Recently, more attention is being paid to the potential healing powers of a common vegetable. Celery—or more specifically, its seeds—is said to have the power to lend all sorts of health benefits. Clinical research has shown it to be an effective treatment for conditions such as menstrual pain and discomfort. However, recent research has revealed that there may be even greater potential in store. Celery seed for blood pressure, gout, and digestive purposes have all received attention in recent years as more and more users have continued to report positive results.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the most common and serious ailments facing the public today. In the United States alone, the American Heart Association estimates that over 76 million individuals suffer from the condition—about one out of every three adults. Complications of high blood pressure can include kidney and heart disease, eye damage, hardening of arteries, and stroke.
If you suffer from hypertension or suspect that you might, it’s important to consult a doctor or health professional for advice. Always seek input from your health provider before embarking on a new regimen, including natural remedies. If no unnecessary risks are evident, then consider these potential benefits of celery seed for blood pressure.
Celery is a natural source of a phytochemical known as phthalides. The extract, NBP (n-butylphthalide), is said to have the ability to relax tissues within the walls of arteries, thereby increasing blood flow while also reducing blood pressure. For hypertension sufferers, this would certainly be considered a win-win situation.
While celery seed is available in a variety of forms—tablets, capsules, oil, or even raw—it has been suggested that one of the best ways to receive the full NBP benefit is to consume celery in its natural form. You’ll also receive health benefits such as potassium, magnesium, and dietary fiber while taking in a minimum of sodium in the process.
Dr. Kenneth Shafer of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine suggests eating about four stalks of celery to derive the full effect. This amounts to about one cup when chopped—perfect for mixing with salads or light snacking. If the natural veggie route isn’t the one for you, consider PurMedica’s product lines for supplements that are easy to take to help manage your symptoms.
The 3nB Effect
The compound 3nb, or 3-n-butylphtalide, is a popular point of discussion when it comes to the benefits of celery-based remedies. A study performed on hypertensive and normotensive (normal blood pressure) rats revealed that 3nB was the foremost factor in lowering the blood pressure of hypertensive animals. Additionally, the compound had no effect on those rats whose blood pressure was considered to be at normal levels to begin with.
At present, studies continue in human subjects in hopes of achieving similar findings, although hard evidence does not yet exist to substantiate such theories. One positive trend that has been observed, however, is the lack of negative interactions or side effects of celery seed extract in the presence of other medications.
Conventional Medicine Interactions
Some of the more common hypertension treatments—ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors, beta blockers, and calcium channel blockers—are known to produce unsavory side effects, such as reducing blood flow to the brain. While this can aid in lowering one’s risk of stroke, it’s also capable of contributing to maladies including depression, dizziness, memory loss, and general fatigue.
By contrast, celery seed extracts have produced positive results in animal-based lab trials without negatively impacting blood flow to the brain. In fact, research has shown that blood flow may actually be improved by 3nB, enhancing energy production and working to provide greater protection for this crucial organ. Studies on animal models have even shown potential to reduce risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, making this a very intriguing compound within the medical community.
Although it’s easy to get excited about the possibility of a new natural remedy, it’s important to let science continue to develop the full picture. While research has revealed several potential benefits of celery seed for blood pressure, more testing needs to be done before it’s viewed as a viable replacement for (or accompaniment to) existing treatment options.
Regardless of how you choose to treat hypertension, one of the primary goals should always be to limit your risk factors. Do your best to abide by these established guidelines at all times:
Improve your diet, with a focus on limiting salt intake
Strictly moderate the amount of alcohol you consume
Engage in regular exercise to achieve or maintain a healthy weight
If you’re a smoker, cut back or quit
While no single habit can make or break your strategy for controlling blood pressure, every bit of effort helps. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly can combine with treatments—be they conventional medicines or natural remedies—to produce a greater overall effect.
For more information about controlling hypertension and the types of treatments that are right for you, speak with your doctor or health professional. At PurMedica, we offer products designed to improve your life and well being—however, you should always seek qualified input before incorporating any new substance into your personal health approach.