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Apium graveolens

The celery plant of antiquity is rarely found today. It was a bitter plant, though its flowers must have been full of sweet nectar, a pasture for bees, in whose honour the name (and in fact the whole genus Apiaceae) derived its name (apis = bee). Many spice and vegetable plants belong to this genus: carrots, caraway, parsley, parsnip, dill and fennel, to name but a few - but it also harbours some very poisonous species, such as hemlock. Modern celery has lost its unpleasant taste in the process of cultivation and it now makes for a much more tasty spice and vegetable. Old herbals are full of references to its supposed aphrodisiac properties, a reputation it shares with many of its cousins in the same genus.

Celery is a powerful diuretic, which makes it useful for all afflictions that call for inner cleansing. It helps to flush out Uric acid crystals that accumulate in painful joints in arthritic conditions and gout and also make a good supportive remedy for rheumatism. It stimulates the metabolism and aids the body's detoxifying process. It also invigorates a flagging sex drive and has a toning effect on the whole system. It is often used as a supportive remedy by those who seek to loose weight.

The ancients gave this herb to Mercury, who rules the mental processes. Celery helps letting go of negative thought forms and repetitive mental loops that keep us prisoners of our own fear and paranoia. Magically it can be used to cut through such mental ties and help us get in touch with the mercurial energy that can shift our thought process to another, more creative level.

Not all herbs are suitable in pregnancy, breastfeeding or for young children, or if you are unwell, or taking any medication. If in doubt, please ask a medical herbalist or healthcare practitioner.