Fooding for Life

Celery Seed

Scientific: Apium graveolens [WikiPedia]

Composition: Celery is a popular vegetable, but there’s more to this plant than the stalk alone. Celery seeds are less common but still tasty and nutritious.

Appearance: They’re small, light-brown, and have an earthy scent. Their flavor is warm and bitter.

Parts Used: The fruits or “seeds,” whole or powdered

Common Uses: The Greeks and Romans called it “smallage” and harvested it in the wild for its medicinal properties. The Romans used it more for cooking. When it was finally grown and harvested in the middle ages it was found to be a wonderful vegetable to add to the dinner table. It was not until the 19th century that the seeds were used as a spice in recipes and pickling. It was associated with funerals and bad luck, and woven garlands of wild celery were often found in Egyptian tombs. The celery used in herbal medicine is a close relative of the celery you can buy in market. The fruit or “seed” is grayish green to brown with a characteristic, slightly bitter, spicy taste. Too much celery seed can overpower a dish, whereas a little brings out flavors in other foods. Celery seed is used in pickles, casseroles, and Bloody Marys. Despite their small size, celery seeds have an impressive nutrient profile. They’re a great source of essential minerals like calcium, manganese, and iron.

Harvested from the wild celery plant known as “Smallage” and boasting an enduring history in Ayurvedic Medicine, some people take celery by mouth to treat joint pain (rheumatism), gout, nervousness, headache, weight loss due to malnutrition, loss of appetite, and exhaustion. Celery is also taken by mouth to promote relaxation and sleep, kill bacteria in the urinary tract, increase the flow of urine, help regulate bowel movements, control intestinal gas (flatulence), increase sexual desire, and for “blood purification.” Celery seeds are rich in many essential nutrients for bone health like calcium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. Celery seeds are a great source of non-heme iron. Eating iron-rich food helps your body produce red blood cells and may prevent anemia. Celery seeds are a great source of magnesium. Eating a magnesium-rich diet may help control blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. Celery seed extract may possess antibacterial properties, although more research is needed to confirm these findings. Celery seed extract has been shown to possess antioxidant properties in test-tube and animal studies. However, more research is needed.

Some of the uses include:

  • Mainly for the treatment or rheumatism, arthritis and gout;
  • May be especially effective in rheumatoid arthritis where associated with mental depression;
  • May be used as a urinary antiseptic;
  • Can improve the cleansing action through kidney function and digestion;
  • May assist with chest ailments, asthma, bronchitis;
  • Acts as a nerve tonic;
  • May relieve inflamed urinary tract;
  • May help lower high blood pressure;
  • Reduces acidity throughout the body;
  • Acts as a diuretic.

Alternatives and Adjuncts:

Topic Specific References:

  • A Review of the Antioxidant Activity of Celery (Apium graveolens L) [PubMED]
  • An Updated Phytopharmacological Review on Medicinal Plant of Arab Region: Apium graveolens Linn [PubMED]
  • The Anti-inflammatory Activity of Celery Apium graveolens L. (Fam. Umbelliferae) [TaylorFrancis]
  • Hypolipidemic Effects of Seed Extract of Celery (Apium graveolens ) in Rats [PharmacognosyMagazne]

Used In:

PLEASE NOTE that herbal and other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.

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