Botanical Name :Apium graveolens
Species: A. graveolens
English: celery, leaf celery, stalk celery, celeriac, turnip-rooted celery
Portuguese: aipo hortense, salso, aipa nabo
Habitat: Celery occurs wild in Europe, the Mediterranean region and in Asia west of the Himalayas. The ancient Greeks and Egyptians already cultivated celery. It was probably first grown as a medicinal plant, later for the leaves as flavouring. Celery has a long history in China, dating back to at least the 6th century AD. Chinese celery most resembles leaf celery. Cultivated celery was recorded in 1623 in France, where plants with a milder taste were selected from wild plants for use as a vegetable. This was the so-called stalk celery with large, swollen petioles. At the same time celeriac with its large edible tuber was selected, probably in Italy. These two types became most important in Western temperate areas. Various types of celery are now grown all over the world. Celery is reported as being cultivated in several African countries, more commonly in highland regions than in lowlands. In Africa it is occasionally found as an escape or relic of cultivation, e.g. in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mozambique and RÃ©union, and more commonly in South Africa.
Celery is a biennial plant, it grows to 1 m (3.3 ft) tall. The leaves are are pinnate to bipinnate with rhombic leaflets 3–6 cm long and 2–4 cm broad., shiny top, bottom mat. Stems erect, grooved, silnovetvisty. Umbrellas are small, numerous. The flowers are small,, 2–3 mm in diameter, and are produced in dense compound umbels, white or yellowish in color. Fruits are round, small (1.5-2 mm in diameter.), Gray or brownish. In leaf and petioles of celery root system is fibrous, branched, the Root — the root fleshy, round-flat or nearly spherical.
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The seeds are broad ovoid to globose, 1.5–2 mm long and wide. Modern cultivars have been selected for solid petioles, leaf stalks. A celery stalk readily separates into “strings” which are bundles of angular collenchyma cells exterior to the vascular bundles.
Cultivation: Apium graveolens grows to 1 m tall. The leaves are pinnate to bipinnate leaves with rhombic leaflets 3-6 cm long and 2-4 cm broad. The flowers are creamy-white, 2-3 mm diameter, produced in dense compound umbels. The seeds are broad ovoid to globose, 1.5-2 mm long and wide.
In North America, commercial production of celery is dominated by a variety called Pascal celery. Gardeners can grow a range of cultivars, many of which differ little from the wild species, mainly in having stouter leaf stems. They are ranged under two classes, white and red; the white cultivars being generally the best flavoured, and the most crisp and tender.
The wild form of celery is known as smallage. It has a furrowed stalk with wedge-shaped leaves, the whole plant having a coarse, rank taste, and a peculiar smell. With cultivation and blanching, the stalks lose their acidic qualities and assume the mild, sweetish, aromatic taste particular to celery as a salad plant.
The plants are raised from seed, sown either in a hot bed or in the open garden according to the season of the year, and after one or two thinnings out and transplantings they are, on attaining a height of 15-20 cm, planted out in deep trenches for convenience of blanching, which is affected by earthing up to exclude light from the stems.
In the past, celery was grown as a vegetable for winter and early spring; because of its antitoxic properties, it was perceived as a cleansing tonic, welcomed after the stagnation of winter.
Celery contains androsterone, a hormone released through sweat glands said to attract women.
There is a common belief that celery is so difficult for humans to digest, that it has ‘negative calories‘ because human digestion burns more calories than can be extracted.
Snopes believes this to be true, however at only 6kcal per rib, the effect is negligible. Celery is still valuable in diets, where it provides low-calorie fiber bulk.
The Class B Michigan-Ontario League, a minor league baseball league from the early 20th century, included a team called the Kalamazoo Celery Pickers.
Dr. Brown’s makes a celery-flavored soft drink called Cel-Ray, which is sold mostly in the New York City region.
Some pet rabbits eat a lot of celery. One may wonder if this means rabbits lose a lot of weight. However, a rabbit’s natural flora of bacteria in their appendix includes micro-organisms which break down the cellulose in the celery into a form which the rabbit can absorb.
Exercise-induced anaphylaxis can be exacerbated by eating celery.
In the British science fiction series Doctor Who, the Fifth Doctor‘s costume included a piece of celery on the lapel. The reason for this was that he was allergic to certain gases in praxis range of the spectrum and in the presence of these gases, the celery turned purple. In this case, he ate the celery (for if nothing else he was sure it was good for his teeth).
The closely related Apium bermejoi from the island of Minorca is one of the rarest plants in Europe with only 60 individuals left.
The edible celery stalk is not a plant stem as often claimed. It is a petiole, which is part of a leaf.Foley artists break stalks of celery into a microphone to simulate the sound of breaking bones.
Celery was banned from the Gillingham’s Priestfield Stadium in 1996 after the goalkeeper complained of being struck by celery thrown by spectators.
Some people report that eating raw celery makes their tongues and mouths numb.
