Celery as a medicinal herb is nothing new.1 It has been used for thousands of years for a variety of medicinal purposes.2 Recently, celery juice has found its way into the health food limelight. Social media wellness influencers and celebrities have been all a’ buzz over this fresh, frothy juice, claiming it to have healing and restorative properties.3
If you’re considering jumping on the celery juice bandwagon, consider this: While there is plenty of research on celery, there are very few reports that specifically study celery juice. A search of PubMed, a free archive of biomedical and life sciences journals and literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine, revealed zero clinical trials evaluating the effects of celery juice on human health. That doesn’t mean celery juice doesn’t offer any health benefits, but it does mean we shouldn’t take the broad claims we’re seeing in social media regarding the health benefits of celery juice at face value, at least not until we’ve seen the research supporting them. Let’s dive in and take a look at these claims compared to what we know about celery.
The Current Celery Juice Craze
You’ve probably noticed that one of the latest trends in the diet industry is celery juice, which arguably could be credited to Anthony William, a self-proclaimed “medicine medium” that specializes in nourishment and healing but has no formal background in nutrition or medicine.4 William, who is a New York Times best selling author, has written several books on nutrition and chronic diseases, including his Medicine Medium series. His latest installment, Celery Juice: The Most Powerful Medicine of Our Time Healing Millions Worldwide, was released in 2019.5 In it, William reports that celery juice can be used to remedy digestive issues, autoimmune disorders, psoriasis, acne, chronic fatigue syndrome, heartburn, shingles, strep throat, and aid in weight loss. He recommends a strict regimen in regard to the preparation and consumption of celery juice.4–6 According to William, celery juice must be “pure,” meaning nothing can be added to it—not even a slice of lemon, ice, or water. William claims these additives will “lower or cancel out the benefits of pure, unadulterated celery juice consumed alone.”7 He also recommends that adults drink a minimum of 16 ounces of celery juice per day and only on an empty stomach 15 to 30 minutes before the next meal.5 Finally, he reports that the juice must be made fresh from raw celery, and ideally should be made the same day you drink it.7,8
Juicing is very popular among health enthusiasts. This is apparent in the market size of the juicing industry in the US, which is valued at $11 billion.9 For context, kombucha production alone in the US is valued at $1 billion.10 Consuming the juice of raw or fermented fruits and/or vegetables may offer some benefits over consuming the fruits or vegetables in their whole form. For example, juicing offers better hydration than consuming the fruit or vegetable raw.11 Additionally, some individuals may find consuming the juice of fruits and/or vegetables preferable to consuming them in their whole form for personal reasons (e.g., ease of consumption, preferred taste, preferred texture). However, while the juicing process is thought to keep most of the vitamin, mineral, and phytonutrient content of the whole fruit or vegetable intact, the juicing process eliminates most of the fiber, a very important component of a healthy diet.11,12
Health Conditions that Could Potentially Benefit from Celery Juice
Inflammation. In his book, William claims celery juice is able to reverse inflammation by starving pathogenic bacteria and viruses. More specifically, he says that “an undiscovered subgroup of sodium,” which he refers to as “cluster salts,” attack pathogens and rebuild the hydrochloric acid in your stomach so that it can break down protein, preventing “gut rot and bloating.”4,5 While these claims for celery juice have not been demonstrated in any clinical trials, we do know that celery in its whole form is rich in phytochemicals, which have been shown to decrease the activity of proinflammatory cytokines and prevent inflammation.10 Similarly, the flavonoids in celery suppress inflammation in and around the heart.13,17
Metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of co-occurring conditions—excess body fat around the waist, high blood pressure, high blood triglycerides, low levels of HDL cholesterol, and insulin resistance—that increase the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes.13 While lifestyle changes are needed to prevent or manage metabolic syndrome, several studies have found celery consumption can be a part of this strategy. The phytochemicals in celery, including phenolic acids, flavones, flavanols, and several antioxidants, can help regulate cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure.13,14
