Family • Umbelliferae - Apium graveolens L. - CELERY - Fan qin cai

Scientific names

Apium graveolens Linn.
Apium dulce Mill.

Common names

Guichae (Tag.)
Kinchai  (Tag.)
Kintsay  (Tag.)
Quichay (Tag.)
Celery (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

ARMENIAN: Lakhod garos. MARATHI: Ajmoda.
BENGALI : Chanu, Randhuni. NORWEGIAN: Hageselleri, Selleri.
CHINESE: Qin, Fan qin cai, Ch’in-nst’ai POLISH: Seler, Selery zwyczajne.
CZECH: Celer. RUSSIAN: Sel’derei.
DANISH: Strandselleri, Vild selleri. SANSKRIT : Ajmoda, Ajamoda.
DUTCH: Bladselderij, Groene selder. SLOVAKIAN: Zelerové semená (seeds).
FINNISH: Ruokaselleri, Selleri. SLOVENIAN: Zelena.
GUJARATI: Ajamoda, Bodi ajamoda. SPANISH: Apio, Apio borde, Apio de agua, Api (Catalan).
HEBREW : Carpas reychani, Kerfes rihani, Karpass rehani, Seleri. SWEDISH: Blekselleri, Selleri.
HINDI: Ajmud, Bari ajmud. TAMIL: Ajmod.
HUNGARIAN: Zeller. TELUGU: Ajumoda.
ITALIAN: Sedano, Sedano comune. THAI: Khuen chai (Khen chaai), Phak khao puen, Phak puem, Phak puen
JAPANESE: Oranda mitsuba. TURKISH : Kereviz, Yabanî kerevizi.
MALAY: Daun sop. URDU Ajmod (Ajmud).

Kintsay is an erect herb, seldom growing over 30 centimeters in height. The Chinese variety has short stems. Leaves are pinnate, with large, deeply-lobed segments, on long petioles. Peduncles are short, less than 1 centimeter in length, and borne opposite the leaves. Flowers are borne in umbels, very small, and greenish white. Fruit is very small, with narrow ridges.


– A biennial of Europe and northern Asia which has been cultivated from fairly remote times.
– Introduced in the Philippines.
– Two forms are cultivated in the Philippines: In the lowlands, the small Chinese form, known as “kinchai,” raised extensively by the Chinese and common in the Manila markets. Baguio kind has a thicker and larger leaf stalk and is blanched, much smaller than the high-grade celery cultivated in temperate zones.

– Considered anti-inflammatory, deobstruent, diuretic, resolvent, pectoral, tonic, carminative, emmenagogue, diuretic, adjunct to purgatives, lithotriptic, stimulant, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac.
– Possible antioxidant.
– In Unani system of medicine, considered stimulant, cardiac tonic, carminative,diuretic and antiseptic.


– The plant yields a glucoside, apiin; a volatile oil, mannite and inosite.
– Bulb yields a volatile oil, 0.009%; glutamine; asparagine; tyrosine; mannitol.
– Fruit contains a volatile oil, 2.5-3%; apigenin; protein, 1.3%; choline, linase.
– Volatile oil: d-limonene; a-pinene; cineole; cymene; a-terpineol.
– Seeds are a rich source of phenolic constituents such as flavonoids, anthrons, xanthons and tannins.
– Study yielded two phthalide compounds, 3-n- butylphthalide and sedanenolide.
– The major components of volatile oil were β-pinene, camphene, cumene, limonene, α-thuyene, α-pinene, β-phellendrene, p-cymene, γ-terpinene, sabinene and terpinolene.
– Study isolated two phthalide compounds, 3-n-butylphthalide and sedaneolide.
– Nutrient analysis of 1 cup diced and raw celery (101.00 grams) yield 16 calories, vitamin K 33%DV, molybdenum 11%, folate 9%, potassium 8%, fiber 6%, manganese 5%, vitamin B2 5%, pantothenic acid 5%, copper 4%, calcium 4%, vitamin C 4%, vitamin B6 4%, magnesium 3%, vitamin A 3%. (37)
– Proximate analysis yielded 50 moisture in aerial parts and seeds of the plant. Leaves yielded vitamin C 60.35 mg/100gm; seeds, 1.34 mg/100gm. Elemental analysis of roots yielded K 5100 µg/g, P 4099 µg/g, Ca 674 µg/g, Ni 4.41 µg/g, Cd 1.94 µg/g, Se 0.41µg/g. Maximum K was found in the roots, followed by stems. Phytochemical screening of seeds yielded steroids, flavonoids, saponins, and tannins.


