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Scientific Name(s): Apium graveolens L. var dulce (Mill.) Pers.
Common Name(s): Celery, Celery seed, Celery seed oil

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 23, 2022.

Clinical Overview


Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, GI, and cytotoxic effects of celery have been described. A role for celery in cardiovascular disease, CNS disorders, gout, and diabetes has also been suggested; however, clinical studies are lacking to support a place in therapy.


Clinical trials guiding celery dosage are limited. In one trial, dl-3-n-butylphthalide 400 mg orally daily (given as one 200 mg capsule twice daily) as part of a 90-day treatment regimen was used to improve outcomes in patients with acute ischemic stroke.


Celery seed is contraindicated in pregnancy.


Avoid use. Celery seed is contraindicated in pregnancy.


Celery seed extracts exhibit CYP-450 (particularly CYP2D6) enzyme inhibitory activity.

Adverse Reactions

Allergy, including dermatitis and anaphylaxis (rare), to celery and its constituents has been reported, as has phototoxicity. Raised liver enzymes have been noted with higher doses of dl-3-n-butylphthalide, a synthesized version of an extract from seeds of A. graveolens (l-3-n-butylphthalide).


Celery seed has "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) status when used as a food, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Scientific Family

  • Apiaceae (carrot)


Celery is a biennial plant that was first cultivated in Europe but is grown and consumed worldwide. A number of celery varieties exist, many of which are developed to meet commercial demands for particular colors, tastes, and stalk sizes. Celery generally grows to between 0.3 m and 0.6 m in height. It has tough, ribbed green stems and segmented dark-green leaves containing toothed leaflets. During June and July, small white flowers bloom and later bear the smooth gray seeds. Wet and salty soils, swamps, and marshes are the preferred environments for celery. Celery is blanched to generate the edible white stem during cultivation by burying the stem. Celery seeds have a spicy odor and a spicy, slightly bitter taste. Celery seed oil is obtained by steam distillation of the seed.

Commercial varieties grown in North America are generally called pascal celery. In Europe, the term "celery" is frequently used to refer to a related root vegetable, A. graveolens L. var rapaceum, DC. Wild celery can refer to Vallisneria spiralis L., an aquatic perennial. Essential oil of mountain celery seeds is produced from a related species, Cryptotaenia japonica, and should not be confused with A. graveolens.Duke 2002, Khan 2009, USDA 2019


Celery originated as a wild plant that grew in salt marshes around the Mediterranean Sea. In about 450 BC, the Greeks used celery to make a type of wine called selinites, which was given as an award at early athletic games, much like laurel leaves or olive branches. By the Middle Ages, Europeans were cultivating celery. Since then, the plant has been widely used as a food and for medicinal purposes. Late in the 19th century, various celery tonics and elixirs appeared commercially, generally containing the juice of crushed celery seeds and often with a large amount of alcohol. A celery seed–flavored soda, Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray, is available. Celery seed has traditionally been used as a diuretic for bladder and kidney complaints, as well as for arthritis and rheumatism. The essential oil produces sedative effects. Celery continues to be used as a food flavoring and in soaps and gum. Celery has become increasingly popular with dieters because of its high fiber content and the mistaken belief that chewing and digesting the stalks uses more calories than celery contains. Herbalists recommend celery for treatment of arthritis, nervousness, and hysteria. In Asian medicine, celery seed is used to treat headaches and as a diuretic, digestive aid, and emmenagogue. Celery has also been prescribed as an antiflatulent, antilactogen, and aphrodisiac.Al-Asmari 2017, Bisset 1994, Garfield 1985


The celery leafstalk is high in minerals, including sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron and nitrates; however, it is a relatively poor source of vitamins except for vitamin C.Afourtit 2015, Meng-Yao 2018

Celery seeds consist of the oil (petroselinic, linoleic, palmitic, and oleic fatty acids) and volatile compounds, mostly monoterpene hydrocarbons.Kooti 2017 The major constituents of celery seed oil are d-limonene (60%), selinene (10%), and related phthalides (3%) (eg, 3-n-butylphthalide, sedanenolide, sedanonic anhydride). Other constituent compounds have been identified. The oil of celery seed is sometimes adulterated with celery chaff oil or d-limonene from less expensive sources.

