Celery Root and Black Cumin
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Terry Said
Posted on: April 5, 2000

I would like to know what are the medicinal qualities of black seed and celery root. Please send me any information you may have on these herbs.

According to Grieve’s "A Modern Herbal" the seed, herb and root of the celery plant (Apium graveolens) are medicinal. She says that celery has tonic and nervine properties, useful for hysteria, restlessness and insomnia, but she doesn’t not say if all of the seed, herb and root have the same effect. She does go on to say, however, that eating the fresh celery root along with any medicine based on celery is helpful for these nervous conditions. She also says that celery is very good for rheumatism, but again does not identify the plant part used.

By the way, the "CRC Ethnobotany Desk Reference" says that celery seeds "have always been regarded as one of the most effective aphrodisiacs" but adds that for this purpose the seeds must be collected before they are exposed to frost in late autumn.

The seeds of the black cumin (Nigella sativa), also known as black seed, fennel flower, roman coriander, and (incorrectly) as onion seed, are indeed medicinal. They have stimulant, diaphoretic (sweat inducing), emmenagogue (promotes menstrual discharge) and lactogogue (promotes the flow of milk) properties. The seeds are carminative and are widely used in Asia to treat indigestion and bowel complaints. They have been used for a variety of other complaints also.

An excellent book is "The Healing Power of Black Cumin" available from Richters. It covers the scientific research, the effect of black cumin on the immune system, and its use on a variety of medical conditions.

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