Parts used
Entire plant.

Culinary / Nutritional
– Petioles and leaves are used for seasoning local dishes, especially pansit, chop suey, bachoi, etc.
– Excellent source of calcium and iron; contains vitamins A, B, and C.
– Seeds are rich in iron and vitamins, including A, B and C.
– Celery juice before meals as appetite suppressant; after meals as a digestive.

– In the Philippines, plant decoction is used as a diuretic and emmenagogue.
– Poultice of plant with barley meal used as deobstruent and resolvent.
– Used as a tonic and carminative adjunct to purgatives.
– Used as diuretic, lithontriptic and alexipharmic.
– Root used as alterative and diuretic, given in anasarca and colic.
– Antiasthmatic (bronchodilation): Pound seeds, wrap in thin cloth and inhale frequently.
– Used for hypertension, flatulence, indigestion.
– Decoction of seeds for bronchitis and asthma; also for liver and spleen diseases.
– Seeds used as stimulant and cordial.
– Arthritic and rheumatic disorders.
– Seed infusions used for rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
– Celery roots used as aphrodisiac.
– In Unani medicine, considered diuretic and lithotriptic.
– In Mexico, decoction of root used to diminish milk.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Hepatoprotective activity of Apium graveolens and Hygrophila auriculata against paracetamol and thioacetamide intoxication in rats / Anubha Singh and S S Handa / Journal of Ethnopharmacology • Volume 49, Issue 3, 15 December 1995, Pages 119-126 / doi:10.1016/0378-8741(95)01291-5

(2) Effect of celery (Apium graveolens) extracts on some biochemical parameters of oxidative stress in mice treated with carbon tetrachloride / Popovie Mira et al / PTR. Phytotherapy research • 2006, vol. 20, no7, pp. 531-53

(3) Apium graveolens modulates sodium valproate-induced reproductive toxicity in rats / Alaaeldin A. Hamza, Amr Amin / Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological Genetics and Physiology

(4) Mosquitocidal, Nematicidal, and Antifungal Compounds from Apium graveolens L. Seeds 

(5) The essential oil of Apium graveolens var. secalinum and its cercaricidal activity / M M Saleh et al / Pharmacy World & Science • Volume 7, Number 6 / December, 1985 / DOI 10.1007/BF01959202

(6) Hypolipidemic Effects of Seed Extract of Celery (Apium graveolens ) in Rats / Kamal Mansi et al /
RESEARCH ARTICLE, 2009 | Volume : 5 | Issue : 20 | Page : 301-305

(7) Field evaluation of G10, a celery (Apium graveolens)-based topical repellent, against mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand / B. Tueten, W. Choochote et al / Parasitology Research, Volume 104, Number 3 / February, 2009 / DOI 10.1007/s00436-008-1224-9

(8) Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of isolated fractions from Apium graveolens seeds in mice / Mina Ramezani, Sima Nasri, Narguess Yassa / Summary Pharmaceutical Biology, August 2009, Vol. 47, No. 8, Pages 740-743

(9) Sorting Apium names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 – 2000 The University of Melbourne.


(11) Isolation of 3-n-Butyl Phthalide & Sedanenolide from Apium graveolens Linn. / Syed Sufiyan Fazala*, Mohammad Mansoor Ansarib, Rajeev K Singlac, Salim Khand / Indo Global Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2012; 2(3): 258-261

(12) Induction of Apoptosis and Cytotoxic Activities of Apium graveolens Linn. Using in vitro Models /
Varadharajan Subhadradevi, kalathil Khairunissa, Kuppusamy Asokkumar, Muthuswamy Umamaheswari Andhichettiyar Sivashanmugam and Puliyath Jagannath / Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research 9 (1): 90-94, 2011 ISSN 1990-9233 © IDOSI Publications, 2011

(13) Vasorelaxant activity of extracts obtained from Apium graveolens: Possible source for vasorelaxant molecules isolation with potential antihypertensive effect / Vergara-Galicia Jorge*, Jimenez-Ramirez Luis Ángel, Tun-Suarez Adrián, Aguirre-Crespo Francisco, Salazar-Gómez Anuar, Estrada-Soto Samuel, Sierra-Ovando Ángel, Hernandez-Nuñez Emmanuel / Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 2013; 3(10): 776-779 / doi:10.1016/S2221-1691(13)60154-9

