Some people use celery on the skin to repel mosquitos. People also take celery by mouth for prediabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, as a "water pill," and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
How does it work ?
Uses & Effectiveness ?
Possibly Effective for
- 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 containing celery extract 5%, vanillin, eucalyptus oil, orange oil, and citronella oil, repels mosquitoes similarly to other commercial products, such as DEET 25% and Insect Block 28.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Prediabetes. Early research shows that taking celery extract might lower blood sugar levels in elderly people with prediabetes.
- Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea).
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
- Appetite stimulation.
- Fluid retention.
- Regulating bowel movements.
- Use as a sleeping sedative.
- Stimulating menstruation.
- Breast milk reduction.
- Aiding digestion.
- Infections of the kidney, bladder, or urethra (urinary tract infections or UTIs).
- Other conditions.
When applied to the skin: Celery is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when applied to the skin in the amounts found in medicine for a short period of time. However, some people are allergic to celery. Allergic reactions can range from skin rashes to anaphylaxis. Celery can also cause sensitivity to the sun.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if it is safe to use celery when 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, caraway, fennel or coriander seeds, parsley, anise, plantain, and dandelion. This has been called the "celery-carrot-mugwort-spice syndrome," or the "celery-mugwort-birch-spice" syndrome.
Bleeding disorders: 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.
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.
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.
Be cautious with this combination
APPLIED TO THE SKIN:
- For mosquito repellent effects: Applying a gel containing 5% to 25% celery extract to the skin, or applying a specific product containing celery extract 5%, along with vanillin, eucalyptus oil, orange oil, and citronella oil, has been used.
Ballmer-Weber, B. K., Hoffmann, A., Wuthrich, B., Luttkopf, D., Pompei, C., Wangorsch, A., Kastner, M., and Vieths, S. Influence of food processing on the allergenicity of celery: DBPCFC with celery spice and cooked celery in patients with celery allergy. Allergy 2002;57(3):228-235. View abstract.
Beier, R. C., Ivie, G. W., Oertli, E. H., and Holt, D. L. HPLC analysis of linear furocoumarins (psoralens) in healthy celery (Apium graveolens). Food Chem.Toxicol. 1983;21(2):163-165. View abstract.
Boffa, M. J., Gilmour, E., and Ead, R. D. Celery soup causing severe phototoxicity during PUVA therapy. Br.J.Dermatol. 1996;135(2):334. View abstract.
Bonnin, J. P., Grezard, P., Colin, L., and Perrot, H. [A very significant case of allergy to celery cross-reacting with ragweed]. Allerg.Immunol.(Paris) 1995;27(3):91-93. View abstract.
Bonnin, J. P., Grezard, P., Colin, L., and Perrot, H. [A very significant case of allergy to celery]. Allerg.Immunol.(Paris) 1995;27(6):209. View abstract.
Christensen, L. P. and Brandt, K. Bioactive polyacetylenes in food plants of the Apiaceae family: occurrence, bioactivity and analysis. J Pharm.Biomed.Anal. 6-7-2006;41(3):683-693. View abstract.
DeChamp, C., Michel, J., Deviller, P., and Perrin, L. F. [Anaphylactic shock to celery and sensitization to ragweed and mugwort. Crossed or concomitant allergy?]. Presse Med. 3-31-1984;13(14):871-874. View abstract.
DeLeo, V. A. Photocontact dermatitis. Dermatol Ther 2004;17(4):279-288. View abstract.
Egan, C. L. and Sterling, G. Phytophotodermatitis: a visit to Margaritaville. Cutis 1993;51(1):41-42. View abstract.
Erdmann, S. M., Sachs, B., Schmidt, A., Merk, H. F., Scheiner, O., Moll-Slodowy, S., Sauer, I., Kwiecien, R., Maderegger, B., and Hoffmann-Sommergruber, K. In vitro analysis of birch-pollen-associated food allergy by use of recombinant allergens in the basophil activation test. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2005;136(3):230-238. View abstract.
Forsbeck, M. and Ros, A. M. Anaphylactoid reaction to celery. Contact Dermatitis 1979;5(3):191. View abstract.
Fraser L and et al. Stalking hypertension. Health 1992;6(5):11.
Gorgus, E., Lohr, C., Raquet, N., Guth, S., and Schrenk, D. Limettin and furocoumarins in beverages containing citrus juices or extracts. Food Chem.Toxicol. 2010;48(1):93-98. View abstract.
