Celery has the scientific name Apium graveolens. All of the plant parts are extremely aromatic and have healthful qualities. Celery you grow in your garden, however, has lost most of its aromatic qualities and you need seeds that are high in the bitter constituents. The main constituent of celery is celery oil, which contains terpenes, such as limonene and sesquiterpenes. Limonene has the highest concentration of celery oil and makes up seventy to eighty percent of the oil.
The origin of celery is ancient Europe, where it has been cultivated near the Mediterranean area for at least 3000 years. It later spread to more northern areas of Europe and to the US after the 1500s. It was originally called sedano, which later gave rise to the term celery and the related terms used in European languages. The common name means “dark" while the species name means strong-smelling.
Celery has been cultivated around the Mediterranean for many millennia. It is mentioned in Homer’s epics as a sacred plant in Greek mythology. Celery leaves were worn by the winners of the Nemean games, which were like the Olympic Games. Ancient Greeks did not make a complete distinction between parsley and celery. The Romans used celery more for cooking than for its religious significance. There was a lot of superstition around the use of celery, which was related to the underworld and death.
The leaves of celery today are used as a garnish and in soups or sauces in order to make them taste better. They are used in connection with bay leaves and parsley root and the root can be eaten as a vegetable. Celery seeds are more aromatic than the stems and roots. Celery salt is made from mixing the seeds (crushed) along with salt. Celery seeds are used when cooked with vegetables for a pungent taste. Let’s see some of the important benefits of celery.
Prevents Vitamin Deficiency: Celery is high in vitamin A, especially in the leaves. The stem is a good source of Vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C and also contains a great deal of folic acid, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, amino acids and sodium.
Arthritic and rheumatic problems: Celery is a key remedy for arthritic and rheumatic problems where joints, muscles, and tendons are sore, swollen, or stiff. The seed has got a volatile oil which stimulates the removal of waste products by the kidneys. It particularly, helps in removing salts such as urates that mainly cause inflammation and stiffness within the muscular-skeletal system. Celery seeds can also ease joint and muscle pain and stiffness, that often occurs during morning hours. It also effectively wipes out the fluid accumulation linked to arthritis.
Treating High Blood Pressure: Celery is helpful in lowering blood pressure, especially when juiced with other healthy vegetables. The lowered blood pressure may also be related to its effect on the kidneys. It relaxes the muscles around the arteries, lowering the blood pressure effectively. There is a compound called phthalide that relax the muscle surrounding the arteries. Cholesterol is also lowered by consuming celery, particularly the LDL or bad cholesterol.
Improving Cancer Symptoms: Some of the healthy aspects of celery include neutralizing the acidity of the bloodstream and cancer fighting, in which the celery stops the growth of cancer cells. Celery acts as an antioxidant, which fights cancer and rids the body of oxygen free radicals. The coumarins in celery prevents colon and stomach cancer. It cuts down on polyps of the colon which can turn into cancerous lesions. Celery also reduces constipation, which can contribute to the development of colon cancer.
Diuretic Effect and Body Temperature Cooling: Celery juice cools the body during hot and dry weather. It acts as a diuretic, stimulating urine production and ridding the body of extra fluids.
Anti-inflammatory Activity: The polyacetylene component of celery is helpful in preventing inflammation in diseases like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, asthma and bronchitis.
Detox Remedy: The juice obtained from leaf and steam eliminates toxins in the body. It’s a powerful herb for detoxification and also weight loss.
Celery has many health benefits and is an ideal food to incorporate in juices or into soups. Celery has got some greatest assets. It can be eaten raw or juiced or can be made as salad with other vegetables and fruits.