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Celery Juice: Is It Really A Cure-All With Dramatic Health Benefits?

 

Yes, I've seen it too. Everyone is drinking celery juice and either claiming a health miracle has happened or in most cases, taking a "I saw this on Instagram, it looks like a miracle. Watch me drink this juice and reverse my aging process!" approach.

I have seen a lot of health trends come and go in the last decade that I've been in this field. However, I am not sure I've seen anything hit so fast, and so wide, and with such a limited amount of (read: none) actual evidence. It's rather peculiar. Since I am now receiving nearly daily private messages asking for my thoughts on the subject, I thought this would be the best approach.

Is Celery Juice Really The Cure For Everything?

Here I break down the real deal on celery juice.

Now, this isn't to totally dissuade anyone from trying it, but perhaps invite you to think critically as to whether this is the best way to spend an extra $3 -$8/day (or up to $56/week) plus the time it takes to clean, juice and then clean your juicer.

I am the last person to tell anyone not to do something that could potentially be beneficial. However, I also often look to how we can maximize our efforts when it comes to health habits, which is why this one has me scratching my head a little.

How Did The Celery Juice Craze Start?

The celery juice movement was started by a health expert who calls himself the "Medical Medium". He intuits his health advice, and has so since he was a child. I too often intuit health issues, or more often, health questions to ask. I just find it curious that so many people have hopped on to this guidance without knowing much beyond the claims being made on social media.

Medical Medium has written a lengthy post that details how "Celery is truly the savior when it comes to chronic illness" and that he's "seen thousands of people who suffer from chronic and mystery illness restore their health by drinking 16 ounces of celery juice daily on an empty stomach." There isn't a single reference in the post or in any of his articles for that matter. That's not to say it's all wrong and misleading; only that there is nothing to back up the claims being made.

Celery juice is part of a bigger protocol that Medical Medium recommends. After the initial publishing of this, many of you came forward to share how his protocols have helped you. I am thrilled to hear that!

I have been challenged for a decade about how I healed my auto-immune disease, and was told by dozens of experts that what I was attempting to do was impossible. I do believe when it comes to health that the guidance can come from anywhere and that often we shouldn't knock it until we try it.

That being said, there will never be one single health habit or 'savior' that will transform you or your health.

I reached out to a few people who claim to be among these people that suffered from chronic illness and had their health restored with celery juice. My two main questions were:

  • Did you make any other diet or lifestyle changes in addition to adding celery juice when you started seeing benefits?
  • Was the celery juice in addition to usual beverage intake and/or did it replace any beverage(s)?

As so many of you have shared, the results you have had with celery juice, were due to it being part of a more complete protocol. The celery juice, however, as happens with health trends, has been taken well out of context.

Are There Unique Health Benefits To Celery Juice?

Despite a lot of claims and anecdotal proclamations, research on celery juice really does not exist, yet. I found just a couple of studies on animals – one showed that it could improve sperm production in male rats and another that it may protect against oxidative stress. Perhaps with the current popularity, the research may start to happen.

Purported Health Benefits of Celery Juice

  • improved digestion
  • a reduction in inflammation
  • improved autoimmune disease symptoms
  • better immunity
  • greater cardiovascular health
  • clearer skin

While there isn't a wealth of research on celery juice, there are known benefits to celery, celery seed, celery root and celery oil. You can read more abstracts about the health benefits of celery here, but for example:

This might lead to the conclusion that high concentrated doses of these nutrients in the form of highly absorbable juice daily on an empty stomach might boost some nutrient levels.

And maybe celery juice does do this – but we don't know for sure.

Important Note: Celery Is Part of The Dirty Dozen

Whenever I teach classes about juicing I stress the importance of using organic produce, as the chemical load in conventional produce is concentrated when we are juicing. Celery is #10 on the Dirty Dozen List in the Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce. How many people drinking celery juice daily are using organics?

What About Cucumber Juice Or, Um, Water?

