Botanical Name: Apium graveolens
Indian Name: Ajmod or Ajwain-ka-patta
Origin, Distribution and Composition of
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 a 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 2,000 years. It was known to the Chinese from the fifth century B.C. in England , where' it grew wild, it was known as smallage and used in medicines. 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 given to the
cultivation of celery for the production of the seed. It grows best with, relatively cool weather and moderate rainfall during the crop season, at over 900 meters. As a salad crop, it is also grown in kitchen or 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 88.0 per cent, protein 6.3 per cent.
Medicinal uses of Celery
carminative, stimulant, diuretic, tonic, nervine and aphrodisiac. It is utilised as a tonic in combination with other herbs, promoting restfulness, sleep and lack of hysteria and is excellent in relieving rheumatism.
Healing Power and Curative Properties of
The word celery is derived from Latin, celeri 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 basic minerals, vitamins and nutrients, besides a good concentration of plant hormones and essential oils that give celery its strong and characteristic smell. These oils have a specific effect on the regulation of the nervous system with their tranquilizing properties. The seeds of celery relieve flatulence, increase the secretion and discharge of urine and act as an 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 relieve
the arthritic joint deposits by keeping lime and magnesia in a solution form. For optimum results, it should be taken in the form of freshly extracted juice, using its leaves as well as the stem.
Rheumatism and Gout
The alkaline elements in 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 vegetable.
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 affliction.
The herb is valuable in diseases of the blood such as anaemia. leukaemia, Hodgkin's disease, purpura and haemophilia 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.
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 a glass of buttermilk for 5 to 6 hours should be ground in the same buttermilk mixture and administered to relieve indigestion.
Kidney and Gall Stones
Celery is a valuable food for those who are prone to stone formation in the 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 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 crisply brittle stalks should be selected for use. Its green portions should never be discarded or scraped, as by doing so, valuable vitamins are lost
Other Uses and benefits of
Celery can be eaten either raw in salads or in the 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 or butter. It is also used to flavor stews, and sauces.