Celery consists 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.
The green leaves and stem of the bulbous root are rich in active ingredients that make celery an important medicinal plant. It has 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.
Celery leaves consist of moisture 88.0 percent, protein 6.3 percent, fat 0.6 percent, minerals 2.1 percent, fiber 1.4 percent and carbohydrates 1.6 percent per 100 grams. Its mineral and vitamin contents are calcium, phosphorous, iron, carotene, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin C.
Botanical Name- Apium graveolens
Indian Name- Ajmod or Ajwain-ka-patta
Below are some of the medicinal properties of celery:
- It is useful in the treatment of arthritis due to its high sodium content. Its organic sodium tends to prevent and relieve the arthritis joint deposits by keeping lime and magnesia in a solution form. For optimum results, it should be taken in the form or freshly extracted juice, using its leaves as well as the stem.
- The alkaline elements in celery outweigh the acidic ones. It is therefore used with gratifying results in diseases arising from acidity and toxemia, rheumatism and gout. A fluid extract of the seeds is more powerful than the raw vegetable.
- An abundant use of celery juice combined with carrot juice is useful in the treatment of nervous afflictions resulting from the degeneration of sheathing of the protective cover of the nerves. It helps to restore these to their normal conditions thereby alleviating the affliction.
- Celery is also effective in diseases of the blood such as anemia, leukemia, hodgkin’s disease, purpura and hemophilia 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.
- It 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.
- Celery seeds 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 indigestion.
- It is a valuable food for those who are prone to stone formation in 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 useful in the treatment of insomnia. 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 restful sleep.
Celery is used to flavor stews and sauces and can be eaten either raw in salads or in the cooked form. In salads, it is usually taken with other vegetables and fruits. Soups and juice can also be prepared. Cooked celery is delicious when taken with cream or butter.