Herb-Drug Interactions: Celery

Apium graveolens L. (Apiaceae)

Synonym(s) and related species

Apium, Celery fruit, Celery seed, Smallage, Wild celery.

Not to be confused with celery stem, which is commonly eaten as a salad vegetable.


The fruits of celery (usually referred to as ‘seeds’) contain a volatile oil mainly composed of limonene (about 60%) and selinene. Other important constituents are the flavonoids (notably apigenin and isoquercitrin) and natural coumarins (bergapten, isoimperatorin, osthenol, umbelliferone and 8-hydroxy-5-methoxypsoralen), some of which may cause photosensitivity; however, celery seed oil has been reported to be non-phototoxic in humans. Note that celery stem contains much lower levels of the phototoxic natural coumarins; even so, cases of phototoxicity have been reported.

Use and indications

Celery seed is traditionally used for joint inflammation (including rheumatism), gout and urinary tract inflammation.


No relevant pharmacokinetic data found for celery seed, but see flavonoids, and natural coumarins, for information on these constituents present in the herb.

Interactions overview

No interactions with celery seed found. For information on the interactions of individual flavonoids present in celery seed, see flavonoids. Although celery seed contains natural coumarins, the quantity of these constituents is not established, and therefore the propensity of celery seed to interact with other drugs because of their presence is unclear. Consider natural coumarins, for further discussion of the interactions of coumarin-containing herbs.