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Celeriac (Apium graveolens rapaceum)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Apium graveolens rapaceum

The growing plant is an insect repellent, it repels the cabbage white butterfly so is a good companion for brassicas[20].

  • Medicinal Use

    Although not as medicinally active as wild celery, the cultivated forms of celery also have the same medicinal properties and, when used as an item of the diet, will have a similar effect upon the body. These medicinal uses are as follows:-

    Wild celery is an aromatic bitter tonic herb that reduces blood pressure, relieves indigestion, stimulates the uterus and is anti-inflammatory[238].

    The ripe seeds, herb and root are aperient, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, galactogogue, nervine, stimulant and tonic[4, 7, 21, 165]. Wild celery is said to be useful in cases of hysteria, promoting restfulness and sleep and diffusing through the system a mild sustaining influence[4]. The herb should not be prescribed for pregnant women[238]. Seeds purchased for cultivation purposes are often dressed with a fungicide, they should not be used for medicinal purposes[238].

    The root is harvested in the autumn and can be used fresh or dried[238]. The whole plant is harvested when fruiting and is usually liquidized to extract the juice[238]. The seeds are harvested as they ripen and are dried for later use[238].

    An essential oil obtained from the plant has a calming effect on the central nervous system. Some of its constituents have antispasmodic, sedative and anticonvulsant actions. It has been shown to be of value in treating high blood pressure[254].

    A homeopathic remedy is made from the herb[9]. It is used in treating rheumatism and kidney complaints[9].

  • Edible Use

    Leaves – used as a flavouring in soups etc[200]. They can be eaten raw but have a very strong flavour[52].

    Seed – a flavouring. An essential oil from the seed is also used as a flavouring.

    Root – raw or cooked[27, 33, 52]. It can be grated and added to salads, baked or added to soups, stews etc[183].

  • Cautionary Notes

    If the plant is infected with the fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, skin contact with the sap can cause dermatitis in sensitive people[65].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – surface sow February in a greenhouse. The maincrop can be sown as late as mid-April. Germinates in 2 – 3 weeks at 15¡c. Plant out in May. The seed can harbour certain diseases of celery, it is usually treated by seed companies before being sold but if you save your own seed you should make sure that only seed from healthy plants is used[1].
Prefers a rich moist soil and an open sunny situation[1, 27, 33, 52]. Requires abundant moisture in the growing season otherwise the root will be small and tough[1]. Tolerates a pH in the range 5.2 to 8.3. The root is hardy to about -12¡c and can be left in the ground over winter, to be harvested as required[200]. Roots can also be stored in boxes of sand or other such material in a cool dry shed[200]. Celeriac is a form of A. graveolens that has been selected for its enlarged edible root. It is occasionally cultivated commercially but more often in the garden or allotment[46, 200], there are some named varieties[183]. Any side-shoots should be removed in order to encourage a larger root[200]. A good companion plant for leeks, tomatoes, French beans and brassicas[18].
A cultivated form of garden origin.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.