Or carrot juice? Or romaine lettuce juice? Non-starchy vegetables are all exceptionally nutrient rich. Hydration matters and combine that with nutrient density and we have a winning combination.

I am a big proponent of green juices – the darker and greener the juice, the more I love it. Juicing can help us take in a concentration of nutrients – more than we could eat or put into a smoothie – and it's easy to digest, having a positive effect on our microbiome. Why is celery juice being put on a pedestal as the only juice that is beneficial for health? I have been unable to find concrete answers to this question, given the wide variety of conditions celery juice is assumed able to resolve.

Could Water Achieve the Same Results?

The recommendation for the celery juice craze is to drink it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Many of us are dehydrated, which can lead to some undesirable health effects.

We need a variety of foods and nutrients in our diets. There really isn't any one food that I recommend people must consume every day – except water. Perhaps if we started off our day with a glass of water, or water with lemon, or water with fresh herbs, or water with fruit added to it, we would notice the same results as we would after drinking celery juice.

What If We just Acted Like People Who Drank Celery Juice?

As I've said, I love cheerleading for new healthy habits.  But I also like to find habits that are sustainable, that make sense and that can easily become part of our everyday life ongoing (more on this below). I have seen the posts on social media about everyone's claims of how they have healed with celery juice. I have no doubt they have experienced wonderful health benefit, but I can't help but also wonder if juicing celery every morning led to other beneficial habits.

Maybe by drinking 16oz of celery juice, they were no longer drinking coffee, or they were taking some time to have breakfast after their juice, or being more mindful of what they ate throughout the day. Maybe the act of washing, cutting, and juicing celery was in and of itself a meditation that calmed the nerves and then rapidly hydrated the body. Perhaps that flush of liquid first thing in the morning also helped with better elimination, which all on its own could improve gut health, digestion and skin health.

Would it be possible to get the same benefits, that those drinking celery juice are getting, simply by drinking 16 oz of clean water on an empty stomach first thing in the morning and being mindful of our food intake and lifestyle habits for the rest of the day?

Is Celery Juice Just A Fad?

I think so. I think it's a fad that many, many, many people are trying and will try, but that only a very small minority will continue doing. For every diet trend out there, there will be the 10% who have amazing results and tell the world about it. There will be 10% who will have adverse affects and you likely won't hear from them. And there will be the majority, the 80%, who maybe have a mild result and may or may not share what they're doing.

How can I say that this celery juice thing is just a fad? The reason is that it can't last. It can't be sustained.

When I look at and evaluate health trends, I ask the following basic questions:

  • Can someone do this ongoing for five years? If not, I think of it as a therapeutic measure in which case, it may not be beneficial or even necessary for most.
  • Is this something that could be sustainable financially?
  • Is this a health trend that could be sustainable if everyone on the planet started trying it? Like, would we see a massive celery shortage and suddenly a fresh head of organic celery becomes a sought after item?
  • Is it cost effective?
  • Can there be a simpler solution that garners similar results?

I'm always skeptical when someone claims that a certain trend, or single food is a 'miracle', as the Medical Medium claims about celery juice. There is no one thing in isolation that will boost our health – it's the collection of health habits that we practice. Dietary choices, exercise, sleep, stress reduction, human connections, being in nature and more all play a role.

If celery juice is working for you, I am thrilled that you are finding benefit and would love for you to share your experience in the comments below.

For everyone else thinking about trying it, please keep it all in perspective. Celery juice or any other single action, food, or supplement on its own is not going to be the sweeping solution to good health. It can, however, be part of a greater plan. It seems like this is being lost for a lot of people who are putting all their eggs in the celery juice basket, and chasing their 16 ounces with the same conventional diet and lifestyle practices that might be the greater health challenge to overcome.

Juicing one head of organic celery juice everyday for a month will cost around $200 (at least in Canada in the winter). I can't help but feel that we might see greater impact by doing a lot of other things. Discussing the ecological footprint of this habit is a topic for another day, though you can get a taste of it here.