(14) In vitro angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitory and antioxidant activities of seed extract of Apium graveolens Linn. / Muthuswamy Umamaheswari*, Mathew Puthenpurackal Ajith, Kuppusamy Asokkumar, Thirumalaiswamy Sivashanmugam, Varadharajan Subhadradevi, Puliyath Jagannath, Arumugam Madeswaran / Annals of Biological Research, 2012, 3(3):1274-1282

(15) Role of Aqueous Extract of Apium graveolens Seeds Against the Haematotoxicity Induced by Carbon Tetrachloride in Female Rats / Orass S. Khuon / Department of Basic Sciences / College of Nursing / University of Thi –Qar / Iraq./

(16) A potent larvicidal and growth disruption activities of Apium graveolens (Apiaceae) seed extract on the dengue fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) / Khondkar Ehteshamul Kabira, Rajput Muhammed Tariqb, Shakil Ahmedc, Muhammad Iqbal Choudharya*

(17) Apium graveolens accentuates urinary Ca +2 excretions in experimental model of nephrocalcinosis / Faruk H Al Jawad, Rafi A.M Al Razzuqi, Ali A Al Jeboori / International Journal of Green Pharmacy, 2011, Vol 5, No 2, pp 100-102.

(18) Effect Of Celery (Apium Graveolens) Seeds Extract On Protease Inhibitor (Ritonavir) Induced Dyslipidemia / QS Ahmed, K Sayedda. / NJIRM. 2012; 3(1): 52-56

(19) The Effect of Celery (Apium graveolens) Extract on the Reproductive Hormones in Male Mice / Mehrdad Modaresi, Gholamreza Ghalamkari, Alireza jalalizand / APCBEE Procedia, Volume 4, 2012, Pages 99–104

(20) Unani description of Tukhme Karafs (Seeds of Apium graveolens Linn) and its Scientific reports / I. Mohammed Tabarak Hussain, Ghufran Ahmed, Nasreen Jahan and Mehar Adiba / International Research Journal of Biological Sciences, Vol. 2(11), 88-93, November (2013)

(21) HYPOTENSIVE AND CARDIOINHIBOTORY EFFECTS OF THE AQUEOUS AND ETHANOL EXTRACTS OF CELERY (APIUM GRAVEOLENS, APIACEAE) /Suzana Branković, Dušanka Kitić, Mirjana Radenković, Slavimir Veljković, Milica Kostić, Bojana Miladinović and Dragana Pavlovic / Acta Medica Medianae 2010,Vol.49(1)

(22) Studying the therapeutic effect of watery &alcoholic extracts extract of Apium graveolens leaves on urinary tract infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus in rabbits / Noor Sami Aboud Nawar Jasim Hussein Hana Kadum Al-Musawi / Journal of Babylon University Pure and Applied Sciences, No.2, Vol. 22: 2014

(23) Gastric antiulcer, antisecretory and cytoprotective properties of celery (Apium graveolens) in rats / Tawfeq Al-Howiriny, Abdulmalik Alsheikh, Saleh Alqasoumi, Mohammed Al-Yahya, Kamal ElTahir, and Syed Rafatullah / Pharmaceutical Biology, July 2010, Vol. 48, No. 7 , Pages 786-793 / doi:10.3109/13880200903280026

(24) Effect of Apium graveolens Leaves and Stalks in Reducing the Side Effects of Doxorubicin in Male Rabbits / Haider Ridha Salman, Batool Amein Al-Khafaji, Nisreen J. Mohammed / Medical Journal of Babylon 10:1 , 2014 / doi:1812-156X-10-1

(25) Isolation of 3-n-Butyl Phthalide & Sedanenolide from Apium graveolens Linn / Syed Sufiyan Fazal, Mohammad Mansoor Ansari, Rajeev K Singla, , Salim Khan / Indo Global Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2012; 2(3): 258-261

(26) The Effects of Hydroalcoholic Extract of Apium graveolens Leaf on the Number of Sexual Cells and Testicular Structure in Rat / Wesam Kooti; Esrafil Mansouri; Maryam Ghasemiboroon; Mahmoud Harizi; Damoon Ashtary-Larky; Reza Afrisham / Jundishapur J Nat Pharm Prod. 2014 November; 9(4): e17532.

(27)  Celery / World’s Healthiest Foods

(28) Investigation of Mineral Constituents of Apium graveolens L available in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa- Pakistan / Kalsoom Qureshi, Farrukh Tabassum, Neelam, Muhammad Amin, Muhammad Zain Akram, Muhammad Zafar / Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 2014; 3(4): 234-239


Perfumery use: The volatile oil is of value in perfumery, where it is used in combination with various perfumes, both as fixative and/or as additional scent.

