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Ayurvedic Herbs A-Z

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Ayurvedic Medicine









Latin Name

English Name

Sanskrit Name

Apium graveolens
Linn. (Apiaceae)





History  |   Habitat  |   Morphology Description (Habit)  |   Principal Constituents  |   Toxicology  |

  Indications  |   Product Range




Celery appears to have been known to the ancient Hindus. The Arabians probably obtained their knowledge from the Greeks. Mohammad Husain, who wrote in India about one hundred and twenty years ago, informs us that 'Karafs' is the celery of the Europeans and the Udasaliyun of the Greeks.



It is native to Europe and now naturalized and occurring wild in the foothills of the northwestern Himalayas and the outlying hills of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. It is largely cultivated in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Morphology Description (Habit)

It is an erect, annual or biennial herb. The roots are numerous, succulent and well developed. The stem branches are angular or fistular, conspicuously jointed. The leaves are oblong to obovate, pinnate or trifoliolate. The leaflets are ovate to sub-orbicular and 3-lobed. The flowers are white or greenish white and very small. The fruit (commonly called seed) is a schizocarp consisting of two mericarps, sub-orbicular to ellipsoid, greyish brown to brown with pale ridges, aromatic and slightly bitter.

Principal Constituents

The fruits contain apiin, apigenin and chlorogenic acid.

Ayurvedic Energetics
Rasa (taste): Pungent
Virya (action): Heating
Vipaka (post-digestive effect): Pungent
Guna (quality): Light, Dry, Penetrating
Dosha effect: KV- P+
Dhatu (tissue): Plasma, Marrow, Nerve
Srota (channel): Digestive, Respiratory, Nervous

Ayurvedic Action
Deepana- awakens digestion, Pachaka- digestive, Swasa- benefits breathing, Anuloma- mild laxative/ corrects the flow of vata, Amanashak- toxin digester


No adverse effect was reported on use of this plant as medicine in recommended doses.


Celery seeds are credited with stimulant and carminative properties and are prescribed as nervine, sedative and tonic. They are prescribed as a decoction or as a liquid extract. The fatty oil from the seeds is used in many medicinal preparations as an antispasmodic and nerve stimulant. The roots are credited with diuretic property.


LUNGS: Asthma, bronchitis, cough, sinus congestion. It actively helps to dilate the bronchioles by preventing spasm in the airways. Excess kapha is 'digested'.2

GIT: Flatulence, borborygmus, intestinal cramps. Low agni is stimulated by the pungent volatile oils.3

NERVES: Spasms, cramps, tension. Obstructed vata is moved by reducing tension throughout the whole nervous system- the constriction is eased and a normal flow ensues. Also benefits heart pain from nervous costriction.4 As an anti-spasmodic with an affinity for the lower abdomen it can help ease the pain of dysmenorrhea and menstrual cramps.

URINE: Specific herb for kidney and bladder discomfort from cold.5 The vegetable 'stalk' heals the urinary system afflicted with problems from heat- irritation, cystitis etc.

Contraindications: High pitta, hyperacidity, pregnancy

Product Range


1 Tierra 1988, Nadkarni
2 Frawley and Ladd
3 Tierra 1988
4 Bhavaprakasha
5 Bhavaprakasha


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