Herbs of the Holyland by Nissim Krispil

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Wild Celery
Common name:

Wild Celery

Synonym name:


Hebrew name:

כרפס ריחני

Scientific name:

Apium graveolens



Arabic name:


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perennial plant
0.3-1 m
Flowering color:
Flowering period:
Growing areas:
grows in most regions of the country near freshwater lakes, swamps or near Springs.


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Annual or perennial herb grows near freshwater lakes. Its stems bent or erect, hollow and often grooved lengthwise; its leaves are slightly succulent, pinnate into lobes with toothed petioles. The stalks and leaves have a spicy odor similar to the smell of cultural celery. The flowers are tiny and their corolla is greenish white.
In the folk medicine of Israel all parts of the plant are accepted as a remedy, for: blood purification, induce menstruation, and relieve bad smell from the mouth, throat diseases, wounds, urinary tract disease, arthritis, and insect bites.
For treating urinary tract disease, purifying the blood and more:
Boil three handfuls of celery leaves in a liter of water, for half an hour. Strain and drink 5 cups a day. 
Another way is to boil half a kilogram of celery roots in a liter of water for half an hour. Strain and drink 5 cups a day.
The roots of celery are used to flavor soups and roast meat. Fresh and dried leaves are used for seasoning salads, soups, fish and meat dishes. Minced celery seeds with salt and black pepper, used to flavor fish, soups, tomato juice and pastries and cheeses.
Celery was grew in vegetable gardens in Israel already during the Mishnah and Talmud times. An evidence of wild celery habitat we can find in the Mishnah (seventh 9,1): " celery that grow in rivers…are exempt from the tithe."  In the Jewish Passover Seder celery is the second vegetable after the bitter herb that is eaten. In The Talmud it is told that if a woman eats celery during pregnancy, she gives birth to beautiful children. 
Galen the Greek physician and scholar (from 129-199 AD) praises celery eating and says that it encourages health. 
Pliny the Elder, a Roman author, naturalist, and philosopher from the first century, mentions that celery can neutralizes the venom of spiders, accelerating the digestion of meat and relieves flatulence. 
Assaf the jew, the ancient Jewish physician notes that celery is helpful for kidneys pain. Rabbi Abraham Hamoi a jewish scholar from the 19 century, who wrote books on kabala, says that celery leaves helps to bring out milk that is stack in the breast of nursing mothers.