What Health Benefits Can You Get From Celery Seeds?
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Celery belongs to the same family as parsnips, fennel, and parsley. It is packed with many health benefits since celery is a great source of antioxidants and beneficial enzymes.
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Celery seeds are tiny seeds that are found in the flowers of the commonly used celery plant. They are small and are dark brown or tan in colour and have a strong yet pleasant smell. They are sometimes used as a spice in various South Asian cooking recipes for flavouring. Celery seeds are known by many other names such as Ajwain, Ajmoda, Apii Frutus, Apio, Karmauli, Apium Graveolens, and Celery Tuber.
Celery seeds are a very rich source of many healthy compounds. These include flavonoids, antioxidants, polyacetylenes, coumarins, omega-6 fatty acid, phthalides (d-limonene, selinene, and other related phthalides), apiol, and linoleic acid. An incredibly healthy flavinoid—Apigenin—which is known to act as a neurogenesis stimulator in adults and may thereby be helpful in treating various neurological diseases is also extracted from celery seeds. The oil and seed extract of celery plant is also popular in various modern-day perfumes and pharmaceuticals.
It is packed with countless healthy nutrients such as calcium, sodium, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium.
Celery is an excellent source of fatty acids and vitamins such as vitamins A, K, C, E, D, as well as well as the B vitamins (riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin B6, folic acid, and vitamin B12). While most people choose to just opt for the celery stalks, the seeds of celery are also edible and just as beneficial as the stalk.
You can get celery seeds from the flowers of the celery plant, which develop in the second year after cultivation. Celery seeds are available as fresh and dried seeds as well as in powdered form and can be obtained in herbal food and grocery stores. It can also be found as an extract oil as herbal supplements or in juice form.
Celery seeds have been widely used in Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years, mainly as a remedy for cold, as a diuretic, and as an anti-inflammatory medicine.
Here are some surprising health benefits of celery seeds:
Help fight cancer
One of the surprising health benefits of these tiny seeds is that they possess cancer-fighting abilities. There are certain active compounds in these seeds such as polyacetylenes and phthalides that are helpful in fighting cancerous tumors.
Help in regulating blood pressure
One more significant health benefit of these seeds is that they help in keeping blood pressure in check. Studies suggest that celery seeds have vasodilating properties. They help in widening the blood vessels and enhance blood circulation.
The seeds are also known for their diuretic effect that is beneficial when it comes to regulating blood pressure. Both the vasodilating and diuretic properties of celery seeds help in keeping blood-pressure levels in check.
A recent study showed that patients with high blood pressure benefitted by taking about 150mg of celery seed extract daily. Taking the seed extract helped in lowering both systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) levels in these patients. So, for people with mild to moderate hypertension, it is a good idea to take one teaspoon of organic celery seeds daily.
But for people who are already on anti-hypertensive drugs, it is always best to consult the doctor before taking celery seed extract.
Promote liver health
Celery seeds aid in promoting liver health. Some literature report that celery seeds may help in protecting as well as reversing the harmful effects of acetaminophen on the liver, which is a painkiller.
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Reduce cholesterol levels
Celery seeds help in lowering cholesterol levels in the body. Cholesterol can clog up the arteries, thereby, increasing the risk of heart diseases. Ayurvedic experts often recommend celery seeds to cure circulatory system problems.
Help fight diseases
Due to the presence of beneficial compounds like flavonoids, linoleic acid, coumarins, and several volatile oils, celery seeds are quite helpful in fighting many diseases.
Have anti-inflammatory benefits
Celery seeds possess anti-inflammatory properties. It has been seen that having celery seeds daily is beneficial in relieving pain and inflammation of the joints. These help in relieving symptoms of gout, rheumatism, and arthritis.
The anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and diuretic properties of celery seeds help patients who suffer from arthritis, gout, and other painful conditions of muscles and joints. In people with gout, celery seeds help in flushing out the uric acid due to their diuretic properties. Having 1 cup of tea made with 1 tablespoon of celery seeds twice a day may help in providing relief from the pain caused by gout crystals.
For swollen and inflamed joints, muscle pains, or sciatica pain, taking a warm bath using 10–15 drops of celery oil mixed in the bath water may help in relieving the pain. To apply the oil directly onto inflamed joints, celery seed oil should be mixed with a carrier oil.
Relieve menstrual cramps
Celery seeds, as well as the oil, have been in use for relieving menstrual cramps, easing the menstrual flow, and for regulating irregular menstrual cycles. Celery seeds contain a compound called apiol which acts on the endocrine system and helps in easing symptoms of menstruation and menstrual disorders. According to a recent research, having celery seed extract along with anise seed extract and saffron extract 3 times daily for the first couple of days of menstruation could help in relieving menstrual pains and cramps.
Act as a diuretic
Celery seeds help in flushing out toxins from the body and help in getting rid of uric acid and excess water, thereby, preventing water retention. Since these are diuretic in nature, these are useful for people who have kidney stones and gout and also assist in water retention.
Since these seeds have antibiotic and antiseptic properties, they are very useful in getting rid of infections. They are particularly helpful in treating urinary tract infections. Ayurvedic experts recommend celery seeds for various infections, kidney troubles, and cystitis.
Celery seeds are very effective in treating upset stomach, bloating, indigestion, and flatulence. Having about 1/4 teaspoon of celery seed extract with water once daily could be helpful in providing relief from stomach troubles.
Aid in weight loss
Celery seeds help in boosting metabolism and aid in weight loss. It is for this reason that celery seed tea is quite popular for weight loss. A simple way to make celery tea is by adding 1 teaspoon of crushed celery seeds to 1 cup of water and boiling the mixture for 15–20 minutes on low heat. Drinking half a cup of this tea in addition to regular workout can help reduce weight significantly.
Studies have shown that aromatherapy using celery seed oil and sandalwood can be helpful in the treatment of anxiety, nervousness, mental stress, and insomnia. The calming and soporific properties of celery seed oil help in calming the anxious nerves and can induce a sense of relaxation and sleep. A great way to reap this benefit is by taking a warm bath with 10 drops of celery seed oil mixed into the water in addition to using a few drops of celery seed oil in a diffuser or an aroma lamp.
The aromatic and calming properties of the oil help to soothe the body and mind by relieving sleeplessness, anxiety, and nervousness.
A word of caution
Celery seeds contain a compound known as bergapten that could increase photosensitivity. Therefore, it is suggested that celery seed oil should not be used if exposure to bright sunlight is expected. It is best to use the oil at bedtime. Celery seeds are not recommended for pregnant women since they contain apiol which has potential abortifacient properties when used in large amounts, leading to a risk of miscarriage.
Due to a lack of sufficient data on the safety of using celery seeds during breastfeeding, it is best to avoid the seeds during this time. Celery seeds should not be taken by people who have low blood pressure or by people who are on blood thinners, diuretics, sedatives, and thyroid medications. People with kidney problems or blood disorders should also avoid celery seeds.