Celery
    
Apium Graveolens

Celery has a long and prestigious history of use, first as a medicine and then later as a food. The initial mention of the medicinal properties of celery leaves dates back to the 9th century B.C., when celery made an appearance in the Odyssey, the famous epic by the Greek poet, Homer. The Ancient Greeks used the leaves as laurels to decorate their renowned athletes, while the ancient Romans used it as a seasoning, a tradition that has carried through the centuries.

It was not until the Middle Ages that celery's use expanded beyond medicine and seasoning into consideration as a food. And while today, for most people thoughts of celery conjure up images of dips and crudit' platters, eating this delicious crunchy vegetable raw did not really become popular until the 18th century in Europe. Celery was introduced in the United States early in the 19th century.

Celery's beneficial blood pressure-reducing action has long been recognized by Chinese medicine practitioners, and now scientists have discovered how it works.   Celery contains active compounds called pthalides, which relax the muscles of the arteries that regulate blood pressure, allowing these vessels to dilate. Pthalides also reduce stress hormones, one of whose effects is to cause blood vessels to constrict. When researchers injected 3-n-butyl phthalide derived from celery into test animals, the animals' blood pressure dropped 12 to 14 percent. In humans, an equivalent dose would be supplied in about 4 stalks of celery

In studies of animals specially bred to have high cholesterol, celery's cholesterol-lowering activity has been demonstrated. In eight weeks, aqueous solutions of celery (like celery juice) fed to specially bred high cholesterol animals significantly lowered their total cholesterol by increasing bile acid secretion.

Celery contains cancer preventing compounds called coumarins that help prevent free radicals from damaging cells, thus decreasing the mutations that increase the potential for cells to become cancerous. Coumarins also enhance the activity of certain white blood cells, immune defenders that target and eliminate potentially harmful cells, including cancer cells. In addition, compounds in celery called acetylenics have been shown to stop the growth of tumor cells.

The strong diuretic (water removing) powers of celery enable it to be used in the control of health problems such as arthritis and rheumatism. Sufferers cannot have too much and may consume the vegetable cooked or raw, or in juice form which is the most health effective treatment of all.

A tablespoonful of honey in celery juice, sipped slowly, will very effectively reduce the appetite if taken before a meal, and makes a delightful drink. You can take the same mixture as a nightcap when it will help you to relax into a soothing and restful sleep.

Those who take the juice who have in the past suffered from a tendency towards stones in the gall bladder or the kidneys usually find that these painful deposits do not form again. It seems likely that this effect is related to the anti-arthritic properties of the juice.

Celery has been one of those foods recommended by many nutritionists and doctors specializing in treating children and adults suffering with ADD and ADHD.   By removing the acid causing junk foods and introducing mineral-rich alkaline foods like Celery can lead a child out of this condition.  Celery juice has a calming effect on the nervous system probably due to its high concentration of organic alkaline minerals, especially sodium. 

Sources:
The Juicing Book by Stephen Blauer, Avery Publishing Group Inc., NY, 1989
Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Healing Juices by John Heinerman, Parker Publishing Company, NY, 1994
Celery, 2002-2005 The George Mateljan Foundation
Health benefits of celery juice, 2004. Home-Remedies-for-You.com,

 

 
Important Note:
The information presented herein by The Natural Path Botanicals is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

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