Celery is a plant. The fruit and seeds are dried or pressed into oil for use as medicine. Sometimes celery oil is marketed in capsule form. Some people also take celery juice as medicine. The ancient Greeks used celery to make wine, which was served as an award at athletic games.
Celery is used to treat joint pain (rheumatism), gout, hysteria, nervousness, headache, weight loss due to malnutrition, loss of appetite, and exhaustion. Celery is also to promote relaxation and sleep; to kill bacteria in the urinary tract; as a digestive aid and for regulating bowel movements; to start menstruation; to control intestinal gas (flatulence); to increase sexual desire; to reduce the flow of breast milk; for stimulating glands; treating menstrual discomfort; and for “blood purification.”
How does it work?
It is thought that the chemicals in celery act to cause sleepiness, increase urine to decrease fluid retention, decrease arthritis symptoms, decrease blood pressure, decrease blood sugar, decrease blood clotting, and muscle relaxation.
Possibly Effective for:
- Menstrual discomfort. Some clinical research shows the taking a specific product containing celery seed, anise, and saffron (SCA by Gol Daro Herbal Medicine Laboratory) for 3 days reduces pain severity and duration during the menstrual cycle.
- Mosquito repellent. Some research shows that applying a gel containing 5% to 25% celery extract to the skin can repel mosquitos for up to 4.5 hours. Other research shows that applying a specific product (G10, E.A.R. Samunpri) containing celery extract 5%, along with vanillin, eucalyptus oil, orange oil, and citronella oil, repels mosquitos similarly to other commercial products, such as DEET 25% and Insect Block 28.
- Muscle and joint aches and pains.
- Appetite stimulation.
- Fluid retention.
- Regulating bowel movements.
- Use as a sleeping sedative.
- Stimulating menstruation.
- Breast milk reduction.
- Aiding digestion.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & Safety
Celery oil and celery seeds are LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in food amounts. Celery is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth or applied to the skin in medicinal amounts for a short period of time. However, it may cause skin inflammation and sensitivity to the sun.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Celery oil and celery seeds are LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts during pregnancy. Large amounts of celery might make the uterus contract and cause a miscarriage. There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking celery oil and seeds if you are breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Allergies: Celery can cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to certain other plants and spices including wild carrot, mugwort, birch, and dandelion. This has been called the “celery-carrot-mugwort-spice syndrome.”
Bleeding disorder: There is concern that celery might increase the risk of bleeding when used in medicinal amounts. Don’t use celery if you have a bleeding disorder.
Kidney problems: Don’t use celery in medicinal amounts if you have kidney problems. Celery might cause inflammation.
Low blood pressure: Celery in medicinal amounts might lower blood pressure. If your blood pressure is already low, taking celery might make it drop too much.
Surgery: Celery can affect the central nervous system. There is some concern that celery, in combination with anesthesia and other medications used during and after surgery might slow down the central nervous system too much. Stop using celery at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Levothyroxine interacts with CELERY
Levothyroxine is used for low thyroid function. Taking celery seed along with levothyroxine might decrease the effectiveness of levothyroxine. But it is not clear why this interaction might occur, or if it is a big concern.
Some brands that contain levothyroxine include Armour Thyroid, Eltroxin, Estre, Euthyrox, Levo-T, Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid, Unithroid, and others.
- Lithium interacts with CELERY
Celery might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking celery might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.
- Medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight (Photosensitizing drugs) interacts with CELERY
Some medications can increase sensitivity to sunlight. Celery might also increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Taking celery along with medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight could increase the chances of sunburn, blistering, or rashes on areas of skin exposed to sunlight. Be sure to wear sunblock and protective clothing when spending time in the sun.
Some drugs that cause photosensitivity include amitriptyline (Elavil), Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), norfloxacin (Noroxin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), ofloxacin (Floxin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), gatifloxacin (Tequin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Septra), tetracycline, methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen, 8-MOP, Oxsoralen), and Trioxsalen (Trisoralen).
- Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with CELERY
Celery might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking celery along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.
Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For menstrual discomfort: 500 mg of a specific combination product containing saffron, celery seed, and anise extracts (SCA, Gol Daro Herbal Medicine Laboratory) taken three times a day for the first three days of menstruation.