Dehydration. Celery is about 95-percent water and contains electrolytes,15 so celery juice may offer an alternative source of hydration. Staying well hydrated keeps bodily systems working as they should and can improve sleep, cognition, and mood.16
Toxins. The liver is responsible for removing toxins from the blood. The antioxidant properties of celery may offer liver-protecting or -enhancing properties. A review article examining the antioxidant effects of celery describes an animal study that assessed the liver-protecting effects of celery leaf water and/or celery root water in rats being treated with doxorubicin, a form of chemotherapy that can impact the liver’s ability to fight free radicals.17 These investigators reported that rats treated with doxorubicin who were administered a combination of celery leaf water and celery root water demonstrated increased ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) of the liver, thus improving the liver’s ability to neutralize free radicals. Important to note: the rats treated with celery leaf water alone did not see the same liver-protecting effects as those treated with celery water from leaves and roots.17 Consuming a wide variety of fruits and vegetables provides the body with phytonutrients offering antioxidant properties, which support healthy liver and kidney functioning.18
Chronic illness. William claims that celery juice can help with chronic conditions, including thyroiditis, eczema, psoriasis, migraines, acid reflux, and addiction.5 There are currently no studies that look at the effect of celery juice on chronic illness, but there has been research on apigenin—a flavonoid found in celery—in the treatment of autoimmune diseases. A recent review found that apigenin does have strong anti-inflammatory potential in different human autoimmune diseases but also determined that it should be complemented by medication to have a detectable effect on the body. Study authors concluded that more apigenin research is needed to fully clarify its different attributes and to speed up its use for different conditions.19
Mental disorders. “Better mental clarity” and “stable moods” are acclaimed benefits of celery juice, but there is no research regarding the effect of celery juice on mood. Numerous studies, however, have demonstrated an association between increased free radicals and onset of neurodegenerative disorders.20 Vitamin A, Vitamin C, carotenoids, Vitamin E, selenium, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), chlorogenic acids, and coenzyme Q10 (a fat-soluble compound) are known to have neuroprotective properties due to their antioxidative properties that neutralize free radicals, suggesting that a diet rich in these compounds could potentially prevent neurodegenerative disorders.21 Additionally, the gut microbiota are thought to play an important role in modulating cognitive function through their antioxidant properties, and fiber is their primary energy source, thus indicating that diets high in fiber, such as that provided by celery, can enhance gut microbiome functioning.21 Other studies have shown an association between a balanced diet, specific foods, and antioxidants and the prevention or management of depression.22 This suggests that the antioxidant properties of celery could have a positive impact on mood.
The phytochemicals found in celery have been shown to improve inflammation, metabolic syndrome, liver and kidney health, and neurodegenerative and mood disorders. Celery in its whole form is also a good source of fiber, which supports the gut microbiota and their antioxidant functions.
Drinking celery juice is considered safe when consumed in moderation and likely can impart many of the antioxidant properties found in whole, raw celery, but the juicing process removes most, if not all, of the fiber. It is important to note that research specifically studying the health effects of celery juice are limited. If you would like to gain the nutritious benefits of celery, including antioxidants and fiber, incorporate celery into your diet in its whole, raw form on its own as a snack, diced up in salads, or added to smoothies; celery juice will provide antioxidants, but does not have the added benefit of fiber.23,24
Editor’s note. Consult with a licensed nutritionist/ dietitian or qualified healthcare professional to discuss what, if any, dietary modifications, including the addition of celery juice, are right for you.
- Britannica. The Editors of Encyclopaedia. Celery. Encyclopedia Britannica. 10 Dec. 2019, https://www.britannica.com/plant/celery. Accessed 24 January 2022.
- Brody JE. A new look at an ancient remedy: celery. Brody JE. New York Times. June 9, 1992;Sec C, p9
- Twitter site. #celeryjuice. https://twitter.com/hashtag/celeryjuice. Accessed 25 Jan 2022.
- MacKeen D. Is celery juice a sham? Updated 19 Oct 2019. New York Times website. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/16/style/self-care/celery-juice-benefits.html. Accessed 20 Dec 2021.
