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Apium graveolens

Apium graveolens                                            

Common name: Celery seed, Wild celery

Family: Apiaceae

Part used: Fruit (seeds) & root


  • Volatile oil (limonene, selenine & phthalide compounds including phtalidglycosides)
  • Flavonoids (apigenin, apiin, luteolin, chrysoeriol & quercitin)
  • Furanocoumarins
  • Fatty acids (linoleic, myristic, oleic, palmitic, stearic, and petroselinic)
  • Alkaloids
  • Vitamins C, beta-carotene & Minerals (sodium, calcium, iron, potassium)

Medical Actions:


  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antimicrobial
  • Anti-rheumatic
  • Bitter
  • Carminative & Antispasmodic
  • Diuretic
  • Emmenagogue (Uterine stimulant)
  • Galactagogue
  • Hypotensive
  • Nervine relaxant


Medical uses: 

  • Used in Persian and European medicine for the treatment of uncomplicated urinary tract infections, and a traditional Chinese medicine prescribed as a treatment for hypertension, gout and diabetes. Ayurvedic medical practitioners use it in stomach and kidney disorders, being considered gently stimulant, nourishing, and restorative for weak conditions.
  • Detoxifying towards the musculoskeletal system, and will promote diuresis and the elimination of uric acid & waste products, which is helpful in cases of gout & rheumatism (acute and chronic pain).
  • Also useful in nervous restlessness and spasmodic tension, both topically and internally.


  • Volatile oils can cause  irritation of the kidneys, which may contribute to diuretic effects.
  • Volatile oils & alkaloids are calming and appear to have depressant, tranquilizing effects on the CNS.
  • Phthalide compounds are antispasmodic, sedative, diuretic & hypotensive.
  • Flavonoids are diuretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic & anti-platelet.


  • Tincture: (1:2, 40%), 4-8 ml QD, 60 ml weekly max.
  • Dried seed: 1-2 g, TID.
  • Decoction: 1/2 tsp crushed seeds/cup, simmer 20 min, TID.
  • Fresh seed juice: up to 90 ml QD.


  • Monitor in hypertension or fluid retention due to sodium content.
  • Furanocoumarins in combination with UV light may cause photodermatitis.


  • Use caution in acute kidney conditions due to the irritating effect of the volatile oils.
  • Avoid in pregnancy due to volatile oils with possible abortifacient effects.
  • Potential for allergy exists.


  • Theoretically reduce serum levels of thyroxine.


  • Find a complete list of references for this monograph as well as images and a review of its evidence based applications in Dr. Marciano’s Herbal Textbook.


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