The Benefits of Celery Seed

celery seed
Celery seed. Lew Robertson/StockFood Creative/Getty Images

Celery seed (Apium graveolens) is a natural substance sold in dietary supplement form. Long used in certain systems of alternative medicine (such as ayurveda), celery seed is said to aid in the treatment of a broad range of health problems.

While research on the health effects of celery seed is limited, the seeds of the celery plant are known to contain a number of substances that may influence health, including a variety of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.

Uses for Celery Seed 

In alternative medicine, celery seed is typically used for the following health conditions:

In addition, celery seed is said to stimulate digestion and enhance liver health.  It's also said to act as a diuretic (i.e., a substance that helps increase the flow of urine).

Benefits of Celery Seed

To date, there is a lack of scientific studies testing celery seed's health effects in humans. However, some preliminary research suggests that celery seed may offer certain health benefits. Here's a look at some findings on the potential benefits of taking celery seed in supplement form: 

1)  High Blood Pressure

Celery seed shows promise in the treatment of high blood pressure, according to a preliminary study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2013. In tests on rats, the study's authors observed that treatment with celery seed extract lowered blood pressure in animals with elevated blood pressure, but had no effect on those with normal blood pressure.

2)  Cancer

Some research indicates that celery seed extract may possess anti-cancer properties. This research includes a rat-based study published in Cancer Letters in 2005, which found that celery seed extract helped thwart the development of liver cancer.

Additionally, a study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention in 2011 found that celery seed extract may help fight stomach cancer.

In the study, tests on human cells demonstrated that celery seed extract may inhibit the spread of stomach cancer in part by inducing apoptosis (a type of programmed cell death essential for stopping the proliferation of cancer cells).

Caveats

Although little is known about the safety of long-term or regular use of dietary supplements containing celery seed, there's some concern that this remedy may be harmful to people with kidney inflammation.

In addition, celery seed may interact with a number of medications, including blood-thinning drugs, diuretics, lithium, and thyroid medicine. If you're currently using any of these medications, make sure to consult your physician prior to taking celery seed supplements.

Keep in mind that supplements haven't been tested for safety and dietary supplements are largely unregulated. In some cases, the product may deliver doses that differ from the specified amount for each herb. In other cases, the product may be contaminated with other substances such as metals.

 Also, the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established. You can get further tips on using supplements here.

Alternatives to Celery Seed

A major risk factor for heart disease (the leading cause of death in the U.S.), high blood pressure can be managed by following a balanced diet low in sodium and saturated fats, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting your alcohol intake, exercising regularly, avoiding smoking, and practicing stress-reducing mind-body techniques.

For more help in keeping your blood pressure in check, there's some evidence that natural remedies like garlic and omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial. In addition, maintaining optimal levels of vitamin D and drinking green tea may help control your blood pressure.

Where to Find It

Celery seed extract is sold in dietary supplement form in many natural-foods stores and other stores specializing in natural remedies. You can also purchase celery seed supplements online. 

Using Celery Seed for Health

Due to the limited research, it's too soon to recommend celery seed as a treatment for any condition. It's also important to note that self-treating a condition and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences. If you're considering using it for any health purpose, make sure to consult your primary care provider first.

Sources

Gao LL, Feng L, Yao ST, Jiao P, Qin SC, Zhang W, Zhang YB, Li FR. "Molecular mechanisms of celery seed extract induced apoptosis via s phase cell cycle arrest in the BGC-823 human stomach cancer cell line." Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2011;12(10):2601-6.

Moghadam MH, Imenshahidi M, Mohajeri SA. "Antihypertensive effect of celery seed on rat blood pressure in chronic administration." J Med Food. 2013 Jun;16(6):558-63.

Momin RA, Nair MG. "Antioxidant, cyclooxygenase and topoisomerase inhibitory compounds from Apium graveolens Linn. seeds." Phytomedicine. 2002 May;9(4):312-8.

Sultana S, Ahmed S, Jahangir T, Sharma S. "Inhibitory effect of celery seeds extract on chemically induced hepatocarcinogenesis: modulation of cell proliferation, metabolism and altered hepatic foci development." Cancer Lett. 2005 Apr 18;221(1):11-20.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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