- Medical Medium website. About Anthony William. https://www.medicalmedium.com/medical-medium-about-anthony-william. Accessed 21 Dec 2021.
- Gordon A, Hobbes M. Celery Juice. 25 May 2021. Celery juice. Maintenance Phase website. https://maintenancephase.wixsite.com/home/episodes. Accessed 20 Dec 2021.
- William A. Celery juice : what not to do. 7 Dec 2019. Medical Medium website. https://www.medicalmedium.com/blog/celery-juice-what-not-to-do. Accessed 21 Dec 2021.
- William A. Why drink 16oz of celery juice daily? 28 Feb 2020. Medical Medium website. https://www.medicalmedium.com/blog/why-drink-16oz-of-celery-juice-daily. Accessed 21 Dec 2021.
- Juice production industry in the US: market research report. Updated 24 Oct 2021. IBISWorld website. https://www.ibisworld.com/united-states/market-research-reports/juice-production-industry/. Accessed 21 Dec 2021.
- Kombucha production industry in the US: market research report. Updated 16 Nov 2021. IBISWorld website. https://www.ibisworld.com/united-states/market-research-reports/kombucha-production-industry/. Accessed 21 Dec 2021.
- Zarasky K. Is juicing healthier than eating whole fruits or vegetables? Nutrition and healthy eating. Mayo Clinic site. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/juicing/faq-20058020#:~:text=Juicing%20is%20no%20healthier%20than%20eating%20whole%20fruits%20and%20vegetables.&text=The%20liquid%20contains%20most%20of,is%20lost%20during%20most%20juicing. Accessed 25 Jan 2022.
- Kaiser Permanente website. The pros and cons of juicing. https://wa-health.kaiserpermanente.org/pros-cons-juicing/. Accessed 4 Jan 2022.
- Hedayati N, Bemani Naeini M, Mohammadinejad A, Mohajeri SA. Beneficial effects of celery (Apium graveolens) on metabolic syndrome: a review of the existing evidences. Phytother Res. 2019;33(12):3040-3053.
- Mayo Clinic website. Metabolic syndrome. Updated 6 May 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/metabolic-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20351916. Accessed 4 Jan 2022.
- United States Department of Agriculture site. Celery, raw. Updated Apr 2018. U.S. Department of Agriculture website. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169988/nutrients. Accessed 20 Dec 2021.
- Harvard Health website. The importance of hydration. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/the-importance-of-hydration/. Accessed 4 Jan 2022.
- Kooti W, Daraei N. A review of the antioxidant activity of celery (Apium graveolens L). J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2017;22(4):1029–1034.
- American Liver Foundation website. A healthy diet, a healthier liver, a healthier you. https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/health-wellness/nutrition/. Accessed 5 Jan 2022.
- Kasiri N, Rahmati M, Ahmadi L, Eskandari N. The significant impact of apigenin on different aspects of autoimmune disease. Inflammopharmacology. 2018;26(6):
- Migliore, L, Coppedè F. Environmental-induced oxidative stress in neurodegenerative disorders and aging. Mutation Res. 2009;674:73–84.
- Franzoni F, Scarfò G, Guidotti S, et al. Oxidative stress and cognitive decline: the neuroprotective role of natural antioxidants. Front Neurosci. 13 October 2021 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2021.729757.
- Huang Q, Liu H, Susuki K. Linking what we eat to our mood: a review of diet, dietary antioxidants, and depression. Antioxidants (Basel). 2019;8(9):376.
- King N. Is juicing worth the squeeze? Updated Jun 2019. Colorado State University Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center website. https://www.chhs.colostate.edu/krnc/monthly-blog/is-juicing-worth-the-squeeze/. Accessed 5 Jan 2022.
- Kirkpatrick K. Celery juice is a trendy detox drink, but does it actually have benefits? 15 Jan 2019. Cleveland Clinic website. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/celery-juice-is-a-trendy-detox-drink-but-does-it-actually-have-benefits/. Accessed 20 Dec 2021. .