Celery Juice

Photo: iStock Karisssa

18 Responses to “Celery Juice: Is It Really A Cure-All With Dramatic Health Benefits?”

  1. Stephanie said… February 4, 2019
    Great article. I wanted to respond for a few reasons. I’m juicing celery and wanted to offer some answers to your questions and I totally agree that this is not sustainable. In the medical medium’s 3rd book about thyroid health in particular he’s doesn’t advocate that the celery juice should continue passed his 90 day protocol. He outlines a 30, 60 and 90 day protocol to rid the body of the EBV virus. Since I had mono at 19 and later developed a few auto immune disorders I decided to give the 30 days a try and committed to 5 days. After 5 days I was actually sleeping more soundly. The only thing that changed was that I had swapped my morning lemon water ritual for celery juice, but heck it was only for 5 days. With all that great sleep under my belt I progressed to 30 days. I haven’t been a saint and have had a few pieces of cake, and greasy spoon breakfast with eggs, bacon and toast... all of which are off the menu for the 30 days. Each time I fall off the schedule of food, my old disrupted sleep pattern returns. I’m now entering the next 30 days and have added a blueberry green smoothie and cucumber juice to the routine. Most likely one or two of the omitted foods (eggs, dairy, pork and corn) ( I was already off gluten and soy)I probably have some sort of sensitivity to and I’ll need to carefully test them as I add them back in after 90 days. So that’s my celery juice journey so far. Thanks for the article and I’ll be sure to add the lemon juice back into my routine too! Stephanie
  2. Gessica said… February 4, 2019
    I tried juicing celery for closeto 2 weeks. I wanted to see what the hype was all about. I honestly didn’t find any huge difference in my health but I eat fairly well to begin with (I’m a CNP). I don’t think this is sustainable either. Have you seen the cost of organic celery? It’s nuts! Kudos to all those who have found some health benefits but I agree that I think if people chose to start their day with 16oz of lemon water, they might start to notice changes in their health and perhaps make better food choices.
  3. Abby said… February 5, 2019
    Celery juice is not a trend or fad, Medical Medium has been advocating for celery juice long before social media and some celebrities got on board. The many people who drink it and share about it are people who had a lot of serious chronic health issues, who reached out to doctors, naturopaths, nutritionists and were not able to get answers that worked for them. The fact is that it’s working for a lot of people and we need to just be happy for them. Wether we drink it or not. Wether we believe or not, wether we it’s backed by science or not. Science also says dairy and eggs can increase the risk of cancer and heart disease yet people still choose to eat these foods (see research by T Colin Campbell and Dr. Esselstyn). Eating meat and a lot of fats clogs our arteries get people still out butter and ghee on foods. I’m not judging I’m just pointing out that science is irrelevant in this case. Celery juice (and other lifestyle changes) is helping those who really suffered and I for one am happy for them. Labelling this a trend or fad is misleading as it’s been around a long time.
  4. Noella said… February 5, 2019
    So fantastically put! I love the reasoned approach you take to reviewing health trends. Such practical application and common sense clearly articulated! Thanks for this.
  5. Michael Chartrand said… February 5, 2019
    Thanks for the article M - always like reading them. :) I was hoping you would write something up on this particular topic as there was a lot of buzz going around for it!
  6. Felice O’Sullivan said… February 5, 2019
    Megan, After discovering you via Broken Brain podcast, I now subscribe to your newsletter. I must say in the online forum where often “strong” perspectives are pervasive in the online health community, I found your balanced, reasonable tone and information refreshing. I am grateful for your quick release of your perspective on celery juicing. I do subscribe to many health related blogs and have found myself overwhelmed with what is right, what is just a trend and what I should really listen to. Your voice and knowledge really resonates with me as being measured and thoughtful. Thank you. I have been a juicer for 10 years and could hardly imagine having a juice that did not contain my delicious lemon, or ginger, or kale, romaine or carrots, just to name a few. I typically use celery or cucumber as a base then add more nutrient dense greens and herbs to my juice for a amazing nutrient rich drink. Mostly, I want to say thank you for contributing your perspective in our information overload age especially in the health arena.
