are pinnate to bipinnate with rhombic leaflets about 3 to 6 cm long and 2 to 5 cm broad.
Celery produces flowers that are creamy-white in color about 2–3 mm in diameter arranged in dense compound umbels. Celery seeds are broad ovoid about 1 to 2 mm long and wide
While celery is prized for its leaf stalk, the leaves, roots and seeds can also be used as a food and seasoning as well as an herbal medicinal remedy.
Celery is one of the more popular herbal medicine that had the attention of many researchers. Many of the published studies confirmed the potential of Celery in controlling blood pressure. Below are some of the excerpts from these studies along with other related studies confirming the other traditional uses of Apium graveolens.
Celery has an immune boosting health benefit because it is rich in vitamins and minerals that helps support the immune system against harmful pathogens. Celery leaves contain powerful flavonoids and antioxidants like Lutein, Zea-xanthin and Beta-carotene that fight Polyacetylenes and Phthalides. Celery also contains Niacin and Riboflavin that is known for boosting the metabolism.
Celery is rich in vitamin A and vitamin K that is needed for healthy skin, eye sight and mucus membranes. It guards the body against Lung Cancer and Oral Cancer.It has health benefits in bone formation and prevents neuronal damage to the brain.
In a study published iin “Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology Journal, Mar. 1996” genetically hypercholesterolaemic and normocholesterolaemic rats that were given celery extracts exhibited lower concentration of cholesterol in blood compared to control rats that were not given celery extract.
Celery contains active compounds called phthalides. Phthalides has been found to help relax the muscles around the arteries and dilating the blood vessels thereby facilitating blood flow. The compound 3-n-butyl phthalide has been found to lower the blood pressure in laboratory rats to about 12 to 14%. Celery is also a good source of blood pressure lowering minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium
Celery stalks and seeds has always been used traditionally as diuretic. Celery contains minerals such as potassium, sodium and other constituents that help regulate the fluid balance in the body and stimulating urine production to excrete excess body fluids.
Celery is contains anti cancer compound called phenolic acid that acts against prostaglandins that encourage the growth of tumor cells. Celery also contains coumarins – a compound that acts against free radicals thereby protecting the cells from oxidative stress and damage.
Celery has a natural laxative effect that is beneficial against constipation.
The diuretic activity of celery helps promote healthy and normal kidney function. Celery helps in the elimination of toxins from the body and prevents the formation of kidney stones.
Celery is rich in vitamins C that helps the body fight against cell damaging free radicals that cascades into inflammation. This activity offers health benefits for people with asthma, rheumatism and osteoarthritis.
Celery is a very good source of vitamin C, a vitamin that helps to support the immune system. Vitamin C also acts against free radicals that oxidize cholesterol and lead to plaques deposits causing stoke and heart attacks.
Celery can be cooked along with other vegetables or the stalks and leaves can be eaten raw as in salads.
Celery juice. Fresh celery stalks and leaves can be mixed with other vegetable and fruits in a food prcessor or blending machine. Taken once a day to boost immunity and overall health.
Celery Tea: Mix one teaspoon of dried celery seeds and leaves to a cup of water, boil for 10 minutes. Can be taken three times a day. until conditon improves. Celery tea is taken as relaxant, gout and rheumatism treatment, diuretic and others.
Celery roots can be mixed with soups or as in salads to boost fertility and sex drive.
Celery seed can be taken naturally as fresh or as dried seeds but they tend to be bitter and difficult to swallow. Specially prepared celery tablets and capsules are now available while it may also be available in seed extract form from Amazon.
Although it is available throughout the year in most markets and vegetable stores, Celery can be at its best during its peak season at summer months when the local varieties can easily be found. Commercially grown celery is highly sprayed with pesticide, go for those organically grown. Pick the stalks that are firm with leaves that are brightly colored and not wilting. Fresh celery can be refrigerated (not frozen) up to 7 days if properly wrapped in paper or plastic to retain moisture.
Article last reviewed: 10.10.2016