Celery ( Apium graveolens)
|Common Names: Celery, Celery Seeds, Smallage, Garden celery, wild celery||
Description: Apium is a strong-smelling, slender, erect biennial herb, up to 60cm tall, indigenous to Europe, the US, Asia and Africa in coastal areas, and extensively cultivated in the temperate regions of Europe and North America. It has shiny pinnate leaves and large toothed leaflets, the upper trifoliate and unstalked. The flowers are white, in four to twelve simple umbels in a compound umbel which is often opposite a leaf; there are no upper or lower bracts. The petals are small and entire with a small inflected point, and the fruits are very small and slightly compressed laterally. The flowering period is from June to August. There are several cultivated varieties which emphasise the size of the ribbed stem, and all varieties have medicinal properties
The common celery of today is a cultivated descendant of the wild celery, which was highly valued by ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Chinese both as a food flavouring and as a medicine. Records show its cultivation for at least 3,000 years, notably in pharaonic Egypt, as well as China in the 5th century BCE.
The Romans wore a wreath of celery around their heads to ease a hangover.
During medieval times, celery was popular for its ability to relieve aches and pains, to calm nerves, and to benefit the digestion.
Main constituents: volatile oil (3-n-butylphthalide), furocoumarins, glycosides, flavonoids
Properties: Seeds: Anti-rheumatic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, carminative, anti-spasmodic, nervine, sedative.
Uses: Apium is known as a mild diuretic and urinary antiseptic and has been used in the treatment of urinary calculi. It has a calming effect on the gut, and can be used in the relief of flatulence and griping pains. However, whilst it can reduce visceral spasm, it conversely stimulates the smooth muscle of the womb and can bring on delayed menstruation. After childbirth it helps the uterus readjust and encourages the flow of breast milk.
The phthalides are the constituents responsible for the antispasmodic, sedative and diuretic actions. Apium has a direct action on the kidneys, increasing the elimination of water and speeding up the clearance of accumulated toxins from the joints and so is of benefit in any oedematous condition that accompanies arthritis. It is often administered with Taraxacum radix to increase the efficiency of elimination by both the kidneys and the liver.
Apium is also hypoglycaemic, and as such is helpful in diabetes; this action seems to involve a direct action on the pancreas and its production of insulin. Clinical studies in China have demonstrated a hypotensive action for the tincture, and this is accompanied by increased urine output. The flavonoid apigenin has exhibited significant anti-platelet activity in vitro .
Safety Considerations: Apium should be avoided in pregnancy because it is a uterine stimulant. The volatile oil in quantity is toxic to the kidneys and so should not be used in kidney disorders. Allergic reactions are rare.
Folk Names: Aipo, Karafs, ElmaElement: Fire
Powers: Mental Powers:, Lust, Psychic Powers
Uses: To aid in concentration, chew the seeds. Use in spell pillows to induce sleep. When burned with orris root, celery seeds increase psychic Powers:. The stalk, along with the seeds, induces lust when eaten. Witches supposedly ate celery seeds before flying off on their brooms so that they wouldn't become dizzy and fall.
Promotes sexuality, sensuality, ecstatic trance