Celery often sits in our refrigerators for many different uses – making stocks, preparing soups, or filling with peanut butter for the kids. But celery has many more uses than that and is actually quite medicinal in concentrated form.
Most herbalists are familiar with celery seed and teach about its many wonderful uses. For instance, I know of one old-time herbalist who always used the seed to successfully treat his gout. Others mainly use the seed for digestion as it prevents and alleviates gas. Few, however, speak of its aid in respiratory conditions, such as bronchitis or laryngitis, or its antimicrobial effects.
It’s not just celery’s seeds that are beneficial, but also its stalk. I have long heard the benefits of eating celery stalk: I know of a woman who eats a couple of stalks before bed as a wonderful sleep aid, while a practitioner friend of mine has patients eat two stalks per day to lower their blood pressure with tremendous success.
I had never tried celery for any therapeutic reason myself – until recently. One day a big sore appeared on part of my gums. It was swollen, red and quite painful. I immediately rubbed on echinacea tincture and took it internally as I’ve always had tremendous success with echinacea (it’s my first go-to herb for any infection or inflammation). However, the next day there was no difference, quite unusual in my experience. So I re-applied echinacea several times. By the next day I still had no results.
Celery Stalk Juice to Fight Inflammation
Interestingly, at the same time a patient had just told me about her experience with celery juice. I had never heard of using celery to alleviate inflammation before. I read about its strong anti-inflammatory benefits and decided to try it. I juiced the entire bunch and drank as directed. Almost immediately I felt great relief from the gum sore. Surprised, I repeated this the next day. After the second dose, the sore completely disappeared. I was impressed.
To reiterate, this benefit came not from eating just a couple of stalks, but from juicing the entire bunch and drinking it all at once. Here’s the procedure:
First thing in the morning on an empty stomach, drink approximately 16 ounces of the juice (preferably made from organic celery). Wait 15 minutes before eating anything else.
To make the juice, wash room temperature celery and either put the entire bunch through a juicer, or chop up, grind in a blender with a little warm water, and strain (cheesecloth or a nutmilk bag work great). Drink immediately.
The powerful effects of celery juice are primarily due to its mineral salts that supposedly break down pathogens’ cell membranes so they starve. This makes it incredibly useful for all sorts of chronic illnesses based on inflammation. But I don’t have the experience to know how true it all is. Plus frankly, this is a sort of fad right now, which I don’t support. However, when I used it myself, it did corroborate powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
Yes, vegetables in general are anti-inflammatory and yet each vegetable has a different action. If you drink mixed vegetable juice it will have different actions than just taking the celery juice alone.
Some Caveats About Juicing in General
I don’t often recommend that people drink juice. They are highly concentrated and lack the important fiber that helps digestion. Further, juicing fruits concentrates their sugar. Even worse, most people drink juices cold, which douses the body’s essential digestive fires. In time, cold drinks (and foods) impair your metabolism. However, for those with inflammation – and it’s turning out most illnesses have inflammation somewhere hidden behind them – vegetable juices can be beneficial if taken at room temperature.
Keep in mind that celery is cooling and a diuretic. It is best for those with heat conditions or who eat meat regularly. Avoid if you have coldness, frequent urination, night time urination, and/or diarrhea.