Herbal Healing – Celery

Reduce high blood pressure, Lower the risk of cancer

Celery has been used for centuries in Asia as a folk remedy for high blood pressure. In the West, it took one man with high blood pressure and a bit of persistence to persuade researchers at University of Chicago Medical Centre to put this remedy to the scientific test.

It all began when a man named Mr Lee was diagnosed with mild high blood pressure. Instead of cutting back on salt as his doctor advised, Mr Lee began eating about four stalks of celery per day. Within a week his blood pressure had dropped from 158/96 to 118/82.

At the time, assistant professor of medicine and pharmacological and physiological science at the University of Chicago (W.J Elliott, M.D., Ph.D.) decided to put celery to the test. Researchers injected test animals with a small amount of 3-n-butyl phthalide, a chemical compound that is found in celery. Within a week, the animal’s blood pressure dropped an average of 12 to 14 percent.

As a result of this research, Phthalide was found to relax the muscles of the arteries that regulate blood pressure, allowing vessels to dilate. In addition this chemical reduced the amount of “stress hormones” called catecholomines, in the blood. This found to be helpful because stress hormones typically raise blood pressure by causing blood vessels to constrict.

If you have high blood pressure and would like to give celery a try, you can try this strategy recommended by Oriental health practitioners for centuries – eat four to five stalks every day for a week, then stop for three weeks. Then start over and eat celery for another week and repeat this cycle until your blood pressure is under control.

Another important research on celery was done by Cooks College, Rutgers University of New Jersey. They found celery help prevent cancer. Celery contains a number of compounds that researchers believe may help prevent cancer cells from spreading. Celery contains compound called acetylenics and this compound has been shown to stop the growth of tumor cells. In addition, celery contains another compound called phonolic acids, which block the action of hormonelike substances called prostaglandins and some prostaglandins are though to encourage the growth of tumor cells.

You can eat celery leaves, along with stalks – the leaves also contain the most potassium, vitamin C, and calcium. Celery seeds, which are found in the spice section of supermarkets, provide another nutritional bonus – one tablespoon of seeds, which can be added to soups, stews, casseroles, contain 3 milligrams of iron, 17% of Daily Value.