The presence of potentially toxic polyacetylenes, including falcarinol and falcarindiol, in celery has been described. Ultraviolet spectrographic studies have indicated the presence of a compound similar or identical to 8-methoxypsoralen. Infrared spectography has detected another compound with a furocoumarin glucoside, isoquercitrin. The coumarin glucoside apiumoside has also been identified. Other organic components include isovalerianic aldehyde, propionic aldehyde, and acetaldehyde.Christensen 2006, Garg 1980, Khan 2009, Madjarova 1979, Marongiu 2013, Nagella 2012

Uses and Pharmacology

Anti-inflammatory effects

In vitro data

In in vitro studies, luteolin extracted from celery suppressed proinflammatory cytokines and upregulated cyclooxygenase expression.Christensen 2006, Kasiri 2018, Kim 2014, Park 2013 Further studies have suggested glycosides from the ethanol whole plant extract possess anti-inflammatory effects and inhibit nitric oxide production.Zhu 2017

Antimicrobial activity

Animal and in vitro data

Antifungal, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal activity has been described for celery oil.Baananou 2013, Marongiu 2013, Nagella 2012, Nguyen 2014 Activity against uropathogenic Escherichia coli bladder and kidney infections in rodents has been demonstrated.Sarshar 2018

Antioxidant activity

Animal and in vitro data

Antioxidant activity has been demonstrated and may account for several observed effects of celery.Kooti 2017 Fresh celery flavonoid extracts reduced oxidative stress in rats and mice, as measured in the liver, mitochondria, and spermatozoa.Cao 2012, Choi 2011, Kolarovic 2010, Kooti 2014, Li 2014


Animal and in vitro data

Studies have focused on the role of apigenin, extracted from celery seed, as a potential chemotherapeutic agent. Inhibition of cell adhesion, antiangiogenic properties, proapoptosis, and other effects have been demonstrated in studies using human cancer cell lines.Iyer 2019, Kasiri 2018, Kowalczyk 2017, Sung 2016 In vitro and rodent studies suggest essential oil from celery may also possess cytotoxic and antimutagenic properties.Christensen 2006, Hashim 1994, Lim 2013, Zheng 1993

Cardiovascular effects/Dyslipidemia

Animal data

Celery extract has demonstrated vasorelaxant effects on isolated rat aortic rings.Jorge 2013 Celery seed extract exerted hypotensive effects in hypertensive, but not normotensive, rats, possibly due to the n-butylphthalide content.Moghadam 2013, Tang 2017 Limited studies in rodents report improved lipid profiles with celery seed extracts.Abd El-Mageed 2011, Iyer 2011, Iyer 2019, Rouhi-Boroujeni 2015 Additional effects in cardiovascular disease include decreased secretion of proinflammatory cytokines.Tang 2017

Clinical data

Limited clinical studies have been conducted to evaluate the effects of the extracted compound butylphthalide in strokeWang 2018; one study demonstrated superiority of 90-day treatment with dl-3-n-butylphthalide (a synthetic variation of l-3-n-butylphthalide, an extract from seeds of A. graveolens) over aspirin in patients with acute ischemic stroke.Cui 2013 The synthetic version of the compound is clinically approved as an anti-ischemic agent in China.Abdoulaye 2016

CNS effects

Animal data

In older studies, 3-n-butylphthalide showed sedative and anticonvulsant effects in rodents.Khan 2009 In induced Parkinson disease models in mice, extracts from whole A. graveolens plant improved behavioral performance, oxidative stress parameters, and monoamine oxidase A and B activity.Chonpathompikunlert 2018, Huang 2010 Other studies in rodents report improvements in cognition and depression, and modulation of endogenous antioxidant and neurotransmitter systems.Boonruamkae 2017 Reviews exist regarding neuroprotective effects of the flavone luteolin, which is found in several plant products, including celery.Nabavi 2015

Clinical data

Clinical studies are lacking. In the UK Women's Cohort Study conducted in 13,958 women (with approximately 4 years of follow-up), consumption of an additional portion of celery (among other plants) was inversely associated with sleep duration.Noorwali 2018


Animal data

Limited studies in rodents suggest celery seed extract possesses hypoglycemic effects.Yusni 2018

Clinical data

Very limited clinical data exist regarding the effects of celery leaf or seed extract in diabetes. A small study in elderly patients with hyperglycemia (N=16) evaluated the effect of celery leaf on blood glucose and plasma insulin levels. Reductions in plasma glucose levels were reported, but not in plasma insulin levels.Yusni 2018

GI effects

Animal data

A protective effect of celery leaves and seeds on gastric ulceration has been demonstrated in studies of rats.Al-Howiriny 2010, Baananou 2013


Animal data

Hydroalcoholic extracts of whole A. graveolens plant may have a role in the management of gout, based on reduced serum uric acid levels in a study of rodents with induced hyperuricemia. Inhibition of hepatic xanthine dehydrogenase and xanthine oxidase was suggested.Dolati 2018


Clinical trials guiding celery dosage are limited. In one trial, dl-3-n-butylphthalide 400 mg orally daily (given as one 200 mg capsule twice daily) as part of a 90-day treatment regimen was used to improve outcomes in patients with acute ischemic stroke. Higher doses were associated with elevated liver enzymes.Cui 2013

