Celery (Apium graveolens) is a biennial plant with pinnate, feathery leaflets and aromatic seeds. Commonly found in marshy, salty soils in coastal Europe and temperate Asia, celery was originally harvested for its strong-flavored leaves for culinary use.
As a medicinal food, celery is an excellent choice to include during fasting. All parts of celery–seed, leaves, stalk, and the taproot– have medicinal value. The plant compounds in celery act as a nervine (calming agent) which helps in relaxing the organs of digestion and elimination, has diuretic effects, and acts as a tonic.
- The root, leaf and seed are used in various preparations for purifying the blood, regulating digestion and bowel movements, calming the nerves, and may be helpful for kidney and gallstones.
- Celery seed tea is commonly used to relieve indigestion, flatulence, and griping abdominal pains.
- Celery’s detoxifying phytochemicals reduce blood acidity, which is common with tissue inflammation.
- In Ayurveda, celery stalk juice is commonly used for preventive remedies, during cleanses, and in times of illness.
Cultivated worldwide, celery stalks each produce three to five bright green pinnate leaves at the tip. The celery fruits, or schizocarps, contain a brown, ridged, ovoid-shaped, very small seed. These fruits, commonly known as “celery seed,” have a floral odor and mildly pungent taste. The succulent, rigid stalk can be eaten raw or cooked. The fleshy taproot (known as celeriac) can be enjoyed raw, roasted, mashed, or pureed, and the celery seeds can additionally be used in many types of condiments.
- AmericanBotanicalCouncil.com. Food as Medicine Blog: Celery (Apium graveolens, Apiaceae). Retrieved 15 Nov 2021: https://www.herbalgram.org/resources/herbalegram/volumes/volume-16/number-6-june/food-as-medicine-celery/food-as-medicine-celery/