- Dr. Singh, ND
Scientific Review on Apium Graveolens (Celery) for Male Fertility
Apium Graveolens, commonly known as celery, has been used as a traditional medicine to support treatment of various health conditions. Originally cultivated in Egypt over 3000 years ago, it has been researched on its use to help reduce blood pressure, decrease the heart rate, function as a diuretic, protect the gastric lining by reducing excess acid production, decrease thyroid function in individuals with hyperthyroidism, decrease inflammation, and possess certain active ingredients which have shown possible anti-cancer effects. It is also used for potency and fertility .
What the studies found:
A recent systematic review evaluated 16 animal studies for its effects on male fertility. 13 of the studies found that, overall, male fertility was improved. These 13 studies observed an increase in the total testis weight, total sperm counts, sperm motility, and serum testosterone levels. The apium graveolens was found to also have a protective effect on male reproduction even when ingesting gonadotoxic medications or chemicals (i.e. valproic acid or propylene glycol) by reducing testicular damage that may result from them.
3 of the 16 studies observed that serum testosterone actually decreased with the use of apium graveolens.
How does celery affect reproductive function?
There are multiple postulated mechanisms by which celery may affect male reproductive function:
Antioxidant function: many of the chemical constituents from the plant function as antioxidants by neutralizing reactive oxygen species (ROS) and free radicals.
Androgenic effect as a result of its influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis (the glandular system responsible for testosterone production). The chemical compounds found to have an androgenic effect include: limonene and phthalide glycosides.
Decreased inflammation by reducing the cyclooxygenase and lipo-oxygenase enzymes.
The anti-fertility effect observed by 3 studies may be due to the chemical compound apigenin. This compound which is found in celery has phytoestrogenic properties can decrease the production of testosterone by affecting the HPG axis.
What part of the plant is being used in the studies?
The studies used extracts from celery seeds and/or the leaves. Not all studies specified the component of the plant that was being used.
The researchers concluded that more research is still necessary to determine more exact doses of the active ingredients and when it is best to use them and for how long. Long-term use in very high doses was not recommended as it can also lead to anti-fertility effects. However, smaller doses with a balanced diet may provide a better approach for now.
1. Kooti, W., Moradi, M., Sharghi, K., Alamiri, F., Azami, M., Firoozbakht, M., & Ghafiurian, M. (2017). The effect of celery (Apium graveolens L.) on fertility: A systematic review. Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine. doi:10.1515/jcim-2016-0141
This article is in no way a replacement for medical advice or medical care, it is advised that anyone concerned about their Health should speak with their Naturopathic Doctor or Primary Care Provider.