Study Findings
• Hepatoprotective: Hepatoprotective activity of Apium graveolens and Hygrophila auriculata against paracetamol and thioacetamide intoxication in rats: Study showed both extract of seeds to possess significant hepatoprotective activity.
• Antioxidant / Carbon Tetrachloride-Induced Oxidative Stress: Effect of celery (Apium graveolens) extracts on some biochemical parameters of oxidative stress in mice treated with carbon tetrachloride: Study of both extract of roots and leaves are showed antioxidant activity probably involving flavonoids and other antioxidant compounds.
• Anti-Toxicity / Apigenin: Pretreatment with Ag extract effectively alleviated most of the VPA-induced effects suggesting a protective role against experimental VPA toxicity. Apigenin was a major factor of the Ag extract.
• Nematicidal / Antifungal / Mosquitocidal:Study of AG seeds isolated and characterized compounds sedanolide, senkyunolida-N and senkyunolide-J which showed nematicidal, antifungal, and mosquitocidal activities.
• Mosquito Repellent / G10: A comparative evaluation of G10, a celery-based topical mosquito repellent product, with Insect Block 28 and standard 25% DEET showed G10 and IB28 exhibited similarly powerful repellent activities with 100% protection, DEET was effective with 99.68% protection. (2) Study showed AG offers a potential against Ae. aegypti, particularly in its markedly repellent effect.
• Antipyretic: Antipyretic effect of celery (Apium graveolens) extracts in mice: Study showed extracts of celery leaf decreased the pyrogenic effect of 12% yeast suspension.
• Essential Oil / Cercaricidal: Essential oil of the fresh aerial parts of Ag at its flowering stage yielded: a- and B-pinene, myrcene, limonene, cis-B-ocimene, g-terpinene, cis-allo-ocimene, trans-farnesene, humulene, apiol, B-selinene, senkyunolide and neocnidilide. Study showed a cercaricidal and chemotactic effect.
• Hypolipidemic: Study of the ethanol extract of A. graveolens in adult male albino rats showed significant decrease of total cholesterol, trigylcerides and LDL, and a significant increase in HDL cholesterol.
• Hypolipidemic / No Hypoglycemic Effect: Study on the intraperitoneal effects of AG on serum glucose and lipid levels of diabetic rats showed no significant hypoglycemic effect but could possibly lead to appropriate changes in blood lipid profiles.
• Antinociceptive / Anti-Inflammatory: Study of the aqueous and hexane extracts of AG showed both fractions exhibited remarkable anti-inflammatory effect supporting is traditional use in diseases associated with inflammation.
• Hepatoprotective / Anti-Inflammatory: Methanolic extract of A. graveolens seeds tested against Di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) induced hepatotoxicity in rats showed hepatoprotective activity with a significant recovery of biochemical parameters.
• Learning / Memory Benefits in Diabetic Rats: Study showed chronic oral administration of AG could enhance consolidation and recall capability of stored information only in diabetic animals and did not affect spatial memory of diabetic animals.
• Anti-Mosquito Potential / Aedes aegypti: A crude seed extract of Apium graveolens was investigated for anti-mosquito potential, including larvicidal, adulticidal, and repellent activities against Aedes aegypti, the vector of dengue hemorrhagic fever. Results showed larvicidal activity against fourth instar larvae, slight adulticidal activity and repellency.
• Anticancer / Apoptosis Induction / Cytotoxic Activities: Study evaluated a methanolic extract of Apium graveolens seeds for antiproliferative effect in vitro on two human cell lines (DLA, Dalton’s lymphoma ascites; L929, Mouse lung fibroblast). The methanolic extract of seed showed cytotoxicity and provoked DNA fragmentation, a sign of induced apoptosis. Results suggest a potential candidate for an anticancer drug.
• Vasorelaxant / Antihypertensive Effect: Study investigated the vasorelaxant effect of organic extracts from Apium graveolens. All the extracts caused concentration-dependent relaxation in precontracted aortic rings, attributed to secondary metabolites and probably mediated by calciumantagonism. Results suggest an ideal source for lead compounds to design potential vasorelaxants and antihypertensive agents.
• Adaptogenic Activity: Study investigated the adaptogenic activity of ethanolic and aqueous extracts of Apium graveolens in experimentally induced stress models in mice and rats. The extracts showed increased increase in anoxia stress tolerance time and swimming endurance time. Results showed the ethanolic extract with greater adaptogenic property than the aqueous extract.
• Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitory and Antixoxidant Activity: Study of a methanolic seed extract of Apium graveolens showed significant in vitro ACE inhibitory potency and strong antioxidant activity.
