Celery is an important salad plant, consisting 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 peculiar flavor when cut open. The seeds are brown in color.
In India, the leaves are not so popular, but, the root and the seeds are commonly used in unani and Ayurvedic medicine.
Celery has been in cultivation for more than 2000 year. In England where it grew wild, it was known as small age and used in medicine. In the 16th and 17th centuries it was brought into gardens and grown first as a medicinal plant and later as a flavoring for soups and stews.
Celery is a native of Europe and Asia. It is now grown widely in temperate regions and in tropical mountains. In India large areas in the Punjab and Uttar Pradesh are cultivation of celery for the production of the seed. It grows best with relatively cold weather and moderate rainfall during the crop season, at over 900 meters. As a salad crop, it is also grown in kitchen and home gardens.
Celery is an excellent basic food. It is one of the best sources of mineral salts and vitamins. An analysis of celery leaves shows them to consist of moisture 88 per cent, protein 6.3 per cent, fat 0.6 per cent, minerals 2.1 per cent, fiber 1.4 per cent and carbohydrates 1.6 per cent per 100 grams. Its mineral and vitamin contents are calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C. its calorific value is 37
The fruits yield a volatile oil, pale yellow in color. It consists of limonene d-selinene sedanonic acid, anhydride and sedanolide.
Healing Power and Curative Properties
The word celery is derived from Latin celery, which means quick acting and presumably refers to its therapeutic properties. The green leaves and stem of the bulbous root are all extremely rich in active ingredients that make celery an important medicinal plant. It has a well balanced content of the minerals, vitamins and nutrients besides a good concentration of plant hormones and essential oils that give celery its strong and characteristic smell. These cells have a specific effect on the regulation of the nervous system with their tranquilizer properties. The seed of celery relieves flatulence, increases secretion and discharge of urine and act as a aphrodisiac. They are tonic, laxative and stimulant. They correct spasmodic disorders and can be used for aborting unwanted pregnancies.
Celery is useful in the treatment of arthritis due to its high sodium content. Its organic sodium tends to prevent and relive the arthritic joint deposits by keeping lime and magnesia in the solution form. For optimum results, it should be taken in the form or freshly extracted juice, using its leaves as well as the stem.
Rheumatism and Gout
The alkaline elements in the celery outweigh the acidic ones. It is therefore, very effective in diseases arising from acidity and toxemia, rheumatism and gout. A fluid extract of the seeds is more powerful than the raw vegetables.
An abundant use of celery juice combined with carrot juice is beneficial in the treatment of nervous afflictions resulting from the degeneration of sheathing or the protective cover of the nerves. It helps to restore these to their normal conditions thereby alleviating the afflictions.
The herb is valuable in the disease of the blood anemia, leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, purpura and hemophilia caused by inorganic mineral elements and salts taken into the body by means of devitalized of 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.
Celery 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.
The seeds of celery are an effective remedy for indigestion. A teaspoon of the seeds soaked in glass of buttermilk for 5 to 6hours should be ground in same buttermilk mixture and administered to relive indigestion.
Kidney and Gall Stones
Celery is a valuable food for those who are prone to stone formation in the gall bladder and 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 also useful in the treatment of sleeplessness. 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.
Precautions: Celery with thick ribs and crispy brittle stalks should be selected for use. Its green portions should never be discarded or scraped, as by doing so valuable vitamin are lost.
Celery can be eaten either raw in salad or in cooked form. Soups and juices can also be prepared. In salads, it is usually taken with other vegetables and fruits. Cooked celery is delicious when taken with cream and butter. It is also used for flavor stews and sauces.