Celery: A Potential Alternative to Blood Pressure Medication

General Health

celeryDr. Michael Murray, a leading authority on natural medicine, says a compound found in celery seed extract offers promising benefits to people with high blood pressure.

An estimated 678 million blood pressure prescriptions were filled in 2010 in the US. This is largely because high blood pressure is at alarming rates in this country and around the world. Because high blood pressure is one of the most significant risk factors for heart attacks and stroke, medication is thrown at individuals as soon as the issue manifests. Thankfully, research indicates that celery could offer similar (or better) benefits without the side effects.

As he noted in a study earlier this spring:

“In particular, celery contains 3-n-butyl phthalide (3nB), a compound that is not only responsible for the characteristic odor of celery, but also has been found to lower BP in a preliminary study. In animals, a small amount of this compound lowered BP by 12% to 14% and cholesterol by about 7%. The researchers noted their interest was prompted when the father of one of them, who, after eating a quarter pound of celery daily for 1 week, observed that his BP had dropped from 158/96 to 118/82.”

3nB may lower blood pressure by acting as a diuretic and a vasodilator. Because it’s also able to lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the formation of plaque build-up in the arteries, Murray and his colleagues think this could increase the elasticity of the blood vessels, leading to lower blood pressure readings.

Read: Home Remedies for High Blood Pressure

The research found participants who took two 75mg capsules of celery seed extract daily to have significant results—with systolic blood pressure dropping 4.6 mmHg and diastolic pressure dropping 4.5 mmHg in the first 3 weeks. At the 6-week mark, systolic pressure was down 8.9 mmHg and diastolic 8.5 mmHg.

The study abstract concludes with:

“Conclusions: The results from this pilot study suggest that celery seed extract may have clinically relevant blood pressure–lowering effects, indicating that additional clinical research is warranted.”

More than 60 million Americans have high blood pressure, and more than half of all Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 are affected. Unfortunately, most individuals take prescription drugs to manage the condition – drugs that are loaded with dangers and side effects of their own. Users often feel dizzy, tired, forgetful, and even depressed. Celery, obviously, doesn’t cause these negative effects. For more solutions, check out these 7 herbs and foods for reducing high blood pressure.

While the research from Murray and his colleagues is impressive, it’s important to note their own disclaimer found at the bottom of their study:

“Doddabele Madhavi, PhD, and Daniel Kagan, PhD, are directors in BioActives LLC, the supplier of the celery extract used in this study. KL Venkatesh Rao, MD, has no financial conflict of interest to declare. Michael T. Murray, ND, is a director in BioMedica LLC and a consultant to Natural Factors Nutritional Products, Inc., companies that sell and distribute BioActives celery extract.”

Additional Sources:

Pharmacognosy Magazine