Groot, B. J., Belinfante-van Gelder, M. E., and Jans, H. W. [An epidemic of dermatitis caused by blanched celery]. Ned.Tijdschr.Geneeskd. 6-20-1992;136(25):1210-1213. View abstract.
Held, J. L. Phytophotodermatitis. Am Fam.Physician 1989;39(4):143-146. View abstract.
Hoerler, S. and Ukiwe, J. Laryngeal edema from celery allergic reaction. Am.J.Emerg.Med. 1992;10(6):613. View abstract.
Jeanmougin, M., Varroud-Vial, C., and Dubertret, L. [Phototoxic side-effect following celery ingestion during puvatherapy]. Ann.Dermatol Venereol 2005;132(6-7 Pt 1):566-567. View abstract.
Johansson, S. G., Dannaeus, A., and Lilja, G. The relevance of anti-food antibodies for the diagnosis of food allergy. Ann.Allergy 1984;53(6 Pt 2):665-672. View abstract.
Kidd, J. M., III, Cohen, S. H., Sosman, A. J., and Fink, J. N. Food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1983;71(4):407-411. View abstract.
Ljunggren, B. Severe phototoxic burn following celery ingestion. Arch.Dermatol. 1990;126(10):1334-1336. View abstract.
Lombaert, G. A., Siemens, K. H., Pellaers, P., Mankotia, M., and Ng, W. Furanocoumarins in celery and parsnips: method and multiyear Canadian survey. J AOAC Int 2001;84(4):1135-1143. View abstract.
Maso, M. J., Ruszkowski, A. M., Bauerle, J., DeLeo, V. A., and Gasparro, F. P. Celery phytophotodermatitis in a chef. Arch.Dermatol. 1991;127(6):912-913. View abstract.
Moneret-Vautrin, D. A. and Kanny, G. [Food-induced anaphylaxis. A new French multicenter study]. Bull.Acad.Natl.Med 1995;179(1):161-184. View abstract.
Moneret-Vautrin, D. A. and Kanny, G. [Food-induced anaphylaxis. A new French multicenter survey]. Ann.Gastroenterol Hepatol (Paris) 1995;31(4):256-263. View abstract.
Peterson, S., Lampe, J. W., Bammler, T. K., Gross-Steinmeyer, K., and Eaton, D. L. Apiaceous vegetable constituents inhibit human cytochrome P-450 1A2 (hCYP1A2) activity and hCYP1A2-mediated mutagenicity of aflatoxin B1. Food Chem.Toxicol. 2006;44(9):1474-1484. View abstract.
Puig, L. and de Moragas, J. M. Enhancement of PUVA phototoxic effects following celery ingestion: cool broth also can burn. Arch.Dermatol. 1994;130(6):809-810. View abstract.
Rose, M. H. and Altman, L. C. Anaphylaxis after ingestion of raw celery. Ann.Allergy 1985;54(2):166. View abstract.
Rueff, F., Eberlein-Konig, B., and Przybilla, B. Oral hyposensitization with celery juice. Allergy 2001;56(1):82-83. View abstract.
Silverstein, S. R., Frommer, D. A., Dobozin, B., and Rosen, P. Celery-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis. J.Emerg.Med. 1986;4(3):195-199. View abstract.
Tuetun, B., Choochote, W., Kanjanapothi, D., Rattanachanpichai, E., Chaithong, U., Chaiwong, P., Jitpakdi, A., Tippawangkosol, P., Riyong, D., and Pitasawat, B. Repellent properties of celery, Apium graveolens L., compared with commercial repellents, against mosquitoes under laboratory and field conditions. Trop.Med Int Health 2005;10(11):1190-1198. View abstract.
Tuetun, B., Choochote, W., Pongpaibul, Y., Junkum, A., Kanjanapothi, D., Chaithong, U., Jitpakdi, A., Riyong, D., and Pitasawat, B. Celery-based topical repellents as a potential natural alternative for personal protection against mosquitoes. Parasitol.Res 2008;104(1):107-115. View abstract.
Tuetun, B., Choochote, W., Pongpaibul, Y., Junkum, A., Kanjanapothi, D., Chaithong, U., Jitpakdi, A., Riyong, D., Wannasan, A., and Pitasawat, B. Field evaluation of G10, a celery (Apium graveolens)-based topical repellent, against mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand. Parasitol.Res 2009;104(3):515-521. View abstract.
