Most people are familiar with the fragrant and flavorful celery, but not everyone knows that its seeds are just as useful and as nutritious as the plant’s stalks. Celery seed has been especially famous in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years, where it is used as a diuretic, cold remedy and an anti-inflammatory medicine. But while celery seeds are well-known in Eastern medicine, only a handful of people in Western territories know about the numerous uses of this spice.1
Celery seeds are found in the flowers of the celery plant, which normally develop in the second year after cultivation. The seeds also function as the primary mode of propagation for the celery plant.
Celery seeds are usually small and dark brown, and taste and smell like celery stalks. This means that they can be used to boost the flavor of a dish and lend it an aromatic twist.2 Aside from the culinary use of celery seeds, they can be used to make an extract or oil to deal with different illnesses.
What Health Benefits Can You Get From Celery Seeds?
The celery stalk might be the most well-known and well-utilized part of the celery plant, but it does not mean that the other celery parts are any less useful. In Ayurvedic medicine, celery seeds are famous for their effect on cardiovascular health. Other benefits that you may get from this spice include:
• Helps regulate blood pressure: As a natural diuretic, celery seeds may benefit patients with high blood pressure by speeding up salt excretion.3 High levels of salt in the blood can cause fluid buildup in the blood vessels, causing high blood pressure.4 Celery seeds are a natural and safer alternative to artificial diuretics or water pills that are usually prescribed by conventional physicians.
• Reduces muscle spasms: The anti-inflammatory properties in celery seeds can help reduce muscle spasms and cramps, which is especially useful for athletes and women who suffer from menstrual pains.6
• Contains antiseptic properties: In addition to its diuretic properties, celery seeds also have antiseptic components that can help relieve or prevent urinary tract infections.
What Are the Various Uses of Celery Seeds?
Celery seed products are available in the market nowadays, which may be used in a variety of ways, both in cuisine and medicine. Some of the products that you can get your hands on include:
• Capsules or tablets: Celery seed tablets are taken orally to assist in blood pressure regulation. They also promote urinary tract health by helping ease infections. For the recommended dosage appropriate for you, it's best that you consult a healthcare practitioner.
• Celery seed extract: Celery seed extracts are usually added to perfumes, aromatic oils and soaps for deodorizing purposes.
• Celery seed essential oil: Celery seed oil can be used topically to alleviate numerous body aches and conditions.
• Celery seed spice: Often sold whole or ground, celery seeds can be added to salads, pickles and other recipes. For people who are looking for salt alternatives, ground celery seed spice is a good choice.7
Try These Easy and Healthy Celery Seed Recipes
In the culinary world, celery seeds lend flavor to salad dressings and dishes. By using celery seed spice, you don’t need to add the stalks to a dish to get the distinct flavor of celery. Here are some recipes that you can try out for yourself.8,9
Celery Seed Salad Dressing Recipe
1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or a blender. Blend the mixture until smooth.
2. Add the Himalayan salt and ground black pepper to taste.
3. Store in the refrigerator.
(Adapted from Paleo Cupboard)
Celery Seed Tea Recipe
• 1 to 2 teaspoons of celery seeds
• 1 cup of water
1. Crush the celery seeds and put them in hot water.
2. Cover the mug. Let it steep for about 10 minutes.
3. Drink up to three cups a day.
NOTE: May take 1 1/2 hours to make, and can serve 2 to 3 people.
(Recipe from Health Guide Info)
However, if you can’t find celery seeds, you can substitute them with dill seeds, caraway seeds or nigella seeds. You can also opt for a few celery leaves or stalks because their flavors are similar. But make sure that you use more celery stalks than what is recommended in the recipe, because the stalks have a lighter flavor compared to the seeds.10
Celery Seed Oil: How Do You Use It?
Because of its spicy and warm aroma, celery seed oil is commonly used in perfumes and aromatic oils. However, aside from the inviting fragrance it has, this essential oil can also be used to soothe a variety of body conditions, including inflammation. Some of the uses of celery seed oil include:
• Mosquito repellent: Mixing a few drops of celery seed oil to your body lotion can help stop mosquitoes from biting you. This will give you a more natural option for repelling insects.11
• Anti-inflammatory: Celery seed oil can be applied topically to inflamed areas to alleviate swelling. However, make sure that you test your tolerance for this oil before using it. I recommend applying it to a small spot on your skin to make sure that you wouldn't suffer from any allergic reactions.
• Eases menstrual cramps: Applying celery seed oil to your abdomen helps decrease cramps and menstrual pain because of its antispasmodic properties.12
Celery Seed Side Effects and Contraindications
Celery seed can react to different types of medications by either rendering them useless or magnifying their effect on the body. Some of the medications that you shouldn’t take with any celery seed products include:13
• Lithium: Using celery seed products together with lithium supplements can lead to higher levels of lithium in the blood. It can also change how this mineral is absorbed and used in the body.
• Thyroid medications: Levothyroxine, a thyroid medication, has been observed to have a decreased effect when taken with celery seeds.
• Other diuretics: Celery seeds can increase the effects of other diuretic medications, which may cause dehydration and other serious side effects.14
• Blood-thinning medicines: Celery seed should not be taken with aspirin, warfarin and other blood-thinning medication. This spice contains blood-thinning components, which can heighten the risk of bleeding.
For pregnant or breastfeeding women, I do not advise taking celery seed products or supplements as there is no adequate research on the possible effects of this spice on your pregnancy or your child. There is also the risk of suffering a miscarriage because of the blood-thinning characteristic of this spice.
Others who should steer clear from this spice include anyone with low blood pressure levels, patients with kidney inflammation and those with birch pollen allergies.