Scientific Name: Apium graveolens var. rapaceum
Celery is a herbaceous biennial with a distinctive spicy taste.
Finely chop the stems and leaves and add just before the end of
cooking time to balance hot, spicy dishes. Add whole celery seeds to
bread dough and cheese muffins – you can serve both with soups and
Sprinkle a few seeds over lightly boiled carrots/ grilled tomatoes/salads.
Celery is especially complementary to egg and fish dishes.
Make your own celery-salt and celery-pepper by grinding the seeds with salt or peppercorns. Use these seasoning sparingly as their flavours are strong. It’s the best to make small quantities when required. Harvest your own seed or buy whole seeds and crush them just before use.
Do not use seeds intended for cultivation as these are mostly treated with insecticides.
You can eat the whole plant fresh - add the finely chopped leaves and stems to salads, sauces, gravies and spreads just before serving.
Celery is an important medicinal herb. The whole plant is a gentle
stimulant, nourishing and restorative for weak conditions.
In the past it was grown as a vegetable for winter and early spring and because of its anti-toxic properties, it was used as a cleansing tonic after the stagnation of winter. Today we know Celery reduces acidity throughout the body.
The Chinese eat a celery salad daily to bring down high blood pressure.
The Seeds are mainly used as a diuretic and it helps to clear toxins from the system. It is good for gout and arthritis where uric acid crystals collect in the joints. The Stalks shares the same medicinal properties than the other parts of the plant. Liquidize the whole fresh plant (seed, root, stalks, and leaves) and drink the juice for joint and urinary tract inflammations, such as rheumatoid arthritis, cystitis, for weak conditions and nervous exhaustion.
Tea for gout and arthritis: Place 5ml. (1tsp.) celery seed, lightly crushed with the back of a spoon, in a teapot. Pour on 300ml boiling water. Sprinkle 5ml chopped, fresh parsley on top, leave for 5 minutes to infuse. Strain and drink a cupful. Take 2-3 cupfuls a day for acute attacks of gout, to encourage strongly the excretion of uric acid. Celery flush toxins from the body. It is a good detoxifier and cleanser.
Cleansing lotion for oily, spotted skin: Pour 1 liter water over 1 cup (250ml.) leaves and simmer for approx. 18 minutes. Stand to cool. Strain and dab onto the skin with cotton wool – do this twice a day. Keep in the fridge and replace every third day.