Celery

View Slideshow Pictures

What other names is Celery known by?

Aches des Marais, Ajamoda, Ajmoda, Ajwan, Apii Frutus, Apio, Apium graveolens, Céleri, Celery Fruit, Celery Seed, Fruit de Celeri, Graine de Céleri, Karmauli, Persil des Marais, Qin Cai, Smallage, Selleriefruchte, Selleriesamen.

What is Celery?

Celery is a plant. The fruit and seeds are dried or pressed into oil for use as medicine. Sometimes celery oil is marketed in capsule form. Some people also take celery juice as medicine. The ancient Greeks used celery to make wine, which was served as an award at athletic games.

Celery is used to treat joint pain (rheumatism), gout, hysteria, nervousness, headache, weight loss due to malnutrition, loss of appetite, and exhaustion. Celery is also to promote relaxation and sleep; to kill bacteria in the urinary tract; as a digestive aid and for regulating bowel movements; to start menstruation; to control intestinal gas (flatulence); to increase sexual desire; to reduce the flow of breast milk; for stimulating glands; treating menstrual discomfort; and for "blood purification."

Possibly Effective for...

  • Menstrual discomfort. Some clinical research shows the taking a specific product containing celery seed, anise, and saffron (SCA by Gol Daro Herbal Medicine Laboratory) for 3 days reduces pain severity and duration during the menstrual cycle.
  • Mosquito repellent. Some research shows that applying a gel containing 5% to 25% celery extract to the skin can repel mosquitos for up to 4.5 hours. Other research shows that applying a specific product (G10, E.A.R. Samunpri) containing celery extract 5%, along with vanillin, eucalyptus oil, orange oil, and citronella oil, repels mosquitos similarly to other commercial products, such as DEET 25% and Insect Block 28.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Muscle and joint aches and pains.
  • Gout.
  • Nervousness.
  • Headache.
  • Appetite stimulation.
  • Exhaustion.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Regulating bowel movements.
  • Use as a sleeping sedative.
  • Gas.
  • Stimulating menstruation.
  • Breast milk reduction.
  • Aiding digestion.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of celery for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Quick GuideVitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough?

Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough?

How does Celery work?

It is thought that the chemicals in celery act to cause sleepiness, increase urine to decrease fluid retention, decrease arthritis symptoms, decrease blood pressure, decrease blood sugar, decrease blood clotting, and muscle relaxation.

Are there safety concerns?

Celery oil and celery seeds are LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in food amounts. Celery is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth or applied to the skin in medicinal amounts for a short period of time. However, it may cause skin inflammation and sensitivity to the sun.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Celery oil and celery seeds are LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts during pregnancy. Large amounts of celery might make the uterus contract and cause a miscarriage. There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking celery oil and seeds if you are breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Allergies: Celery can cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to certain other plants and spices including wild carrot, mugwort, birch, and dandelion. This has been called the "celery-carrot-mugwort-spice syndrome."

Bleeding disorder: There is concern that celery might increase the risk of bleeding when used in medicinal amounts. Don't use celery if you have a bleeding disorder.

Kidney problems: Don't use celery in medicinal amounts if you have kidney problems. Celery might cause inflammation.

Low blood pressure: Celery in medicinal amounts might lower blood pressure. If your blood pressure is already low, taking celery might make it drop too much.

Surgery: Celery can affect the central nervous system. There is some concern that celery, in combination with anesthesia and other medications used during and after surgery might slow down the central nervous system too much. Stop using celery at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Taking celery juice with acetaminophen prolongs the effects of acetaminophen. Celery may have this effect because of its effects on the liver. Taking celery juice with acetaminophen might increase the effects and side effects of acetaminophen.



Levothyroxine
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Levothyroxine is used for low thyroid function. Taking celery seed along with levothyroxine might decrease the effectiveness of levothyroxine. But it is not clear why this interaction might occur, or if it is a big concern.

Some brands that contain levothyroxine include Armour Thyroid, Eltroxin, Estre, Euthyrox, Levo-T, Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid, Unithroid, and others.



Lithium
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Celery might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking celery might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.



Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) substrates)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Celery might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking celery along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking celery talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.

Some medications that are changed by the liver include amitriptyline (Elavil), haloperidol (Haldol), ondansetron (Zofran), propranolol (Inderal), theophylline (Theo-Dur, others), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, others), and others.



Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Celery might lower blood pressure. Using celery in medicinal amounts along with drugs that lower blood pressure might cause blood pressure to drop too much.

Some medications that lower blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.



Medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight (Photosensitizing drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Some medications can increase sensitivity to sunlight. Celery might also increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Taking celery along with medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight could increase the chances of sunburn, blistering, or rashes on areas of skin exposed to sunlight. Be sure to wear sunblock and protective clothing when spending time in the sun.

Some drugs that cause photosensitivity include amitriptyline (Elavil), Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), norfloxacin (Noroxin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), ofloxacin (Floxin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), gatifloxacin (Tequin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Septra), tetracycline, methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen, 8-MOP, Oxsoralen), and Trioxsalen (Trisoralen).



Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Celery might slow blood clotting. Using celery in medicinal amounts with medications that slow clotting may increase the risk of bleeding.

Some of these drugs include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), dalteparin (Fragmin), dipyridamole (Persantine), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, ticlopidine (Ticlid), warfarin (Coumadin), and others.



Sedative medications (CNS depressants)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Celery might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking celery along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.

Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.



Aminopyrine
Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Aminopyrine is removed from the body by the liver. Celery might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down and removes aminopyrine. Taking celery juice with aminopyrine might increase the effects and side effects of aminopyrine.

Dosing considerations for Celery.

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:
  • For menstrual discomfort: 500 mg of a specific combination product containing saffron, celery seed, and anise extracts (SCA, Gol Daro Herbal Medicine Laboratory) taken three times a day for the first three days of menstruation.
FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors