Education Health

Celery Juice – Facts vs. Fiction

March 7, 2019
celery juice

Celery juice is the latest wellness trend fuelled by Instagram. But what’s the basis of this trend?

We know celery owes its new cult following to the guy known as ‘The Medical Medium’; Anthony William. Despite his popularity, others call him a quack and deny the claims being made by the man responsible for the celery juice resurgence. Who is right?

Extreme statements are good for dramatic effect, but not for your health. Let’s get clear on celery juice.

Fiction

William says that celery juice is so medicinal, it clears the body of bacterial toxins like Streptococcus and viruses like Epstein-Barr and shingles. He says it removes heavy metals and can treat PTSD. 

Fact

While celery is a wonderful natural healer, I don’t think we should self-treat HHV-6, PTSD and Strep infections armed only with celery juice, on the word of someone with no nutritional or medical training.

Fiction

William started a new trend by channeling revolutionary insight about celery juice.

Fact

Celery has made news for 3000 years since it was mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey1. It was a cult medicine even before it was a food. Egyptians used celery as mummy bling and Greeks used its leaves as good luck talismans1. People who were “crunchy” before it was an adjective for people have always known that fresh-pressed celery juice promotes great health when taken on a regular basis4.

Fiction

On one hand, we should be leery of nutrition advice from anyone who claims that celery juice helps “revive your stomach gland”.

Fact

There is no such thing as a “stomach gland.”

Fiction

On the other hand, we shouldn’t assume that people slamming him are any better.

One outspoken dietician from Toronto fired back at William, stating “there is absolutely zero physiological connection between anything we eat and the strength of our bile”.

Fact

Studies in humans confirm that bitter foods stimulate bile release and bile production. TR2 bitter taste receptors in our gut respond to the flavor by releasing CCK, triggering bile release.

Fiction

Despite his lack of nutrition or medical training, William claims celery has special, never-before-discovered properties.

Fact

Celery has well-known compounds like beta-carotene, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, silica, choline, vitamins C and B2 and folate, as well as chlorophyll.

Fiction

William claims “undiscovered” “sodium cluster salts” give celery juice its benefits.

Fact

Why believe in unproven salts when science knows celery has everything mentioned above plus chemicals like isoquercitrin, p-cymene, guaiacol, umbelliferone, apiol, flavonoids, alkaloids, phenolic compounds, d-galacturonic acid, l-rhamnose, l-arabinose, and d-galactose and at least another 30 besides? Celery contains volatile oils, 60-70 percent of which is limonene. Limonene has antiseptic and sedative properties that reduce muscle spasms and liquefy thick mucus. Isn’t that enough?

Fiction

William says it’s best to juice celery for liver cleansing and immune support, not eat it.

Fact

Chlorophyll, which is present in whole celery, has been demonstrated to inhibit damage to liver cells and prevent the genesis of unhealthy cells within the liver6. Coumarins are also in whole celery, and they have anti-edema, anti-inflammatory, immune enhancing and anti-mutagenic properties. Furanocoumarins, such as bergapten, in conjunction with ultra-violet light, kill bacteria and inactivate viruses6.

Fiction

William says we should eat the stalks of the celery, that the root will not work, and to not to be concerned with the leaves.

Fact

Nutritionists advise every part of celery is a beneficial food. The leaves have at least 28 testable chemical components. The roots have falcarinol, panaxidol, and more.

Fiction

William says juice should be made from freshly picked celery to preserve all the goodness.

Fact

True. Juice should be from freshly picked celery in order to contain the most phytochemicals. For best results, juice, blend, eat it fresh out of the garden, or get a fresh juice concentrate made immediately after picking, like Salus Celery Juice (CAN).

Fiction

William says that the best benefits come with consuming 32 ounces of the juice daily and that it is a “myth” and “incorrect” that celery is high in oxalate. His opponents say that consuming so much celery juice is “harmless”. Both seem fine with pregnant women drinking celery juice.

Fact

Celery juice is healthy but going overboard is not. Consuming large amounts of oxalates is bad for health. It should be avoided during pregnancy and by those prone to oxalate issues.

Summary

It’s clear that celery and its juice have long been known to have health benefits.

While it isn’t proven that it will treat everything or replace all medical treatments, celery has been used as a urinary antiseptic, a nervous system tonic, and for improving gas, spasms, and water retention. It can support healthy joints and may even help support healthy cholesterol and blood pressure.

Drinking or eating the whole plant in moderation can be health supportive if the person has functioning oxalate clearance and is not pregnant.

Dana Green Remedios, RHN, RNCP, NNCP, is a Vancouver-based educator and coach. She is a regular contributor to the FloraHealthy blog and can answer your questions in English, French, and Spanish as a Product Information Specialist at Flora.

References

  1. Asif, H.M., et al. Monograph of Apium graveolens Linn., Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 5(8), pp. 1494-1496, 18 April, 2011
  2. Gursche, Siegfried. Healing with Herbal Juices A Practical Guide to Herbal Juice Therapy: Nature’s Preventative Medicine, Alive Books© 1993 pg 58-59.
  3. Chevallier, Andrew. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.© 1996 Dorling Kindersley Limited, London, WC2E 8PS. Published in Canada in 1996 by The Reader’s Digest Association (Canada) Ltd. Pg 61.
  4. Mowrey, D.B., The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine© 1986 Cormorant Books pg 180 .
  5. Evans, W.C. Trease and Evans’ Pharmacognosy. 14th Edition. © 1996 WB Saunders Company Ltd. Pg 231-2.
  6. Mills, S and Bone, K. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. © 2000 Churchill Livingstone. Pg.28,32,52.
  7. Blumenthal et al. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. © 1998 American Botanical Council. Pg 320
  8. McGuffin et al. American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook. © 1997 by CRC Press LLC. Pg 11.
  9. Bartram,T., Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. First Edition. © 1995 Grace Publishers. Pg 99, 104.
  10. Information on Plant Juices for Specialist Groups. Salus Haus information document provided by Flora Manufacturing & Distributing Ltd.

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