BY DR. ANDREA PURCELL
Crunchy, delicately salty by nature, and packed with hydration, celery stalks (Apium graveolens) are a great snack to pair with your favorite summer dip. Did you know that celery is also a potent botanical medicine recognized for its anti-inflammatory properties? It works in the body to reduce inflammation and increase circulation through the kidneys. Preliminary research also indicates that celery, along with other healthy food and lifestyle choices, may help lower high blood pressure. While each person may need different amounts to see health benefits, most holistic practitioners recommend 4 stalks (about 1 cup) of freshly chopped celery each day.
Holistic health practitioners commonly use celery in a medicinal way for patients who are deficient or low in Vitamin D and those who show inadequate kidney function, as it helps tonify the bladder and other components of the urinary tract. The seeds and roots of the celery plant are used to prepare botanical medicines. These may be in the form of a tincture, capsule, juice, or powder depending on the medicinal use.
All parts of celery–seed, leaves, stalk, and the taproot– have medicinal value. The plant compounds in celery act as a nervine (calming agent) which helps in relaxing the organs of digestion and elimination, has diuretic effects, and acts as a tonic.
– The root, leaf and seed are used in various preparations for purifying the blood, regulating digestion and bowel movements, calming the nerves, and may be helpful for kidney and gallstones.
-Celery seed tea is commonly used to relieve indigestion, flatulence, and griping abdominal pains.
-Celery’s detoxifying phytochemicals reduce blood acidity, which is common with tissue inflammation.
-In Ayurveda, celery stalk juice is commonly used for preventive remedies, during cleanses, and in times of illness.
Cultivated worldwide, celery stalks each produce three to five bright green pinnate leaves at the tip. The celery fruits, or schizocarps, contain a brown, ridged, ovoid-shaped, very small seed. These fruits, commonly known as “celery seed,” have a floral odor and mildly pungent taste. The succulent, rigid stalk can be eaten raw or cooked. The fleshy taproot (known as celeriac) can be enjoyed raw, roasted, mashed, or pureed, and the celery seeds can additionally be used in many types of condiments.
Celery is known for being exposed to a lot of pesticides. For years, the Environmental Working Group has consistently listed it on their Dirty Dozen list of produce with the most pesticides. Be sure to wash your celery thoroughly or buy organic if you can.
With so much Love,
Celery and Kale Soup Recipe
Flavor and nutrition galore are packed into this wonderful soup featuring crisp celery and chopped baby kale. Prepare with or without chicken, using vegetable or chicken broth. Serve with a hearty, crusty bread for dipping your favorite breadstick. Great for lunch, dinner, or an appetizer on a chilly day.
Prep: 15 mins Cook: 35 mins Total: 50 mins
Servings: 6 Yield: 6 servings
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, or as needed
- 1 large onion, diced 5 carrots, sliced
- 5 stalks celery, chopped
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (32 oz) container chicken (or vegetable) stock
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, divided
- 1 cup chopped kale, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or to taste
Poultry Option: Add seasoned, precooked (grilled or boiled) chicken breast in the last minutes of cooking.
- Heat olive oil in a stockpot over medium heat; cook and stir onion, carrots, celery, salt, and pepper in the hot oil until carrots are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir garlic into vegetable mixture and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Stir chicken (or vegetable stock), black beans, and 1/2 can cannellini beans into vegetable mixture.
- Blend remaining 1/2 can cannellini beans in a food processor or blender until smooth; stir into vegetable mixture. Add kale and apple cider vinegar to vegetable mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors have blended, 20 to 30 minutes.
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