Celery: A Surprising Medicinal Herb

Crunchy, delicately salty by nature, and packed with hydration, celery stalks (Apium graveolens​) are a great snack to pair with your favorite summer dip. Did you know that celery is also a potent botanical medicine recognized for its anti-inflammatory properties? It works in the body to reduce inflammation and increase circulation through the kidneys. Preliminary research also indicates that celery, along with other healthy food and lifestyle choices, may help lower high blood pressure. While each person may need different amounts to see health benefits, most holistic practitioners recommend 4 stalks (about 1 cup) of freshly chopped celery each day.

Holistic health practitioners commonly use celery in a medicinal way for patients who are deficient or low in Vitamin D and those who show inadequate kidney function, as it helps tonify the bladder and other components of the urinary tract. The seeds and roots of the celery plant are used to prepare botanical medicines. These may be in the form of a tincture, capsule, juice, or powder depending on the medicinal use.

Celery is known for being exposed to a lot of pesticides. For years, the Environmental Working Group has consistently listed it on their Dirty Dozen list of produce with the most pesticides. Be sure to wash your celery thoroughly, or buy organic if you can. Since celery contains high levels of volatile oils, it may not be appropriate for persons receiving treatment for acute kidney infections. Volatile oils are plant compounds that are the source for essential oil extracts and may interact with other medications or overstimulate an organ that needs to be in a restful healing state. Because of these contraindications, be sure to consult with your naturopathic physician before using celery medicinally.

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Resources:

“Volatile Oils” The Naturopathic Herbalist. https://thenaturopathicherbalist.com/plant-constituents/volatile-oils/

Al-Asmari, Abdulrahman Khazim et al. “An Updated Phytopharmacological Review on Medicinal Plant of Arab Region: Apium graveolens Linn.” Pharmacognosy reviews vol. 11,21 (2017): 13-18. doi:10.4103/phrev.phrev_35_16 Retrieved 15 May 2021: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5414449/

Madhavi, D., Madhavi, A., Madhavi, D., Kagan, D., Rao, V., & Murray, M. (n.d.). A Pilot Study to Evaluate the Antihypertensive Effect of a Celery Extract in Mild to Moderate Hypertensive Patients. Retrieved June 24, 2021, from https://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/print/200

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