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Apium graveolens


Apium graveolens  

[span class=alert]In regards to the Traditional Use and Therapeutic Action sections of Essential Oils, the oils are rated as is standard practice in the French school of aromatherapy and others. The ratings ranked from one (+) to four (++++) with four indicating the highest value, indicate the oil’s therapeutic value from a practicing clinician’s point of view. The French rating system mentioned are obtained from this book reference entitle ‘Les Cahiers Pratiques D'Aromatherapie Selon L'Ecole Francaise’ (Authors: Francine Baudry, Pascal Debauche & Dominique Baudoux). However, further clarification might be required and will be updated once additional information of the rating system is obtained.[/span]

Family Name


Genus Name


Vernacular Name

Celery oil, Celery seed, Celery fruit

Original Habitat

Apium graveolens is native to areas such as China and ancient Egypt and now grows across the world including Europe, India and the United States and is cultivated globally. The plant requires moist soil and full sun.

Plant Part Used



In the foods and beverages industry, Celery seed oil is used extensively as a flavouring agent in all types of products.[1] It is less frequently used in the fragrance industry.[2] In therapeutic Aromatherapy, it is primarily used as a single oil and less often found in formulations except in formulations for massage.


Apium graveolens is a tall slim plant growing to less than one metre in height. It has pinnate to bipinnate leaves with rhombic leaflets extending from the top of the plant. The small brown seeds are found in the flower which are less than 5mm in diametre.

The essential oil of is steam-distilled from the seeds. This thin oil has a sweet, spicy aroma and is pale yellow to dark amber in colour.[1]

Chemical Constituents

Neocnidilide [1] [3]

Medicinal Uses


 Anti-parasitic: Schistosoma mansoni is known as the cercariae that carry Schistosomiasis. Using celery oil obtained from Egypt, researchers concluded that the oil exhibited anti-parasitic activity.[4]

 Insecticidal: When used as a larvicidal for mosquito control, celery seed oil demonstrated insecticidal activity.[5] In addition, in a laboratory and natural setting, this oil showed insecticidal activity against two different species of mosquitoes.[6]

Antibacterial: The essential oil of A. graveolens demonstrated some moderate antibacterial activity in a comparison study of various oils against common food pathogens.[7]

Antioxidant: Celery seed oil was studied along with other plant essential oils for its potential antioxidant activity. It demonstrated inhibitory activity against malonaldehyde formation.[8]

Traditional Use

Water retention+++

 Clinical studies on the oil extracted from Celery seeds is lacking. Most references are made in regard to the use of the plant rather than the oil though the traditional uses of appear to be interchangeable.   There are numerous studies on the Celery plant and its various clinical applications.[1]

Contraindications and Precautions

The use of Celery supplements has been identified as potentiating the activity of Warfarin.[9] While this report is not on the oil specifically, caution is advised.

Celery seed oil may cause photosensitivity due to the furanocoumarin content.[1]

May cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.

Not to be used by pregnant or nursing women.

Not to be used with children.


[span class=alert]Keep out of reach of children as oils are highly concentrated.Essential oils are irritating to the eyes.  Avoid contact with eye area.Always dilute essential oils with carrier oil, lotion, cream or gel even when using in diffuser or bath.Essential oils are sometimes prescribed to be used internally, but should only be used internally under professional supervision.[/span]

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  1) Botanical Info

  2) Safety

  3) Western Herb

  4) Native American Herb


  1. Lis-Balchin M., Aronatherapy Science. Great Britain: Pharmaceutical Press; 2006.
  2. Bauer K, Garbe D, Surburg H. Common Fragrance and Flavor Materials. Germany: Wiley-VCH; 1997.
  3. Saleh MM. The essential oil of Apium graveolens var. secalinum and its cercaricidal activity. Pharm Weekbl Sci. 13Dec1985;7(6):277-279.
  4. Saleh MM. The essential oil of Apium graveolens var. secalinum and its cercaricidal activity. Pharm Weekbl Sci. 13Dec1985;7(6):277-279.
  5. Pitasawat B. Aromatic plant-derived essential oil: an alternative larvicide for mosquito control. Fitoterapia. Apr2007;78(3):205-210
  6. Chaiyasit D. Essential oils as potential adulticides against two populations of Aedes aegypti, the laboratory and natural field strains, in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand. Parasitol Res. Nov 2006;99(6):715-721.
  7. Ozkan G, Sadic O, Ozcan M.Note: Inhibition of Pathogenic Bacteria by Essential Oils at Different Concentrations. Food Science and Technology International.2003;9(2):85-88
  8. Wei A, Shibamoto T.Antioxidant activities and volatile constituents of various essential oils. J Agric Food Chem. 7Mar2007;55(5):1737-1742.
  9. Heck AM, DeWitt BA, Lukes AL..Potential interactions between alternative therapies and warfarin. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 1Jul2000;57(13):1221-1227.

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