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Celery (Apium graveolens)

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Also listed as: Apium graveolens
Related terms
Background
Evidencetable
Tradition
Dosing
Safety
Interactions
Attribution
Bibliography

Related Terms
  • 5-methoxypsoralen, alpha-methylene gamma-butyrolactone group, Apiaceae (family), Apium graveolens, Apium graveolens L., celeriac, celery extract, celery juice, celery profilin, celery root, celery seed, celery seed oil, celery soup, celery spice, celery tuber, cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants, crude celery, furocoumarins, immunogenic food, methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen), phthalide, profilin, psoralen, raw celery, sedanolide, Umbelliferae (family).

Background
  • Wild celery can be found throughout Europe, the Mediterranean, and parts of Asia. The leaves, stalks, root, and seeds can be eaten. In western cuisine, the stalks of its domesticated cousin are commonly used in cooking and may be eaten raw alone or in salads, or as a cooked ingredient in various recipes. Celery seed has also been used as a diuretic (increase urine flow) and to treat gout (foot inflammation). However, there is insufficient evidence in humans to support the use of celery for any indication.
  • Allergy to celery is fairly common, as celery contains an allergen similar to the birch pollen allergen. Both raw and cooked celery can cause reactions that range from contact dermatitis to anaphylactic shock.
  • The ancient Greeks and Egyptians cultivated celery, which was probably originally used as a medicine. Some Egyptian tombs also contained celery leaves and flowers.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *


Celery extract may be an effective mosquito repellent. Although this study is promising, additional study is needed in this area.

C
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Antioxidant, arthritis, cancer, inflammatory joint diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis), larvicide (insecticide), tonic.

Dosing

Adults (over 18 years old)

  • There is no proven effective dose for celery in adults. Celery is likely safe in food amounts.

Children (under 18 years old)

  • There is no proven effective dose for celery in children. Celery is likely safe in food amounts.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to celery (Apium graveolens) or its constituents. Allergy to celery is fairly common, especially among those with sensitivity to birch pollen-related allergens. Raw celery, cooked celery, and celery juice can all cause allergic reactions. Reactions range from contact dermatitis to anaphylactic shock. In addition, celery ingestion or contact and subsequent exposure to ultraviolet radiation can cause phytophotodermatitis. Symptoms of celery allergy have included laryngeal edema, celery-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis, and anaphylactic shock.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • Celery is likely safe when used in food amounts in non-allergic individuals.
  • Allergy to celery is fairly common, especially among those with sensitivity to birch pollen-related allergens. Avoid in patients eating large amounts of psoralen-containing foods or herbs, such as limes, lemons, parsley, figs, parsnip, carrots, certain oranges, some natural grasses, and dill.
  • Use cautiously in patients with bile secretion disorders.
  • Avoid high celery intake in pregnant patients.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Celery is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence. High celery intake may increase the risk of sensitization against food allergens.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

  • Patients hypersensitive to celery who take celery and certain agents, such as conversion enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors), alcohol, aspirin, or beta-blockers, may increase the likelihood of developing food-induced anaphylactic shock.
  • Celery may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
  • Although not well studied in humans, celery may lower blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking blood pressure medications due to possible additive effects.
  • Although not well studied in humans, celery may alter cholesterol levels. Caution is advised in patients taking cholesterol medications due to possible additive effects.
  • Celery may have antispasmodic activity. Caution is advised in patients taking seizure medications due to possible additive effects.
  • Celery may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may be increased in the blood, and may cause increased effects or potentially serious adverse reactions. Patients using any medications should check the package insert and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.
  • Celery may have diuretic (increase urine flow) properties. Caution is advised in patients taking other diuretics due to possible additive effects.
  • Although not well studied in humans, celery may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some drugs. Examples include benzodiazepines (tranquilizers) such as lorazepam (Ativan®) or diazepam (Valium®), barbiturates such as phenobarbital, narcotics such as codeine, some antidepressants, and alcohol. Caution is advised while driving or operating machinery.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Celery may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto.
  • Although not well studied in humans, celery may lower blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking other herbs or supplements with blood pressure-altering activity due to possible additive effects.
  • Celery may alter cholesterol levels. Caution is advised in patients taking herbs or supplements with cholesterol-altering activity, such as red yeast rice, due to possible additive effects.
  • Celery may have antispasmodic activity. Caution is advised in patients taking other antispasmodic herbs or supplements due to possible additive effects.
  • Celery may interfere with the way the body processes certain herbs or supplements using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system. As a result, the levels of other herbs or supplements may become too high in the blood. It may also alter the effects that other herbs or supplements possibly have on the P450 system.
  • Celery may have diuretic (increases urine flow) properties. Caution is advised in patients taking other diuretic herbs or supplements due to possible additive effects.
  • Celery may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some herbs or supplements. Caution is advised while driving or operating machinery.
  • In theory, patients hypersensitive to celery who take celery and willow bark may increase the likelihood of developing food-induced anaphylactic shock.