  7. Jodi said… February 5, 2019
    Hey Meghan, thanks for covering this topic. As a person with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, I too became curious when Medical Medium came out with his book about the thyroid. Through trial and error, and following the guidance of naturopaths, and a handful of other dietary and health programs of other natural practitioners and online functional medicine practitioners, I had already arrived at a place where I feel pretty darn good most of the time. The only thing to still persist is some tingling, and monthly migraines. I decided to give celery juice a try because it is apparently supposed to be helpful for migraines. I feel like I have tried everything else so I decided to give it a whirl, because it's JUST celery. It may not be sustainable in the long run, but it's an experiment...We'll see how it goes ;)
  8. Hi Meghan, My name is Tina. I follow you because I had the pleasure of meeting your Dad when he visited LONDON a few years ago. He gifted me your Undiet book and is very proud of you and your achievements. I’m commenting because you obviously have had no luck with responses from people who follow the MM and consume celery on a regular basis. I came across the MM in October 2016. I was getting more and more unwell with my mystery illness. I’ve been on a health regime since 1992 and have tried EVERYTHING and probably could be a health advisor myself. I had been to every naturopath, nutritionist, herbalist etc. etc. Had million stool tests, every blood test and all doctors told me was that I’m so healthy. Strangely enough I haven’t been ill in nearly 30 years but suffered from many many ailments. By 2016 I was riddled with muscle pain, bad skin, digestive problems, even more weight issues, tinnitus, adrenal fatigue and on and on. The reason I still had pretty decent energy, could run 2 businesses and wasn’t bed ridden is because I had a very healthy diet, don’t smoke or drink alcohol, spent many years in psychotherapy (see the glass half full) etc. When I read the MM’s first book I cried throughout it because I knew I had found the answers to my questions after 27 years of searching. You will find that the hard core followers suffer from a mystery or chronic illness. We understand the depth of the information. Am I feeling better? I immediately did the 28 days cleanse but then went back to my usual eating. I had a high protein diet and as I don’t consume gluten, dairy or sugar I over compensated on animal proteins. It took me a whole year to psychologically give up animal proteins and since 1 January 2018 I’m low fat whole food plant based. The low to no fat is the hardest but that’s what I need to do to cure my EBV stage 4 and Strep and and.... So, does celery juice work? It’s a stupid question that is asked by people who want to be health conscious and understand this ‘latest fad’. I’m a little surprised about your blog post. I thought you would understand what the MM is doing, but then ,of course, he throws out everything that all you health advocates are teaching. And I used to follow very similar protocols to you and I believe they work BUT NOT FOR PEOPLE WITH CHRONIC AND MYSTERY ILLNESSES. You healed yourself, so did Ella (Deliciously Ella) and that is fantastic and admirable but we’re all different and I do believe that the MM has the answers to many conditions. Celery juice in the morning (after water with lemon) DEFINITELY works. You failed to mention that it restores hydrochloric enzymes (which I had none left). However, as I mentioned above, the hard core followers (we all have results) follow his protocol - so the celery juice is not in isolation. Does it work in isolation? I don’t know. As you said it gets people possibly drinking less coffee, get more greens in them... will someone see major results? I’m not sure. All I know that after drinking celery juice for 2 years, I have seen great results. For the past few months I’ve upped it to 32oz every day and there’s been an even greater shift for me. But I also drink the heavy metal detox smoothie and follow his protocol, so for me it works. I appreciate your blog post and good luck to everyone making their own decision. To conclude, at 54 I’ve never felt better, looked younger and have incredible energy. My liver is still sluggish and fatty so weight takes longer to shift but I’m not so concerned about that. My skin glows and life is good. I cannot thank the MM enough for his information and trying to make people healthier - by giving all his information for free. All I have spent in 2 years is £40 on his 4 books. I think that says it all. On another note, your son is gorgeous. Give my love to Ron and Patsy. Tina x
