Origin, Distribution and Composition
Celery is an important salad plant, consisting of the bulbous roots, green
leaves and the stem. The leaves sprout directly from the fleshy roots.
They are compound with long stalk; which are big and succulent. The fruits
are small in size, dark brown in color and have a peculiar flavor when cut
open. The seeds are brown in color.
In India, the leaves are not so popular, but, the root and the seeds are
commonly used in Unani and Ayurvedic medicine.
Celery has been in cultivation for more than 2,000 years. It was known to
the Chinese from the fifth century B.C. In England, where it grew wild, it
was known as smallage and used in medicines. In the 16th and 17th
centuries, it was brought into gardens and grown first as a medicinal
plant and later as a flavoring for soups and stews.
Celery is a native of Europe and Asia. It is now grown widely in temperate
regions and in tropical mountains. In India, large areas in the Punjab and
Uttar Pradesh are given to the cultivation of celery for the production of
the seed. It grows best with relatively cool weather and moderate rainfall
during the crop season, at over 900 meters. As a salad crop, it is also
grown in kitchen or home gardens.
Celery is an excellent basic food. It is one of the best sources of
mineral salts and vitamins. An analysis of celery leaves shows them to
consist of moisture 88.0 per cent, protein 6.3 per cent, fat 0.6 per cent,
minerals 2.1 per cent, fiber 1.4 per cent and carbohydrates 1.6 per cent
per 100 grams. Its mineral and vitamin contents are calcium, phosphorus,
iron, carotene, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin C. Its calorific value is
The fruits yield a volatile oil, pale yellow in color. It consists of
limonene d-selinene sedanonic acid, anhydride and sedanolide.
Healing Power and Curative Properties
The word celery is derived from Latin, celeri which means quick
acting, and presumably refers to its therapeutic properties. The green
leaves and stem of the bulbous root are all extremely rich in active
ingredients that make celery an important medicinal plant. It has a
well-balanced content of the basic minerals, vitamins and nutrients,
besides a good concentration of plant hormones and
essential oils that
give celery its strong and characteristic smell. These oils have a
specific effect on the regulation of the nervous system with their
tranquilizing properties. The seeds of celery relieve flatulence, increase
the secretion and discharge of urine and act as an aphrodisiac. They are
tonic, laxative and stimulant. They correct spasmodic disorders and can be
used for aborting unwanted pregnancies.
Celery is useful in the treatment of arthritis due to its high sodium
content. Its organic sodium tends to prevent and relieve the arthritic
joint deposits by keeping lime- and magnesia in a solution form. For
optimum results, it should be taken in the form of freshly extracted
juice, using its leaves as well as the stem.
Rheumatism and Gout
The alkaline elements in celery outweigh the acidic ones. It is therefore,
very effective in diseases arising from acidity and toxemia, rheumatism
and gout. A fluid extract of the seeds is more powerful than the raw
An abundant use of celery juice combined with carrot juice is beneficial
in the treatment of nervous afflictions resulting from the degeneration of
sheathing or the protective cover of the nerves. It helps to restore these
to their normal conditions thereby alleviating the affliction.
The herb is valuable in diseases of the blood such as anemia, leukemia,
Hodgkin's disease, purpura and haemophilia caused by the inorganic mineral
elements and salts taken into the body by means of devitalized foods and
sedatives. This plant is very high in magnesium and iron content, a
combination which is invaluable as a food for the blood cells. The juice
of celery in combination with carrot juice should be taken in the
treatment of these disorders.
Celery is known to have antispasmodic properties and is useful in the
treatment of asthma, bronchitis, pleurisy and tuberculosis. Its seeds
serve the same purpose in such diseases.
The seeds of celery are an effective remedy for indigestion. A teaspoon of
the seeds soaked in a glass of buttermilk for 5 to 6 hours should be
ground in the same buttermilk mixture and administered to relieve
Kidney and Gall Stones
Celery is a valuable food for those who are
prone to stone formation in the gall bladder or kidneys. Its regular use
prevents stone formation.
The powder of the dried root of the herb is an effective tonic in general
debility or weakness and malnutrition. One teaspoon of this powder mixed
with a tablespoon of honey is taken twice daily in such conditions.
Celery is also useful in the treatment of sleeplessness. Celery juice
mixed with a tablespoon of honey makes a delightful drink. This mixture
taken at night before retiring, will help one relax into a soothing and
Precautions: Celery with thick ribs and crisply brittle stalks should be
selected for use. Its green portions should never be discarded or scraped,
as by doing so, valuable vitamins are lost.
Celery can be eaten either raw in salads or in the cooked form. Soups and
juices can also be prepared. In salads, it is usually taken with other
vegetables and fruits. Cooked celery is delicious when taken with cream or
butter. It is also used to flavor stews and sauces.