Wang, L., Sterling, B., and Don, P. Berloque dermatitis induced by "Florida water". Cutis 2002;70(1):29-30. View abstract.
Weber, I. C., Davis, C. P., and Greeson, D. M. Phytophotodermatitis: the other "lime" disease. J Emerg.Med 1999;17(2):235-237. View abstract.
Wuthrich, B., Borga, A., and Yman, L. Oral allergy syndrome to a jackfruit (Artocarpus integrifolia). Allergy 1997;52(4):428-431. View abstract.
Baek CH, Bae YJ, Cho YS, Moon HB, Kim TB. Food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis in the celery-mugwort-birch-spice syndrome. Allergy. 2010;65(6):792-3. View abstract.
Bauer L, Ebner C, Hirschwehr R, et al. IgE cross-reactivity between birch pollen, mugwort pollen, and celery is due to three distinct cross-reacting allergens: immunoblot investigation of the birch-mugwort-celery syndrome. Clin Exp Allergy 1996;26:1161-70. View abstract.
Ciganda C, and Laborde A. Herbal infusions used for induced abortion. J Toxicol.Clin Toxicol. 2003;41:235-239. View abstract.
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182
Fetrow CW, Avila JR. Professional's Handbook of Complementary & Alternative Medicines. 1st ed. Springhouse, PA: Springhouse Corp., 1999.
Gral N, Beani JC, Bonnot D, et al. [Plasma levels of psoralens after celery ingestion]. Ann Dermatol Venereol 1993;120:599-603. View abstract.
Heck AM, DeWitt BA, Lukes AL. Potential interactions between alternative therapies and warfarin. Am J Health Syst Pharm 2000;57:1221-7. View abstract.
Hirschfeld G, Weber L, Renkl A, Scharffetter-Kochanek K, Weiss JM. Anaphylaxis after Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) therapy in a patient with sensitization to star anise and celery-carrot-mugwort-spice syndrome. Allergy. 2008;63(2):243-4. View abstract.
Jakovljevic, V., Raskovic, A., Popovic, M., and Sabo, J. The effect of celery and parsley juices on pharmacodynamic activity of drugs involving cytochrome P450 in their metabolism. Eur.J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet. 2002;27(3):153-156. View abstract.
Khalid Z, Osuagwu FC, Shah B, Roy N, Dillon JE, Bradley R. Celery root extract as an inducer of mania induction in a patient on venlafaxine and St John's Wort. Postgrad Med. 2016;128(7):682-3. View abstract.
Li S, Li L, Yan H, et al. Anti-gouty arthritis and anti-hyperuricemia properties of celery seed extracts in rodent models. Mol Med Rep 2019;20(5):4623-33. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2019.10708. View abstract.
Maljaei MB, Moosavian SP, Mirmosayyeb O, Rouhani MH, Namjoo I, Bahreini A. Effect of celery extract on thyroid function; is herbal therapy safe in obesity? Int J Prev Med 2019;10:55. doi: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_209_17. View abstract.
Moses, G. Thyroxine interacts with celery seed tablets? Australian Prescriber 2001;24:6-7.
Nahid K, Fariborz M, Ataolah G, Solokian S. The effect of an Iranian herbal drug on primary dysmenorrhea: a clinical controlled trial. J Midwifery Womens Health 2009;54:401-4. View abstract.
Palgan K, Götz-Zbikowska M, Tykwinska M, Napiórkowska K, Bartuzi Z. Celery-cause of severe anaphylactic shock. Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2012;66:132-4. View abstract.
Rouhi-Boroujeni H, Hosseini M, Gharipour M, Rouhi-Boroujeni H. Is herbal therapy safe in obesity? A case of Apium graveolens (Celery) induced hyperthyroidism. ARYA Atheroscler 2016;12(5):248-9. View abstract.
Sarshar S, Sendker J, Qin X, et al. Antiadhesive hydroalcoholic extract from Apium graveolens fruits prevents bladder and kidney infection against uropathogenic E. coli. Fitoterapia. 2018;127:237-244. View abstract.
Yusni Y, Zufry H, Meutia F, Sucipto KW. The effects of celery leaf (apium graveolens L.) treatment on blood glucose and insulin levels in elderly pre-diabetics. Saudi Med J. 2018;39(2):154-160. View abstract.
You Might Also Like
CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.