The use of celery as a food dates back to ancient Greece. Since then, this vegetable has found its way into countless recipes. Celery not only adds flavor to culinary dishes, but its active compounds may contain medicinal value. While celery may be consumed in its raw form, a streamlined way to consume celery and its active constituents is through juicing, which is the process of compressing the vegetable to extract its water and nutrient content. While celery is considered safe for most, check with your doctor before introducing juiced celery into your diet.
Celery contains numerous active compounds, which include vitamin A in the leaves and vitamins B1, B6, B2 and C within the stem. Other compounds include folic acid, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium and amino acids. One of the most potent constituents in celery is phthalide, which is responsible for the characteristic taste and aroma of celery. Selinene, d-limonene, sedanonic, anhydride and sedanenolide are other active compounds found in celery.
High Blood Pressure
Traditionally, celery is used to treat nervousness, hysteria and arthritis; however, modern science has debunked numerous uses of this vegetable. One of the more studied benefits of celery is its ability to potentially lower high blood pressure. NY Times reporter Jane E. Brody cites a study, performed by the University of Chicago Medical Center, where rats were given 3-n-butyl phthalide, which is the primary active compound in celery. Upon conclusion of the study, cholesterol levels were reduced by 7 percent while blood pressure was reduced 12 to 14 percent. To determine its effectiveness in humans, a researcher’s father consumed 1/4 lb. of celery per day for seven days. Upon conclusion, his blood pressure dropped from 158/96 to 118/82. Further testing is required to determine celery’s true effectiveness on blood pressure and the recommended dosage for this benefit.
United Press International, Inc. cites a study published in the “Cancer Prevention Research” journal stating the compound apigenin in celery showed a significant delay in tumor growth and formation among rats that were given this compound. Natural News reports Rutgers University of New Jersey researchers found the compound acetylenics was shown to stop the development of tumor cells; however, the aforementioned studies have not been performed on humans. While initial research regarding celery juice and cancer is promising, further research is required.
Celery juice is considered safe for most individuals; however, there is currently no clinical information regarding suggested dosage and the potential toxicity effects of consuming excessive amounts of celery juice. Side effects associated with celery are often related to allergic reactions triggered by its volatile oils. It is important to discuss the proper dosage with your physician, as celery does contain chemicals known to be toxic if consumed in high doses.