CELERY (Apium graveolens L)

Description

Biennial herbaceous plant that belongs to the umbelliferae family. It might grow up to 90 cm high. The stalk is hollow and fistulose and it shows plenty of nerves. Leaves are robust, shining, pinneated or bi-pinneated, conformed by rhombo-shaped folioles usually divided in three sections, petiolated and scented.

Flowers are small and whitish or greenish displaced in umbels over robust peduncles with no involucre nor involucel. Fruits are diachaenium green-grayish or brownish, 0.8-1.5 mm long, ovate with a conic stylopodium with short styles at the upper end. In the back, two small, clear or white ribs are found over a darker background. Diachaenia are usually divided at the mericarps. Peduncles are shorter.

It is native to sandy and loamy soils in Europe, Asia and America. Different species have been cultivated since ancient times; nowadays celery is used with agricultural and industrial purposes, especially in India and China.

Part used

Fruits (Appii fructus) mainly. To a lesser extent the whole plant and the root (folk medicine).

Indications

It is used, occasionally, in folk medicine with different purposes:

> Kidney and bladder disorders as its a gentle diuretic.
> Gout and other rheumatic disorders as its depurative and diuretic at the same time, as well as remineralizing.
> Restlessness and nervous anxiety.

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