Celery is a member of the umbelliferous family, along with carrots, parsley and fennel. The celery we see today originated from wild celery native to the Mediterranean, where its seeds were once highly valued as a medicine. As with many other folk remedies, modern research is upholding the medicinal value of this common vegetable. In particular, scientists are evaluating the most powerful healing factor of celery—a compound known as 3-nbutylphthalide, or 3nB.
What is 3nB?
How Does 3nB Lower Blood Pressure?
What Other Effects Have Been Noted With 3nB?
What is the Proper Dosage?
How Much Should I Take for High Blood Pressure?
Can I Take Celery Seed Extract With Conventional Anti-inflammatory Drugs?
Are There Any Contraindications?
How Does 3nB Work to Produce All of These Benefits?
First attested in English in 1664, the word "celery" derives from the French céleri, in turn from Italian seleri, the plural ofselero, which comes from Late Latin selinon, thelatinisation of the Greek σέλινον (selinon), "parsley".The earliest attested form of the word is the Mycenaean Greek se-ri-no, written in Linear Bsyllabic script.
Celery was described by Carl Linnaeus in Volume One of his Species Plantarum in 1753.
In North America, commercial production of celery is dominated by the cultivar called 'Pascal' celery. Gardeners can grow a range of cultivars, many of which differ from the wild species, mainly in having stouter leaf stems. They are ranged under two classes, white and red. The stalks grow in tight, straight, parallel bunches, and are typically marketed fresh that way, without roots and just a little green leaf remaining.
In Europe the dominant variety of celery most commonly available in trade is Celeriac (Apium graveolens var. rapaceum) grown for its hypocotyl forming a large bulb (commonly but incorrectly called celery root). The leaves are used as seasoning, and the stalks find only marginal use.
The wild form of celery is known as "smallage". It has a furrowed stalk with wedge-shaped leaves, the whole plant having a coarse, earthy taste, and a distinctive smell. The stalks are not usually eaten (except in soups or stews in French cuisine), but the leaves may be used in salads, and its seeds are those sold as a spice. With cultivation and blanching, the stalks lose their acidic qualities and assume the mild, sweetish, aromatic taste particular to celery as a salad plant.
The plants are raised from seed, sown either in a hot bed or in the open garden according to the season of the year, and, after one or two thinnings and transplantings, they are, on attaining a height of 15–20 cm, planted out in deep trenches for convenience of blanching, which is effected by earthing up to exclude light from the stems.
In the past, celery was grown as a vegetable for winter and early spring; it was perceived as a cleansing tonic, welcomed to counter the salt-sickness[further explanation needed] of a winter diet. By the 19th century, the season for celery had been extended, to last from the beginning of September to late in April.
Harvesting and storage
Harvesting occurs when the average size of celery in a field is marketable; due to extremely uniform crop growth, fields are harvested only once. The petioles and leaves are removed and harvested; celery is packed by size and quality (determined by colour, shape, straightness and thickness of petiole, stalk and midrib[clarification needed] length and absence of disease, cracks, splits, insect damage and rot). Under optimal conditions, celery can be stored for up to seven weeks between 0 to 2 °C (32 to 36 °F). Inner stalks may continue growing if kept at temperatures above 0 °C (32 °F). Freshly cut petioles of celery are prone to decay, which can be prevented or reduced through the use of sharp blades during processing, gentle handling, and proper sanitation.
In the past, restaurants used to store celery in a container of water with powdered vegetable preservative, but it was found that the sulfites in the preservative caused allergic reactions in some people. In 1986, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the use of sulfites on fruits and vegetables intended to be eaten raw.
Celery is used around the world as a vegetable for the crisp petiole (leaf stalk). The leaves are strongly flavoured and are used less often, either as a flavouring in soups and stews or as a dried herb
In temperate countries, celery is also grown for its seeds. Actually very small fruit, these "seeds" yield a valuable volatile oil used in the perfume and pharmaceutical industries. They also contain an organic compound called apiol. Celery seeds can be used as flavouring or spice, either as whole seeds or ground and mixed with salt, as celery salt. Celery salt can also be made from an extract of the roots, or using dried leaves. Celery salt is used as a seasoning, in cocktails (notably to enhance the flavour of Bloody Mary cocktails), on the Chicago-style hot dog, and in Old Bay Seasoning.
Celery, onions, and bell peppers are the "holy trinity" of Louisiana Creole and Cajun cuisine. Celery, onions, and carrots make up the French mirepoix, often used as a base for sauces and soups. Celery is a staple in many soups, such as chicken noodle soup.
The use of celery seed in pills for relieving pain was described by Aulus Cornelius Celsus around AD 30. Celery seeds contain a compound, 3-n-butylphthalide, that has been demonstrated to lower blood pressure in rats. In a study recent to 2013, 30 patients suffering from mild to moderate hypertension were given celery seed extract at 150 mg per day. There were results showing a decrease in both systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure.
Bergapten in the seeds can increase photosensitivity, so the use of essential oil externally in bright sunshine should be avoided. The oil and large doses of seeds should be avoided during pregnancy, as they can act as a uterine stimulant. Seeds intended for cultivation are not suitable for eating as they are often treated with fungicides.
Celery is used in weight-loss diets, where it provides low-calorie dietary fibre bulk. Celery is often incorrectly thought to be a "negative-calorie food," the digestion of which burns more calories than the body can obtain. In fact, eating celery provides positive net calories, with digestion only consuming a small proportion of the calories taken in.
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||12 kcal (50 kJ)|
2.97 g (including fibre)
|Dietary fibre||1.83 g|
|Vitamin A equiv.|
Celery is among a small group of foods (headed by peanuts) that appear to provoke the most severe allergic reactions; for people with celery allergy, exposure can cause potentially fatal anaphylactic shock. The allergen does not appear to be destroyed at cooking temperatures. Celery root—commonly eaten as celeriac, or put into drinks—is known to contain more allergen than the stalk. Seeds contain the highest levels of allergen content.Exercise-induced anaphylaxis may be exacerbated. An allergic reaction also may be triggered by eating foods that have been processed with machines that have previously processed celery, making avoiding such foods difficult. In contrast with peanut allergy being most prevalent in the US, celery allergy is most prevalent in Central Europe. In the European Union, foods that contain or may contain celery, even in trace amounts, must be clearly marked as such.
Polyacetylenes can be found in Apiaceae vegetables like celery, and their extracts show cytotoxic activities.
Apiin and apigenin can be extracted from celery and parsley.