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Least Viewed Herbs

Finocchio
Southernwood
(archangelica Officinalis Hoffm)
And There Is Pansies That's For Thoughts
Acorn
Poppy
Bluebell (wild Hyacinth)
Asparagus
Anemone (wood)
House Leek (crassulaceoe)



Celery








The Parsleys are botanically named Selinon, and by some verbal
accident, through the middle letter n in this word being changed
into r, making it Seliron, or, in the Italian, Celeri, our Celery
(which is a Parsley) obtained its title. It is a cultivated variety of
the common Smallage (Small ache) or wild Celery (Apium
graveolens), which grows abundantly in moist English ditches, or
in water. This is an umbelliferous herb, unwholesome as a food,
and having a coarse root, with [95] a fetid smell. But, like many
others of the same natural order, when transplanted into the
garden, and bleached, it becomes aromatic and healthful, making
an excellent condimentary vegetable. But more than this, the
cultivated Celery may well take rank as a curative Herbal Simple.
Dr. Pereira has shown us that it contains sulphur (a known
preventive of rheumatism) as freely as do the cruciferous plants,
Mustard, and the Cresses. In 1879, Mr. Gibson Ward, then
President of the Vegetarian Society, wrote some letters to the
Times, which commanded much attention, about Celery as a food
and a medicament. Celery, said he, when cooked, is a very fine
dish, both as a nutriment and as a purifier of the blood; I will not
attempt to enumerate all the marvellous cures I have made with
Celery, lest medical men should be worrying me en masse. Let
me fearlessly say that rheumatism is impossible on this diet; and
yet English doctors in 1876 allowed rheumatism to kill three
thousand six hundred and forty human beings, every death being
as unnecessary as is a dirty face.

The seeds of our Sweet Celery are carminative, and act on the
kidneys. An admirable tincture is made from these seeds, when
bruised, with spirit of wine; of which a teaspoonful may be taken
three times a day, with a spoonful or two of water. The root of the
Wild Celery, Smallage, or Marsh Parsley, was reckoned, by the
ancients, one of the five great aperient roots, and was employed in
their diet drinks. The Great Parsley is the Large Age, or Large
Ache; as a strange inconsistency the Romans adorned the heads of
their guests, and the tombs of their dead with crowns of the
Smallage. Our cultivated Celery is a capital instance of fact that
most of the poisonous plants call, by [96] human ingenuity, be so
altered in character as to become eminently serviceable for food or
medicine. Thus, the Wild Celery, which is certainly poisonous
when growing exposed to daylight, becomes most palatable, and
even beneficial, by having its edible leaf stalks earthed up and
bleached during their time of cultivation.

Dr. Pereira says the digestibility of Celery is increased by its
maceration in vinegar. As taken at table, Celery possesses certain
qualities which tend to soothe nervous irritability, and to relieve
sick headaches. This herb Celery [Sellery] is for its high and
grateful taste, says John Evelyn, in his Acetaria, ever placed
in the middle of the grand sallet at our great men's tables, and our
Praetor's feasts, as the grace of the whole board. It contains some
sugar and a volatile odorous principle, which in the wild plant
smells and tastes strongly and disagreeably. The characteristic
odour and flavour of the cultivated plant are due to this essential
oil, which has now become of modified strength and qualities; also
when freshly cut it affords albumen, starch, mucilage, and mineral
matter. Why Celery accompanies cheese at the end of dinner it is
not easy to see. This is as much a puzzle as why sucking pig and
prune sauce should be taken in combination,--of which delicacies
James Bloomfield Rush, the Norwich murderer, desired that plenty
should be served for his supper the night before he was hanged, on
April 20th, 1849.





Next: Centaury

Previous: Celandine (greater And Lesser)



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