The essential oil of celery seed is little known and used in usual aromatherapy practice. Why this is, I am not quite sure, because the aroma is really lovely – deep, sweet, and comforting. I have used it many times for treating conditions such as cellulite and water retention, and I will be giving recipes for this further on, but for now, lets find out more about the wonderful cleansing Celery essential oil!
Celery Seed Essential Oil is a pale yellow or orange liquid with a spicy-warm, sweet, long-lasting odour.
Celery essential oil was held in high and sacred regard during the Greek era. It was believed that celery was used in the tomb of King Tutankhamun and it was also mentioned in the writings of the time.
The botanical name for Celery essential oil is Apium graveolens, and it is extracted from the seeds of the plant, usually crushed before being steam distilled. Originally, Celery was extensively cultivated as a domestic vegetable in southern Europe, but the essential oil is principally produced in many countries, including India, Holland, China, Hungary and of course the good old US of A!
Celery is a familiar biennial plant, 30-60 cm high, with grooved, fleshy, erect stalk, shiny pinnate leaves and umbels of white flowers. The oil that comes from the seed is pale yellow or orange liquid with a spicy-warm, sweet, long-lasting odour, typically celery!
Traditionally, apart from being widely used as a domestic spice, the seed was also crushed, and infusions were made to help treat bladder and kidney complaints, digestive upsets and even menstrual problems. The leaves were used in skin ailments such as acne, congested and spotty skin and also for blackheads. Celery seed essential oils was also known to increase the elimination of uric acid and is still useful for gout, neuralgia and rheumatoid arthritis. It was also found that Celery seed essential oil is helpful for giving a healing and cleansing effect on the liver.
Known properties of Celery seed essential oil include that it is a great antioxidant. This means that it can preserve aromatherapy blends, and it can also help when used in skincare to keep the skin looking younger and fresher. The oil is also anti-rheumatic, and can be used with Juniper and Marjoram essential oils to keep joints more active.
Celery seed essential oil, like all essential oils, is very antiseptic, but in the case of celery this is especially true for the urinary system, where it can be used to help cystitis and other urinary infections. Added to all of this, celery is antispasmodic, aperitif, depurative, digestive, and carminative for the digestive system, a great diuretic for fluid retention and cellulite and also very useful for the reproductive system.
Because Celery seed essential oil smells just like celery, funnily enough, it is usual to blend it with other essential oils to diversify the aroma. Celery seed essential oil blends very well with Lavender French, Pine Scotch, Coriander and other spicy essential oils. Personally, I really like it when blended with Sweet Orange essential oil, as this then becomes really uplifting and light.
Celery seed essential oil is generally non-toxic, non-irritant, and safe to use. However, most books suggest the oil is avoided during pregnancy.
The main chemical constituents include the very gentle terpene limonene (60%), then apiol (a phenylpropene which can irritate the body), selinene, santol, and sedanolide, among others.
Celery seed oil can help in detoxification processes of the body as it facilitates the elimination of toxins and other harmful substances from the body. With the presence of natural chemical constituents that makes it a diuretic agent, Celery seed oil also facilitates the increased frequency and quantity of urine to remove out excess fats, salts, bile, uric acid and urea. This is really important during weight loss programmes as it keeps the body free from toxins during the process.
Celery seed essential oil can also stimulate the kidneys to remove such excess and toxic substances, which in turn helps to prevent the formation and growth of kidney stones, and maintaining kidney health. Celery seed essential oil can also help to cleanse the liver, which is really important if you are treating depression or liver congestion. A study in 1995 published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, showed how the oil gave protective effects on the liver, keeping it healthy.
Celery seed oil is a strong anti-inflammatory agent, and can be a natural remedy for painful conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism, gout or muscular aches and pains. Because the oil also helps detoxification in the body, it helps to give pain relief to conditions that are due to a build-up of unwanted substances in the bloodstream. It soothes inflamed muscles and it is helpful in dealing with the discomforts that comes with aged joints as well. A 2007 research study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology found that celery seed extract is able to inhibit nitric oxide, one of the inflammatory mediators, and curb its enzyme expression, thereby eradicating it from the bodily system.
Celery seed essential oil is really useful for painful periods. The oil can help to ease cramps and inflammation, and also helps to alleviate symptoms of fatigue and nausea. Celery oil can also help to regularise the menstrual cycle by gently bringing the hormonal system into balance. However, Celery seed essential oil is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women unless under the direction of a fully qualified aromatherapist.
Celery seed oil contains useful constituents and compounds that helps to lower hypertension and decrease blood pressure to a normal level. Celery seed oil can stimulating a relaxing effect on the central nervous system and encourages the expansion of blood vessels to ease hypertension. A 2013 study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine found that celery seed oil will serve to prevent and mitigate the risks of incurring diseases such as cardiovascular illnesses and even stroke.
Celery seed essential oil is known to have calming and sedative properties, and so it is extremely useful for people dealing with stress, tension and anxiety in their lives. The oil can help to instil a sense of peace and tranquillity and can lift the spirits. The presence of limonene (as in Lavender essential oil) also acts as a mild tranquiliser and can help give a peaceful and a good night’s sleep.
The essential oil of Celery seed can help promote good digestion and smooth maintenance of the digestive organs. It is a stomachic and encourages the proper secretion of digestive juices and enzymes to help in the breakdown of the nutrients in our food. Because of this, Celery seed essential oil greatly assists in preventing digestion-related problems such as indigestion, flatulence, poor appetite, and diarrhoea. In addition to this, Celery seed oil contains potent antibacterial and antimicrobial attributes, helping to protect us from a range of bacterial conditions. A 2010 research study from the College of Pharmacy of the King Saud University in Saudi Arabia evaluated the anti-gastric ulcer activity of celery extract and found it can significantly protect the stomach and inhibit the growth of painful ulcers.
You may like to try some of my recipes as below, and if you do, please do give us feedback on how they worked – we love hearing from you!
To help reduce cellulite and fluid retention use the recipe below after a bath when the skin is warm. In a 100ml bottle use:
Blend all the oils well in the bottle and apply a pump cap. Use a desert spoonful in the palms of your hand and massage into the area really well until the lotion has disappeared.
For help with painful stomach cramps, use the recipe below. In a small basin use:
Put the essential oils into the water – they will not blend in as they are not water soluble, but don’t worry! Put a small tea towel in the water and allow it to absorb all the liquid. Drape the towel over the lower abdomen and cover with a plastic bag or cling film. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes before removal.
This recipe will help to keep your body healthy and is especially useful for depression and for the morning after the night before. In a 100ml pump bottle use the following recipe:
Add the Aloe Vera and the essential oils to the lotion in the order they are written in the recipe and stir well. Put into the bottle and use a desert spoon in the bath, adding to the running water to ensure full dispersion. Stay in the bath for 20 minutes.
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