Fans of Chelsea Football Club have been known to sing a saucy song in which they suggest they might use a “lump of celery” in order to tickle a lady’s behind: “Celery, Celery, If she don’t come, we’ll tickle her bum with a lump of celery”
A large amount of celery was tossed in the courtyard of the old trafford arms before the semi final against Blackburn 2007, by a big group standing together.
The most common use of celery is for its thick, succulent leaf stalks that are used, often with a part of the leaf blades, in soups, cooked dishes and salads for the Western style kitchen. The type known as Chinese celery has thinner stalks and a stronger flavor. It is rarely consumed raw, but is often added to soups and stir-fries……..CLICK & SEE
Celeriac or turnip-rooted celery is mainly used as a cooked vegetable in stews and soups but is becoming increasingly popular grated as a raw salad. Leaf celery, also called smallage, is chopped and used as garnish and flavouring, either fresh or in dried powdered form.
Celery seeds:Celery Seed is the dried fruit of Apium graviolens, a biennial in the parsley family. This is the same genus and species used for growing table celery, although there are particular varieties that are used for the vegetable. The seeds are very small (about 1/16th of an inch), ovoid and light brown.
In temperate countries, celery is also grown for its seeds, which yield a valuable volatile oil used in the perfume and pharmaceutical industries. Celery seeds can be used as flavouring or spice either as whole seeds or, ground and mixed with salt, as celery salt. Celery salt can also be made from an extract of the roots.
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It is used as a seasoning, cocktails, notably to enhance the flavor of Bloody Mary cocktails, the Chicago-style hot dog, and Old Bay Seasoning. Celery is one of three vegetables considered the holy trinity (along with onions and bell peppers) of Louisiana Creole and Cajun cuisine. It is also one of the three vegetables (together with onions and carrots) that constitute the French mirepoix, which is often used as a base for sauces and soups.
Celery Seed is a traditional diuretic and blood cleanser, well suited for treating rheumatism.1 Its inclusion in arthritic blends is a rather modern tradition, but has repeatedly proven itself in clinical trials. The mechanism of action remains obscure, but it is no longer doubted that the herb contains potent active principles. For example, a famous Chinese study showed that it lowered blood pressure in 14 of 16 human patients with chronic high blood pressure.2 In Europe, Celery Seed is a common medicinal treatment for gout and rheumatism.3
Celery Seed has not been subjected to the same amount of research investigation as many other herbs. Nevertheless, in addition to its diuretic activity, it has been shown to possess other definite medicinal properties, including, a blood pressure lowering property3, antioxidative principle4, and sedative activity.5-6 It has been shown to possess insulin-like activity7, and to suppress adrenaline hyperglycemia.8 These findings, taken together, suggest that this lowly herb, if eaten regularly, can promote a certain degree of health, especially in the vital organs of the body, including the glands, heart and nerves.
Benefits of eating Clery: Celery is a wonderful low-calorie and low-fat vegetable, consisting of about 95% water. When looking at its nutrients, celery contains adequate amounts of potassium, folate and fiber. One cup of diced celery provides 344.4 milligrams of potassium, 34 micrograms of folate, 2 grams of fiber, 19 calories, and less than 0.16 grams of fat!
Celery is a great guilt-free snack item, especially if you want to lose weight. You get to chew on something that makes you think you are eating a lot, but is actually providing you with more water (which contains no calories) than calories. It is much healthier to munch on celery while watching TV, movies or videos than popcorn or chips. You will feel satisfied because you are not depriving yourself of food, but your waistline will not suffer from eating too much of it. Additionally, because celery has such a high water content, it helps hydrate your body and skin (from the inside out)!
Potassium helps control our nerves and muscles, and aids in the transmission of nerve impulses. It also helps reduce blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke. Because lack of potassium is rare, there is no RDA for this mineral. However, it is thought that 1,600 to 2,000 milligrams a day is adequate for adults. Some research suggests getting 3,000 milligrams of potassium daily, preferably from food.
Folate is essential for the production and maintenance of new cells. It may help reduce the development of cardiovascular disease and help protect against certain cancers (like colon and rectal). Folate is also recommended for women of childbearing years to reduce the risk of birth defects. The RDA for folate is 400 micrograms a day.
The use of celery seed in pills for relieving pain was described by Aulus Cornelius Celsus ca. 30 AD Celery seed aids in the elimination of uric acid and is often used for the relief of symptoms of arthritis, rheumatism and inflammation of the joints. Its diuretic properties assist in relieving fluid retention. Celery seed also relieves pain. Celery has several applications in traditional medicine, particularly as a diuretic and emmenagogue, and against dengue fever and rheumatism.. Treatment of inflammatory complaints with celery or other Umbelliferae or extracts thereof is regulated under world patent WO 1995 00000157 A1.
The whole plant is gently stimulant, nourishing, and restorative; it can be liquefied, with the juice taken for joint and urinary tract inflammations, such as rheumatoid arthritis, cystitis, or urethritis, for weak conditions, and for nervous exhaustion.
The seeds, harvested after the plant flowers in its second year, are the basis for a homeopathic extract used as a diuretic. The extract is believed to help clear toxins from the system, so are especially good for gout, where uric acid crystals collect in the joints, and arthritis. They are also used as a mild digestive stimulant. The extract can be combined with almond or sunflower oil, and massaged into arthritic joints or for painful gout in the feet or toes.