Pregnancy / Lactation

Avoid use. Celery seed is contraindicated in pregnancy, as it may have uterotonic activity and has been used traditionally as an emmenagogue.Ernst 2002, Khan 2009 Celery has also been used for its antigalactic properties.Duke 2002, Kolarovic 2010

Limited studies in rodents suggest increased testosterone and improved sperm count and motility with supplemental celery oil.Kooti 2017


Although celery seed extract exhibits CYP-450 (particularly CYP2D6) enzyme inhibitory activity,Nguyen 2014 limited data suggest that interactions are unlikely.Powanda 2015, Tang 2017

A case report exists in which a woman experienced a manic episode 48 hours after adding celery root extract (1,000 mg/day) to her major depressive disorder treatment regimen of venlafaxine (75 mg/day) and St. John's wort (600 mg/day). Total venlafaxine and metabolite levels were elevated, and serotonin syndrome was ruled out. The symptoms, likely due to a CYP2D6-dependent interaction, resolved upon cessation of the celery root extract.Khalid 2016

In a study in rats given an extract of fresh celery, increased plasma captopril levels were reported.Siska 2018

Antithrombotic effects have been described for celery seed extracts.Cui 2013 Potentiation of monoamine oxidase inhibitors is possible.Jäger 2013

Agents with antiplatelet properties: Herbs (anticoagulant/antiplatelet properties) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of agents with antiplatelet properties. Bleeding may occur. Consider therapy modification.Mousa 2010, Spolarilch 2007, Stanger 2012, Ulbricht 2008

Anticoagulants: Herbs (anticoagulant/antiplatelet properties) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of anticoagulants. Bleeding may occur. Consider therapy modification.Choi 2017, Fan 2017, Heck 2000, Izzat 1998, Jiang 2005, Kruth 2004, Lambert 2001, Mousa 2010, Shi 2012, Spolarilch 2007, Stanger 2012, Tsai 2013, Ulbricht 2008, Vaes 2000, Wang 2015

Herbs (anticoagulant/antiplatelet properties): Herbs (anticoagulant/antiplatelet properties) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of other herbs (anticoagulant/antiplatelet properties). Bleeding may occur. Consider therapy modification.Mousa 2010, Spolarilch 2007, Stanger 2012, Ulbricht 2008

Hypoglycemia-associated agents: Herbs (hypoglycemic properties) may enhance the hypoglycemic effect of hypoglycemia-associated agents. Monitor therapy.Hui 2009

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents: Herbs (anticoagulant/antiplatelet properties) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents. Bleeding may occur. Consider therapy modification.Mousa 2010, Spolarilch 2007, Stanger 2012, Ulbricht 2008

Salicylates: Herbs (anticoagulant/antiplatelet properties) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of salicylates. Bleeding may occur. Consider therapy modification.Mousa 2010, Spolarilch 2007, Stanger 2012, Ulbricht 2008

Thrombolytic agents: Herbs (anticoagulant/antiplatelet properties) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of thrombolytic agents. Bleeding may occur. Consider therapy modification.Mousa 2010, Spolarilch 2007, Stanger 2012, Ulbricht 2008

Adverse Reactions

Allergy, including dermatitis and anaphylaxis (rare), and phototoxicity to celery and its falcarinol content have been described.Christensen 2006, Duke 2002, Khan 2009, Pauli 1985

Raised liver enzymes have been noted in phase 3 trials of dl-3-n-butylphthalide 800 mg/day.Cui 2013


Celery seed has GRAS status when used as a food.Khan 2009 Neurotoxicity in rats due to the seed's chemical constituent falcarinol has been demonstrated.Christensen 2006 While celery root contains furocoumarins (particularly psoralens), the concentration in normal dietary intake is at least 1,000-fold lower than the no observed effect level for developing liver or cancer in rats.Dolan 2010 Limited toxicological studies suggest celery seed extract lacks toxicity at normal dosages.Powanda 2015

Index Terms

  • Apium. graveolens L. var rapaceum, DC
  • Cryptotaenia japonica
  • Vallisneria spiralis L



This information relates to an herbal, vitamin, mineral or other dietary supplement. This product has not been reviewed by the FDA to determine whether it is safe or effective and is not subject to the quality standards and safety information collection standards that are applicable to most prescription drugs. This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this product. This information does not endorse this product as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this product. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this product. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You should talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this product.

This product may adversely interact with certain health and medical conditions, other prescription and over-the-counter drugs, foods, or other dietary supplements. This product may be unsafe when used before surgery or other medical procedures. It is important to fully inform your doctor about the herbal, vitamins, mineral or any other supplements you are taking before any kind of surgery or medical procedure. With the exception of certain products that are generally recognized as safe in normal quantities, including use of folic acid and prenatal vitamins during pregnancy, this product has not been sufficiently studied to determine whether it is safe to use during pregnancy or nursing or by persons younger than 2 years of age.

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