Celery (Apium graveolens)
Celery is often seen around the holidays sitting on hors d'oerves trays, overflowing with cream cheese or peanut butter. It may be surprising to some that this common vegetable is also a medicinal herb. This common plant in the vegetable garden grows from two to three feet tall with several upright stalks that branch at the top with leaves.
Key Medicinal Uses
Internally Celery can sooth the stomach, help get rid of excess fluid in the body and to begin a late menstrual cycle. This herb is a uterine stimulant, it relieves indigestion, treats flatulence and helps reduce the blood pressure. It also contains compounds that help you sleep well and for this reason it used to be given for hysteria. Some say it is an aphrodisiac. The seeds have anti-inflammatory, diuretic, anti-rheumatic and anti-spasmodic actions. It has also been used after childbirth to aid the uterus in adjusting to postpartum.
Externally The herb can be used to fight fungal infections and tumors.
Other Uses Celery oil can be used to tone the central nervous system as well as a diuretic and to treat cellulite. Using the oil in aromatherapy can help decrease skin puffiness and cleanse the kidneys, liver and spleen. It is useful for dissolving uric acid crystals in people suffering from gout and arthritis. The seeds are also used to make a tonic (also known as celery soda). The main body of the plant is often added to soups, salads or eaten alone as an appetizer. The seeds are sometimes used in pickling, especially in the cuisines of Germany, Italy, Russia and Asia. The essential oil is also used in perfumes and cosmetics.
Herbs to Combine/Supplement
Whole plant The entire plant is used including the seeds, the roots and the oil.
Therapeutic doses of the herb and oil should not be used during pregnancy.
Preparation and Dosage
An infusion may be made with ½ ounce of bruised seeds or ½ ounce of dried leaves or stalks. Add to 1 pint of water. Allow it to steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Take 1 cup every few days.
A decoction can be made of ½ ounce seeds in half a cup of water. Boil it for 5 minutes then strain out the seeds. Take in small doses. Juice of celery can be taken before meals in a dose of 1 tablespoon 2 or 3 times per day. Celery oil can be used twice a day in a dose of 2 drops in water.
To use the oil for massage, add 5 to 10 drops of oil in 20 ml of olive or sweet almond oil. Massage the mixture into arthritic joints for relief.