Celery juice is the latest wellness trend fuelled by Instagram. But what’s the basis of this trend?
We know celery owes its new cult following to the guy known as ‘The Medical Medium’; Anthony William. Despite his popularity, others call him a quack and deny the claims being made by the man responsible for the celery juice resurgence. Who is right?
Extreme statements are good for dramatic effect, but not for your health. Let’s get clear on celery juice.
William says that celery juice is so medicinal, it clears the body of bacterial toxins like Streptococcus and viruses like Epstein-Barr and shingles. He says it removes heavy metals and can treat PTSD.
While celery is a wonderful natural healer, I don’t think we should self-treat HHV-6, PTSD and Strep infections armed only with celery juice, on the word of someone with no nutritional or medical training.
William started a new trend by channeling revolutionary insight about celery juice.
Celery has made news for 3000 years since it was mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey1. It was a cult medicine even before it was a food. Egyptians used celery as mummy bling and Greeks used its leaves as good luck talismans1. People who were “crunchy” before it was an adjective for people have always known that fresh-pressed celery juice promotes great health when taken on a regular basis4.
On one hand, we should be leery of nutrition advice from anyone who claims that celery juice helps “revive your stomach gland”.
There is no such thing as a “stomach gland.”
On the other hand, we shouldn’t assume that people slamming him are any better.
One outspoken dietician from Toronto fired back at William, stating “there is absolutely zero physiological connection between anything we eat and the strength of our bile”.
Studies in humans confirm that bitter foods stimulate bile release and bile production. TR2 bitter taste receptors in our gut respond to the flavor by releasing CCK, triggering bile release.
Despite his lack of nutrition or medical training, William claims celery has special, never-before-discovered properties.
Celery has well-known compounds like beta-carotene, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, silica, choline, vitamins C and B2 and folate, as well as chlorophyll.
William claims “undiscovered” “sodium cluster salts” give celery juice its benefits.
Why believe in unproven salts when science knows celery has everything mentioned above plus chemicals like isoquercitrin, p-cymene, guaiacol, umbelliferone, apiol, flavonoids, alkaloids, phenolic compounds, d-galacturonic acid, l-rhamnose, l-arabinose, and d-galactose and at least another 30 besides? Celery contains volatile oils, 60-70 percent of which is limonene. Limonene has antiseptic and sedative properties that reduce muscle spasms and liquefy thick mucus. Isn’t that enough?
William says it’s best to juice celery for liver cleansing and immune support, not eat it.
Chlorophyll, which is present in whole celery, has been demonstrated to inhibit damage to liver cells and prevent the genesis of unhealthy cells within the liver6. Coumarins are also in whole celery, and they have anti-edema, anti-inflammatory, immune enhancing and anti-mutagenic properties. Furanocoumarins, such as bergapten, in conjunction with ultra-violet light, kill bacteria and inactivate viruses6.
William says we should eat the stalks of the celery, that the root will not work, and to not to be concerned with the leaves.
Nutritionists advise every part of celery is a beneficial food. The leaves have at least 28 testable chemical components. The roots have falcarinol, panaxidol, and more.
William says juice should be made from freshly picked celery to preserve all the goodness.
True. Juice should be from freshly picked celery in order to contain the most phytochemicals. For best results, juice, blend, eat it fresh out of the garden, or get a fresh juice concentrate made immediately after picking, like Salus Celery Juice (CAN).
William says that the best benefits come with consuming 32 ounces of the juice daily and that it is a “myth” and “incorrect” that celery is high in oxalate. His opponents say that consuming so much celery juice is “harmless”. Both seem fine with pregnant women drinking celery juice.
Celery juice is healthy but going overboard is not. Consuming large amounts of oxalates is bad for health. It should be avoided during pregnancy and by those prone to oxalate issues.
It’s clear that celery and its juice have long been known to have health benefits.
While it isn’t proven that it will treat everything or replace all medical treatments, celery has been used as a urinary antiseptic, a nervous system tonic, and for improving gas, spasms, and water retention. It can support healthy joints and may even help support healthy cholesterol and blood pressure.
Drinking or eating the whole plant in moderation can be health supportive if the person has functioning oxalate clearance and is not pregnant.
Dana Green Remedios, RHN, RNCP, NNCP, is a Vancouver-based educator and coach. She is a regular contributor to the FloraHealthy blog and can answer your questions in English, French, and Spanish as a Product Information Specialist at Flora.
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- Gursche, Siegfried. Healing with Herbal Juices A Practical Guide to Herbal Juice Therapy: Nature’s Preventative Medicine, Alive Books© 1993 pg 58-59.
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- McGuffin et al. American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook. © 1997 by CRC Press LLC. Pg 11.
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- Information on Plant Juices for Specialist Groups. Salus Haus information document provided by Flora Manufacturing & Distributing Ltd.