• Carbon Tetrachloride induced Hematotoxicity: Study investigated the role of aqueous extract of A. graveolens seeds against hematotoxicity induced by CCl4 in female rats. Results showed two-week consumption to be safe at tested doses, and caused improvement in hematological parameters and protection of hematopoietic cells from the damaging effects of CCl4.
• Carbon Tetrachloride induced Hematotoxicity: A crude ethanol extract of seed yielded phototoxic compounds which offer potentials activity against Aedes aegypti, particularly through toxic and growth disruptions activities. Results suggest a promising candidate for commercial bioinsecticide development.
• Nephrocalcinosis / Increase Urinary Ca++ Excretion: Study evaluated the effect of A. graveolens in reducing calcium deposits from renal parenchyma in rabbit models with induced nephrocalcinosis by a large dose of oxalic acid. Results showed significant reduction in calcium deposition in the renal parenchyma, a significant diuretic effect that accentuates urinary calcium excretion.
• Effect on Protease Inhibitor (Ritonavir) Induced Dyslipidemia: Study investigated the protective effect of an ethanolic extract of A. graveolens (celery seeds) on protease inhibitor induced dyslipidemia in mice. Results suggest the ethanolic extract showed potential for improving the lipid profile ad liver lipids deranged by ritonavir, with a efficacy approaching fenofibrate.
• Antiulcerogenic / Antibacterial: Study investigated the antiulcerogenic and antibacterial activities of Apium graveolens extracts of aerial parts. Results showed dose-dependent inhibition of gastric lesions, similar to omeprazole. The essential oil was strongly inhibitory against E. coli and moderately inhibitory against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus.
• Effect on Reproductive Hormones: Study evaluated a hydroalcoholic extract of leaves on the pituitary-gonad axis in young male mice of Balb/C. Results showed a dose-dependent negative effect of celery extracts in the pituitary-gonad axis in male mice, with significant decrease in FSH and decrease in LH and testosterone concentrations.
• Insecticidal: Musca domestica, the housefly, breeding in human and animal excreta and a wide variety of domestic rubbish, can act as a vector for many diseases .Study showed an Apium graveolens extract to have insecticidal activity against Musca domestica. A. graveolens contains flavonoid and saponin believed to have potential as insecticide.
• Hypotensive / Cardioinhibitory: Study evaluated aqueous and ethanol extracts of celery for effects on mean blood pressure of anesthetized rabbits and contractility of isolated rat atria. Results showed hypotensive, negative inotropic and chronotropic effects, which could be partially mediated through stimulation of muscarinic receptors. The ethanol extract exhibited greater inhibitory effect than the aqueous extract.
• Antibacterial / Cardioinhibitory: Study of water and alcoholic extracts of leaves in vitro showed antibacterial activity against pathogenic Staphylococcus aureus. Findings showed significant antibacterial, diuretic and attenuating effect in correcting the urinary system affection and damage resulting from intraperitoneally induced Staphylococcus aureus infection.
• Antiulcer / Antisecretory / Cytoprotective: Study evaluated an ethanol extract for antigastric ulcer activity using various experimental gastric ulcer models in rats. Pretreatment with celery extract produced dose dependent reduction in all experimentally induced gastric lesions, with ability to replenish depleted levels of gastric wall mucus and gastric mucosal non-protein sulfhydryl, with increase in gastric mucosal malondialdehyde. Results suggest AG extrat significantly protects gastric mucosa and suppresses basal gastric secretion, possibly through its antioxidant potential.
• Protection Against DOX-Induced Toxicities / Leaves and Stalks: Study showed potential protective effect of A. graveolens against cumulative DOX-induced cardiac, hepatic, and hematologic toxicity in male rabbits probably through a mechanism related to direct and indirect antioxidant effects.
• Increased Spermatogenesis / Leaves: Study evaluated the effects of hydroalcoholic extract on histological properties of testis and number of sexual cells in male rats. Results showed increased spermatogenesis in male rats, with no destructive effects on testicular tissue.
• Increased Spermatogenesis / Leaves: Study showed a hydroalcoholic extract of celery improved the destructive effects of propylene glycol on the testes and sexual cells. Celery is a strong antioxidant due to its flavonoids, and antioxidants can directly or indirectly impact on the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis to increase sperm count and fertility. Findings suggest celery can be considered a medicinal herb for infertility.

Small scale commercial production.