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Celery Is A Medicinal Herb And Vegetable

Celery has a long history medicinal value. This is a unique plant grown as an herb, as well as a vegetable.

The plant dates back to the salt marshes of Europe and Asia. For many years the Chinese used it as a medicinal herb. The wild form is called Smallage. The Greeks and Romans developed a method called blanching which is done with the plants grown today. The blanching process over the years allowed this vegetable to become more mild in taste.

Stalk Of Celery

Stalk Of Celery

Celery Seeds

Celery Seeds

Throughout history this vegetable was considered an elite plant. The Italians were first known to use this herb in culinary dishes. They ate the stalks raw and used the roots to serve as a vegetable.

In the nineteenth century Americans began growing celery. Today, it is one of the top ten vegetables grown in the United States. In the late 1800's, the plant was commercially grown in the States.

This vegetable is considered an annual or a biannual. Many people leave the germination and propagation up to the commercial growers. It is a hard plant to grow for the everyday gardener. You can consider putting it in a combined vegetable, herb, and flower garden.

It requires a lot of attention, and most people prefer to buy the plant. You can germinate from seed either in a greenhouse at about 64° to 68°F or in an outdoor cold frame.

Make sure you have a light weight potting soil and cover the seeds loosely. Celery is basically a water hog and loves constant moisture. It should have adequate lighting as this vegetable loves full sun.

Germination takes about two to two and a half months. A critical step is to make sure the first or last frost is past before transplanting the herb into the ground. Once the plant has been in the ground for a couple of months the process of blanching must be done.

There are two methods to blanching. Many commercial growers use blanching paper but some still use the ground to blanch the plant. If you are growing the plant in your garden the best way to blanch it is to mound the dirt around the plant. Be careful not to touch the heart of this herb, and try to keep all the leaves together.

If you are growing celery for the seeds and live in a colder climate where the ground freezes, make sure you provide a thick layer of straw to protect the plant. The seeds are used in the second year from the time the plant is germinated.

The seeds come from the flower stalk. They are held in umbels and when the umbels are matured, you can cut them from the flowers and place them in a clean cloth. Dry them on a shade screen with a good amount of air flow.

Once they are completely dried, take your hands and rub the umbel and the seeds will fall out. Put them in an air tight container and you are ready to garnish your culinary dishes.

There are two different methods of harvesting. If you live in a colder region, you can go ahead and pick up the entire plant including the roots and place in boxes in a basement or garage. In warmer climates, go ahead and leave the celery in the ground and use the vegetable when you want.

Whether you grow this vegetable from seed or buy the plant, its culinary value is priceless. The raw stalks are good nutritionally as they are rich in vitamins A, B, C, and iron. They provide us with potassium, folic acid, and fiber, as well as protein. It's a low calorie food.

Medicinally, celery can have a calming effect on the digestive system and is considered a great diuretic. Drinking the juice is also known for providing nutritional value to your daily intake. Like any other herb, always make sure of a possible allergic reaction and consult a professional before using. Women that are pregnant should not ingest celery oil.

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This wonderful herb or vegetable can be grown in zones three through eleven and does well in many different geographic locations all over the world.

The foliage has a pale light green color, and there are tiny white flowers on the umbels. The stalks grow in groups of six to eight clumped together.

There are so many different dishes to use with the stalks and seeds. Soups, stuffing, and raw vegetable trays are a great way to incorporate this plant into your daily meals.

Add the seeds to coleslaw, poultry, and many steamed or grilled vegetables. Hum, the Thanksgiving holiday and adding this vegetable when making dressing gives the dressing a delightful taste.

These are just a few dishes. Both the stalk of celery and the seeds provide all of us with not only a distinct flavor, but many great vitamins and nutrients for a healthy diet, too.

Throughout the year there are many different spices you can use to enhance your daily meals.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In.

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Garlic --- Use Celery In Your Herb Garden Plans

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