Recently there has been an explosion in the popularity of drinking 500mL of celery juice each day across celebrity, social media and general wellness circles.
Proponents of this trend attribute a wide range of benefits to a daily dose of celery juice, including improvements in energy levels, digestion, urinary tract infections, skin problems and weight, to name a few.
But is there any evidence to support the use of celery juice for these purported health benefits? Or is it just another short-lived wellness trend?
What is celery?
The celery plant, also known as Apium graveolens, is a vegetable from the Apiaceae family that has been used since ancient Greek times.
Traditional uses of celery include as a diuretic (increases water lost through urine), to support digestive, nervous and cardiovascular (heart) function, and to promote menstruation.
Different parts of the plant, including the fresh herb, stalk, seeds and oil, have been traditionally used for cooking and health purposes, however the seed is considered to be the most medicinally active.[1,2]
Nutrients found in the celery plant include vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.[1,2]
What does the evidence say?
Most of the research that has looked at the possible health benefits of celery have been done in animals or in vitro (done in a laboratory in test tubes or dishes rather than living beings), with only a handful of human studies.
This evidence suggests that celery has diuretic* urinary antiseptic (removes bacteria from the urine)**, anti-inflammatory*** and antioxidant properties**.[1-8]
Such properties may be the reason for the observed positive effect of celery on digestive (rat), cognitive (brain processing) health (mouse) and male fertility (human), as well as lowering cholesterol (rat), blood pressure (rat) and blood sugar levels (human).[1-8]
While this evidence is promising regarding the potential benefits of celery, more research on humans is needed to confirm these effects, and also to back up the purported health effects of celery juice, especially because these studies used the seed oil or herb extract, not celery juice.
So if the jury is still out regarding the health benefits of celery juice, why do people report having positive effects by drinking it every day?
The answer most likely lies in celery’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as an increased intake of nutrients and water due to the herbs high water content.
So, what’s the take-away message?
Currently the evidence does not support having a daily glass of celery juice to cure specific diseases or health issues.
However, celery juice can help to increase the overall intake of vegetables and water, which have been shown to reduce the risk of developing certain diseases and improve general health.
Based on *traditional, **animal and ***in vitro evidence.
- Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs and natural supplements: an evidence-based guide, 3rd edition, 2010. Sydney: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier. [Source]
- Sowbhagya HB. Chemistry, technology, and nutraceutical functions of celery (Apium graveolens L.): an overview. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2014;54(3):389-398. [Abstract]
- Sarshar S, Sendker J, Qin X, et al. Antiadhesive hydroalcoholic extract from Apium graveolens fruits prevents bladder and kidney infection against uropathogenic E. coli. Fitoterapia 2018;127:237-244. [Full text]
- Yusni Y, Zufry H, Meutia F, et al. The effects of celery leaf (Apium graveolens L.) treatment on blood glucose and insulin levels in elderly pre-diabetics. Saudi Med J 2018;39(2):154-160. [Full text]
- Moghadam MH, Imenshahidi M, Mohajeri SA. Antihypertensive effect of celery seed on rat blood pressure in chronic administration. J Med Food 2013;16(6):558-563. [Full text]
- Zhu LH, Bao TH, Deng Y, et al. Constituents from Apium graveolens and their anti-inflammatory effects. J Asian Nat Prod Res 2017;19(11):1079-1086. [Abstract]
- Kooti W, Moradi M, Peyro K, et al. The effect of celery (Apium graveolens L.) on fertility: a systematic review. J Complement Integr Med 2017;15(2). [Abstract]
- Boonruamkaew P, Sukketsiri W, Panichayupakaranant P, et al. Apium graveolens extract influences mood and cognition in healthy mice. J Nat Med 2017;71(3):492-505. [Abstract]