Attribution
  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Asero R, Mistrello G, Roncarolo D, et al. Immunological cross-reactivity between lipid transfer proteins from botanically unrelated plant-derived foods: a clinical study. Allergy 2002;57(10):900-906.
  2. Ballmer-Weber BK, Hoffmann A, Wuthrich B, et al. Influence of food processing on the allergenicity of celery: DBPCFC with celery spice and cooked celery in patients with celery allergy. Allergy 2002;57(3):228-235.
  3. Bant A, Kruszewski J, Droszcz W, et al. [Hypersensitivity to poppy seeds]. Wiad.Lek. 2005;58(7-8):447-450.
  4. Chu YF, Sun J, Wu X, et al. Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of common vegetables. J Agric.Food Chem 11-6-2002;50(23):6910-6916.
  5. Darsow U, Laifaoui J, Kerschenlohr K, et al. The prevalence of positive reactions in the atopy patch test with aeroallergens and food allergens in subjects with atopic eczema: a European multicenter study. Allergy 2004;59(12):1318-1325.
  6. DeLeo VA. Photocontact dermatitis. Dermatol Ther 2004;17(4):279-288.
  7. Erdmann SM, Sachs B, Schmidt A, et al. In vitro analysis of birch-pollen-associated food allergy by use of recombinant allergens in the basophil activation test. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2005;136(3):230-238.
  8. Jahn-Schmid B, Radakovics A, Luttkopf D, et al. Bet v 1142-156 is the dominant T-cell epitope of the major birch pollen allergen and important for cross-reactivity with Bet v 1-related food allergens. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2005;116(1):213-219.
  9. Jeanmougin M, Varroud-Vial C, Dubertret L. [Phototoxic side-effect following celery ingestion during puvatherapy]. Ann.Dermatol Venereol 2005;132(6-7 Pt 1):566-567.
  10. Kurzen M, Bayerl C, Goerdt S. [Occupational allergy to mugwort]. J Dtsch.Dermatol Ges 2003;1(4):285-290.
  11. Moneret-Vautrin DA, Morisset M, Lemerdy P, et al. Food allergy and IgE sensitization caused by spices: CICBAA data (based on 589 cases of food allergy). Allerg.Immunol (Paris) 2002;34(4):135-140.
  12. Moreno-Ancillo A, Gil-Adrados AC, Dominguez-Noche C, et al. Occupational asthma due to carrot in a cook. Allergol.Immunopathol.(Madr.) 2005;33(5):288-290.
  13. Sausenthaler S, Koletzko S, Schaaf B, et al. Maternal diet during pregnancy in relation to eczema and allergic sensitization in the offspring at 2 y of age. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85(2):530-537.
  14. Tuetun B, Choochote W, Kanjanapothi D, et al. Repellent properties of celery, Apium graveolens L., compared with commercial repellents, against mosquitoes under laboratory and field conditions. Trop.Med Int Health 2005;10(11):1190-1198.
  15. Wang L, Sterling B, Don P. Berloque dermatitis induced by "Florida water". Cutis 2002;70(1):29-30.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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