Scientific name: Apium graveolens

Common names: Garden Celery, Smallage

Ayurvedic names: ajamoda, ajmoda, kharashva, karvi

Chinese names: Hon kun, Kun cai 

Bangladesh names: Ajagandha, Chiluri

Arabic names:    كرفس (karfass)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Umbelliferae

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Leaf, root, seed, stem, whole plant

Collection: Normally collected when ripe in Autumn

Annual/Perennial: Biennial

Height: 1 to 5 feet 

Actions: Anti-rheumatic, aromatic, carminative, diuretic, stimulant 

Known Constituents: Essential oil, flavonic glycoside and a furanocoumarin (bergaptene), iron and vitamins A, B, and C

Constituents Explained:


Traditional Use:

More commonly thought of as a vegetable, Celery seeds contain an oil that stimulates clearance of waste products by the kidneys.  This enables the treatment of arthritic type conditions where joints and muscles are stiff or sore, pariculary due to substances such as urates? 

This volatile oil in celery seeds called apiol, seems to function as a strong urinary antiseptic.  

This assistance to the kidneys also seems to help with fluid retention, maybe due to its helping the kidneys more ffectively filter excess fluid out of the blood.

It is also used to relieve gas and bloating.  It can produce perspiration and has been used as a general tonic.1

Clinical Studies:

A study investigated the possible protective effect of celery juice in doxorubicin treatment. The following biochemical parameters were determined: content of reduced glutathione, activities of catalase, xanthine oxidase, glutathione peroxidase, peroxidase, and lipid peroxidation intensity in liver homogenate and blood hemolysate. 

Influence of diluted pure celery leaves and roots juices and their combinations with doxorubicine on analyzed biochemical parameters were examined.

It was concluded that Celery roots and leaves juices influenced the examined biochemical parameters and showed protective effects when applied with doxorubicine.

Another study purifyiedand characterised an antimicrobial component from celery (Apium graveolens) seeds, which have been used for centuries as a herbal medicine with reported antibacterial effects.

A crude alcoholic extract of celery seeds was fractionated by organic solvent extractions, column chromatography and HPLC. Fractions were assayed for antimicrobial activity against the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori and other bacteria. 

Preliminary investigation of its mechanism of action included morphological studies, incorporation of macromolecular precursors, membrane integrity and two-dimensional protein electrophoresis.

The purified component, termed ‘compound with anti-Helicobacter activity’ (CAH), had potent bactericidal effects against H. pylori. It was concluded that CAH may be suitable for further investigation as a potent agent for treating H. pylori infections.


Kolarovic J, Popovic M, Mikov M, Mitic R, Gvozdenovic L. “Protective Effect Of Celery Juice In Treatment With Doxorubicin.” 2009 April

Zhou Y, Taylor B, Smith TJ, Liu ZP, Clench M, Davis NW, Rainsford KD. “A Novel Compound From Celery Seed With Bactericidal Effecy Against Helicobacter Pylori.” 2009 August.