One of the most important herbs we need to have daily in our salads, sprinkled on meals or added to every stew, stir fry and soup is nature’s remarkable detoxifier – celery (Apium graveolens).
Benefits of including celery in your diet:
- Celery relieves chest ailments like bronchitis, asthma and coughs
- Celery lowers high blood pressure
- This herb also acts as a superb diuretic flushing out toxins, cleansing the bladder, easing cystitis, as well as flushing out the kidneys.
- Celery improves the circulation
- It also helps to clear urates that cause gout, arthritic pains, rheumatism and swollen arthritis in the joints.
- It helps to reduce acidity throughout the body, easing discomfort and stiffness and aching muscles.
All parts of the celery plant can be added to the diet and that includes the flowers, stems, seeds and even the root.
RECIPE: “Celery Salt”
For those on a salt-free diet, making your own flavouring with celery is not only vital for your health but also delicious.
- 1 cup finely chopped celery leaves and stems
- ½ cup celery seeds
- ½ cup fresh thyme leaves stripped off their stems
- ½ cup crushed coriander seed
- ½ cup fennel seeds
- ½ cup oregano leaves
- ½ cup crushed mustard seeds
Place all the ingredients on brown paper in a shady area to dry out, turning daily. When completely dry, mix together and store in a glass jar with a good screw top lid. Use in all savoury dishes, stews and soups, and pour some into a pepper grinder and use it over food at the dinner table, just the way you would add salt.
The best way to grow your own celery is by interplanting it with lettuce, radishes and parsley. Plant close to the kitchen door – you will find it so versatile and delicious you’ll use fresh leaves chopped over scrambled eggs, cheese sandwiches, pastas and pizzas too. We love to add chopped leaves to an avocado salad with freshly squeezed lemon juice, and served with rye bread.
Nurseries offer celery seedlings for sale all through the year, and in the very hot months I plant it in light shade. Celery also does well in a large, deep compost-rich pot.
Did You Know?
- Over 3 000 years ago the Egyptians ate celery to give them strength, energy, strong bones and fleetness of foot.
- In the 5th century BC the Chinese were using celery to slow ageing, to treat illness and to remove toxins from the body.
What are we waiting for? Now is the time to plant celery and to explore its tastes and benefits. This is a truly wonderful super food.
Note: Margaret Roberts has a fine selection of plants and seeds available from her nursery. Her shop stocks a wide variety of their health products that can be posted to you. Should you at any stage be stuck for fresh botanicals or natural cosmetic bases such as aqueous cream, these can be couriered or posted to you.
Words: Margaret Roberts
Styling: Sandy Roberts
Pictures: Sandy Roberts and Supplied