The root is an effective diuretic and has been taken for urinary stones and gravel. It also acts as a bitter digestive remedy and liver stimulant. A tincture can be used as a diuretic in hypertension and urinary disorders, as a component in arthritic remedies, or as a kidney energy stimulant and cleanser.
Celery roots, fruits (seeds), and aerial parts, are used ethnomedically to treat mild anxiety and agitation, loss of appetite, fatigue, cough, and as a anthelmintics (vermifuge).
Nervous affictions: An abudant use of celery juice combined with carrot juice is beneficial in the treatment of nervous affictions resulting from the protective cover of the nerves.
Arthritis: Celery is useful in the treatment of arthritis due to it’s high sodium content.Its organic sodium tends to prevent and relieve the arthritic joint deposits by keeping lime and magnesia in the solution form.For optimum results , it should be taken in the form fresh extracted juice, using its leave as well as stem.
Rheumatism and gout: Celery is very effective in diseases arising from acidity and toxemia, rheumatism and gout.A fluid extract of the seeds is more powerful than the raw vegetable.
General debility: The power of the dried root extracted from the herb is an effective tonic for general debility or weakness and malnutrition.One teaspoon of this powder mixed with a teaspoon of honey is taken twice daily in such conditions.
Insomnia: Celery is also useful in the treatment of sleeplessness.Celery juice mixed with a table spoon of honey make a delightful drink. The mixture taken at night before sleeping will help one relax into a soothing and restful sleep.
Blood disorders: The herb is valuable in disease related to blood such as anaemia, leukaemia, Hodgkin’s disease, purpura and hemophilia. This plant is very high in magnesium and iron content, a combination which is valuable as a food for blood cells. The juice of celery in combination with carrot juice should be taken in the treatment of blood related diseases.
Respiratory disorders:Celery is known to have antispasmodic properties and is useful in the treatment of asthma,bronchitis, pleurisy and tuberculosis.Its seeds serves the same purpose in such diseases.
Indigestion: The seeds of celery are an effective remedy for indigestion. A teaspoon of the seeds soaked in a glass of butter milk for a night should be ground in the same buttermilk mixture and administered to relieve indigestion.
Kidney and gall stones: Celery is valuable food for those who are prone to stone formation in the gall bladder and kidneys. Its regular use prevents stone formation.
Other Different Uses:
Aroma and Flavour: Celery seeds should be used with discretion as they have a fairly strong, and sometimes rather bitter, flavour. There is no mistaking their distinctive, celery aroma.
Culinary Use: Whole celery seeds can be added to bread dough or when making cheese biscuits, and savoury dishes. A few seeds can be sprinkled over lightly boiled carrots, grilled tomatoes or salads and they are especially complementary to egg and fish dishes. Celery salt and celery pepper are both made by grinding the seeds with either salt or peppercorns in the required proportions. Use these seasonings judiciously as their flavours are strong. Celery salt or pepper is best made when required.
Medicinal and Other Use: The oil from the seeds is used medically to treat asthma, flatulence and bronchitic conditions.
Until the 19th century the essential oils was recommended as a cure for rheumatism. It is believed to be a tonic for asthma and herbalists use it to treat liver diseases, bronchitis, fever and flatulence. It is also recommended as a diuretic, tranquilizer, sedative and menstruation promoter and as treatment for gout, arthritis, obesity, anxiety and lack of appetite. Celery seed tea is said to promote rest and sleep. It is good for nervous disorders and enjoys aphrodisiac qualities. India’s traditional Ayurvedic physicians have prescribed celery seed as a diuretic and as a treatment for colds, flu, indigestion, arthritis and diseases of the liver and spleen.
Other uses: Celery can alway be eaten raw as salads or in the cooked form.Soup and juice can also be made. It is also used in flavour stews and sauces.
Cross-section of a Pascal celery stalk.Bergapten in the seeds could increase photosensitivity, so do not apply the essential oil externally in bright sunshine.
Avoid the oil and large doses of the seeds during pregnancy: they can act as a uterine stimulant.
Seeds intended for cultivation are not suitable for eating as they are often treated with fungicides.
Although many people enjoy foods made with celery, a small minority of people can have severe allergic reactions. For people with celery allergy, exposure can cause potentially fatal anaphylactic shock. The allergen does not appear to be destroyed at cooking temperatures. Celery root – commonly eaten as celeriac, or put into drinks – is known to contain more allergen than the stalk. Celery is amongst a small group of foods (headed by peanuts) that appear to provoke the most severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis). An allergic reaction also may be triggered by eating foods that have been processed with machines that have previously processed celery, making avoiding such foods difficult. In contrast with peanut allergy being most prevalent in the US, celery allergy is most prevalent in Central Europe.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Help taken from: en.wikipedia.org and www.hort.purdue.edu and vegweb.com and http://www.hotel-club-thailand.com/thai-cooking/thai-spices.htm