What are other names for this remedy?

Type of medicine: natural remedy

Scientific and common names: Apium graveolens, Apii fructus, smallage, wild celery, celery fruit, celery seed, celeriac, karmauli

What is celery?

The celery plant is slender and can grow 2 to 3 feet tall. Celery (as a vegetable) is the large, upright leafstalks at the base of the plant. Celery is used to flavor stocks, casseroles, and soups. Raw celery is eaten as an appetizer and in salads. Celery seeds are very small, tan to dark brown.

Celery root is harvested in the autumn and can be used fresh or dried. The whole plant is used to make juice. The seeds are harvested as they ripen and may be dried or pressed for celery seed oil.

What is it used for?

This remedy has been used to treat several conditions. Studies in humans or animals have not proved that this remedy is safe or effective for all uses. Before using this remedy for a serious condition, you should talk with your healthcare provider.

Celery seeds, oil, and juice have been used to treat:

  • Muscle and joint aches and pains
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Gas
  • Nervousness
  • Headaches
  • Exhaustion
  • Urinary tract infections

Celery has also been used to:

  • Stimulate appetite
  • Aid digestion
  • Regulate bowel movements
  • Stimulate menstruation
  • Remove excess water from the body
  • Reduce breast milk

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve uses for natural remedies. The FDA does not inspect or regulate natural remedies the way they do prescription medicines.

How is it taken?

Celery seed may be taken as capsules, tablets, or tea. Check the label on the package for the specific dose. Do not use celery seeds from a garden packet. Most seeds sold for planting have been treated with chemicals and should not be taken internally.

What if I overdose?

Symptoms of an acute overdose have not been reported.

What should I watch out for?

Do not take celery seeds if you have ever had:

  • A kidney condition
  • An allergy to pollen, carrots, or dandelions.

Celery seeds may cause skin inflammation and may make your skin more sensitive to the sun, which may lead to painful sunburns. While you are taking this remedy, avoid long exposure to the sun. Wear protective clothing, a hat, and sunscreen lotion when you need to be outdoors. Do not use a sunlamp. If you get a severe sunburn, contact your healthcare provider right away.

If you need emergency care, surgery, or dental work, tell the healthcare provider or dentist you are taking this remedy.

Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist about any natural remedy that you are using or thinking about using. If your provider does not tell you how to take it, follow the directions that come with the package. Do not take more or take it longer than recommended. Ask about anything you do not understand. Remember:

  • Natural remedies are not always safe.
  • You should not take them if you are pregnant or breast-feeding without your healthcare provider's approval. They should not be taken by infants, children, or older adults without your provider's approval.
  • They affect your body and may interact with prescription medicines that you take.
  • Natural remedies are not standardized and may be contaminated. They may have different strengths and effects.

What are the possible side effects?

Along with its desirable effects, this remedy may cause some unwanted side effects. Some side effects may be very serious. Some side effects may go away as your body adjusts to the remedy. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that continue or get worse.

Life-threatening (Report these to your healthcare provider right away. If you cannot reach your healthcare provider right away, get emergency medical care or call 911 for help): Allergic reaction (hives; itching; rash; trouble breathing; tightness in your chest; swelling of your lips, tongue, and throat).

Other: Skin irritation from handling the plant; eating large amounts of celery seeds can cause tiredness, slowed breathing, and slow heartbeat.

What products might interact with this remedy?

When you take this remedy with other medicines, it can change the way the remedy or the medicines work. Vitamins and certain foods may also interact. Using these products together might cause harmful side effects. Before taking this remedy, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking:

  • Antianxiety medicines such as alprazolam (Xanax), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and oxazepam
  • Antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), levofloxacin (Levaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (Bactrim, Septra), and tetracycline
  • Medicine that reduces the chance of blood clots forming such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), dalteparin (Fragmin), dipyridamole (Persantine), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, and warfarin (Coumadin),
  • Diuretics (water pills) such as bumetanide, chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide), torsemide (Demadex), and metolazone (Zaroxolyn)
  • Natural remedies such as angelica, anise, arnica, asafoetida, capsicum, clove, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, Panax ginseng, horse chestnut, horseradish, licorice, onion, papain, passionflower, red clover, turmeric, willow, calendula, California poppy, catnip, Siberian ginseng, German chamomile, goldenseal, gotu kola, kava, lemon balm, sage, sassafras, St. John's wort, stinging nettle, and valerian
  • Lithium (Lithobid)
  • Methoxsalen (Oxsoralen)
  • Sleeping pills such as butabarbital (Butisol), flurazepam, phenobarbital, temazepam (Restoril), triazolam (Halcion), zaleplon (Sonata), and zolpidem (Ambien)
  • Thyroid medicines such as levothyroxine (Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid, Unithroid), liothyronine (Cytomel, Triostat), liotrix (Thyrolar), and thyroid (Armour Thyroid)

If you are not sure if your medicines might interact, ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider. Keep a list of all your medicines with you. List all the prescription medicines, nonprescription medicines, supplements, natural remedies, and vitamins that you take. Be sure that you tell all healthcare providers who treat you about all the products you are taking.


Keep all natural remedies and medicines out of the reach of children.

This advisory includes select information only. The information was obtained from scientific journals, study reports, and other documents. The author and publisher make no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the information. The advisory may not include all side effects associated with a remedy or interactions with other medicines. Nothing herein shall constitute a recommendation for the use of any remedy. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information.

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