In his Prophetic Medicine
, Ibn al-Qayyim described the health
benefits of celery
. He said that celery
sweetened the breath, opened obstructions of the liver and spleen. He mentioned that its seeds
were also beneficial for bad breath.
Celery belongs to the same family as carrots, fennel, parsley and dill. There are three main types of celery: Chinese celery, which is closest to wild celery; celeriac, known for its mild, sweet taste and is most popular in Europe; and var dulce (meaning "sweet"), a variety most commonly found in North America. The tender stalks in the centre of celery are called the heart.
Celery is a good source of vitamin A- the darker the green, the higher the level of Vitamin A. Celery also contains vitamins C, B1 and B2, as well as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. The leaves contain many of these nutrients and works well as a replacement for parsley. Celery contains coumarins, possibly useful in cancer prevention.
Health Benefits of Celery
Cancer Prevention A chemical present in the essential oil of celery seeds has shown to have anticancer properties. Studies have shown positive results in regressing pancreatic, mammary and liver tumors.
Antibacteria and Fungi Celery contains polyacetylenes, substances highly toxic against fungi and bacteria. This compound also has anti-inflammatory effects and makes blood more slippery.
Tips on Using Celery
- The leaves of the celery stalk should be bright green and not wilted.
- Gently squeeze the middle of the stalk. If you hear a squeaky sound, the celery is fresh.
- Keep celery in the refrigerator in a plastic bag, sprinkled with water to maintain the freshness of the celery.
- Belanger JT. Perillyl alcohol: applications in oncology. Altern Med Rev. 1998 Dec; 3(6):448-457.
- Sultana S, Ahmed S, Jahangir T, Sharma S. Inhibitory effect of celery seeds extract on chemically induced hepatocarcinogenesis: modulation of cell proliferation, metabolism and altered hepatic foci development. Cancer Lett. 2005 Apr 18;221(1):11-20.
- Tsi D, Das NP, Tan BK. Effects of aqueous celery (Apium graveolens) extract on lipid parameters of rats fed a high fat diet. Plants Med. 1995 Feb;61(1):18-21.