    • Thanks for sharing your story, Tina. As I mentioned in my post, I'm not discounting medical intuition and there are so many alternative protocols we can pursue when dealing with chronic illnesses. From what you're saying, it sounds like you are doing much more than simply drinking celery juice and calling it a day. I don't think any one thing works in isolation, and I'm glad to hear that celery juice is working for you in conjunction with other practices. I wish you continued healing and good health!
  9. Cathy said… February 5, 2019
    Hi Megan, love your website love being part of your tribe but I have to say I was pretty shocked with this article on celery juice I have been following Anthony William for five years now and he is absolutely the real deal.I’ve read all his books and followed his podcast on Hayhouse radio and YouTube. I have a feeling you haven’t read him any of his books. I was able to relate to almost everything he wrote about that is the reason Anthony writes sees books so people can actually do the work and trying to heal themselves instead of waiting for a doctor to do it. I too have an auto immune disease called Ménière’s disease. I had extreme vertigo and hearing loss and through doing certain protocols of Anthony’s I have got my hearing back I am definitely a lot better than I was four years ago. I feel better I’m totally active Have an amazing energy level that never stops just ask my kids( Melanie )for one. His new book Liver Rescue is probably the best one yet.That’s a hard one they’re all so amazing and informative . I’m pretty sure you’re going to get a lot a reaction on this subject but for me hey has a gift that I am so happy I was pushed in his direction. What I do in the morning as I wake up with a lemon water and 20 minutes later I have my Celery juice and after 30 minutes I have breakfast when I’m not having celery juice in the morning I will have cucumber juice other than that I never have juice. I always have organic but right now organics hard to find because like you say celery juice is getting well known yours truly Cathy Leeder I often think of that bike ride that you and your mom and Melanie and I took years back and your mom falling I never go through the gate that I don’t think of her.
    • Lovely to hear from you Cathy! We do love our bikes around here. My intention here isn't to knock the Medical Medium's work, as I've heard from people like you who follow his complete protocols and have experienced a multitude of benefits. However, not everyone delves into the full nutritional advice or reads his books, but simply takes celery juice out of context believing it's the one key to great health. I'm glad that his advice is working for you and I wish you continued great health!
  10. Kim said… February 7, 2019
    Morning! Long time follower, and was very interested in this post as I am a 3mth long celery juice consumer. I suffered from a concussion in September. Through social media the words brain fog caught my attention and I quickly became aquatinted with the “fad”. I didn’t change anything else in my treatment plan, and I still had my morning coffee 20m post juice. I didn’t feel any meditation vibes from juicing the celery..... it was loud and a pain to clean up! But it was a game changer with how my head felt, and my quality of life changed drastically. After reading this I quit the celery juice. I didn’t consume any juice for less than a week..... HeadAches are back, along with many of the other symptoms. I was trying to explain the celery juice regime to a friend who suffered from Fibromyalgia. She tried it as she was at her wits end. The next time I saw her she couldn’t flag me down fast enough. The clairity she felt was astounding. She could understand why or how, but something major happened and she felt different. I don’t have the scientific answers, but the proof is in the pudding. It doesn’t cost me as much as you had stated, and considering the amount of money I have spend in supplements, superfood powders, green powders, treatments and so forth.... there is no comparison to the cost of celery. I have a lot of mixed emotions about the article. I appreciate the opportunity to reassess what I am doing with regards to my health and treatment plan. In saying this I will be busting out the juicer again, and resuming with the celery juice“fad”. Thanks for all that you do :)
    • Thank you, Kim, for sharing your experience. I'm glad to hear that celery is working for you! My intention here was to help people think about their choices and ask themselves if this latest health trend is working for them. It seems like you have experimented and discovered what is working for your health, and that's wonderful.

Before you post your comment, please note that I am unable to offer nutritional advice or recommendations via my blog.

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