Celery: botanical image of the celery plant


Apium graveolens

Family: Apiaceae/Umbelliferae

Description: The seed of a biennial, slender plant that grows up to 60cm (2ft) in height. It has three to five segmented leaves, small white flower petals. The seeds are tiny with a distinctive aroma.

Habit and cultivation: Native to Southern Europe and naturalised to some areas of Australia and New Zealand. This herb grows wild in salt rich salt marshes. From seed it flourishes in open sunny spots but likes adequate water.

Actions (known for): Anti-inflammatory (muscular-skeletal), anti-inflammatory (urinary), anti-rheumatic, antiseptic (urinary), diuretic, hypoglycaemic, sedative.

History: Celery comes from the French celery which is derived from the ancient Greek word. Mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey around 850 BC. Used as a flavouring by the ancient Greeks and Romans and as a medicine by the ancient Chinese.

Parts used: The seeds.

Constituents (bio available chemicals): Beta-selinene (essential oil), alkaloids, apigenin, apiol (essential oil), bergapten (bitter furanocoumarins), coumarins, fixed oil, isoquercitrin (flavonoid), limonene (essential oil), luteolin, phenolic acids, phthalides.

Nutritional constituents: Vitamins: A, B2, B6 and C. Minerals: copper, calcium, phosphorus and sodium.

Indications: Arthritis, cystitis, gout, oedema, rheumatism. Indigestion and colic.

Dosage: Liquid extract (1:2): 20-40ml per week. Decoction: 0.5-2g 3 x daily.

British Herbal Pharmacopoeia: Rheumatism, arthritis, gout, inflammation of the urinary tract. Specific: Rheumatoid arthritis with mental depression.

Cautions for therapeutic doses: Contra indication: Kidney disease, pregnancy. Avoid seeds sold for horticultural use as they are usually treated with fungicide. Not to be used in conjunction with UV therapy or tanning booths.


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