High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a serious medical condition that affects millions of people worldwide. If left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke, and other health complications. With so many people affected by high blood pressure, there is a lot of interest in natural remedies that may help lower blood pressure, including drinking celery juice.
What is celery juice?
Celery juice is made by juicing celery stalks. Celery is approximately 95% water, so celery juice is a low-calorie beverage that is nutrient-dense. Celery juice contains vitamins A, C, K, folate, potassium, and phytonutrients such as flavonoids and polyphenols.
Celery juice has become popular in recent years, with claims that drinking 16 ounces of celery juice on an empty stomach each morning can provide wide-ranging health benefits. Proponents say it can help with chronic inflammation, improve digestion, boost immunity, and lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Does celery juice lower blood pressure?
There is limited scientific evidence directly linking celery juice to reduced blood pressure. However, celery does contain certain compounds that may help lower blood pressure, including:
- Phthalides: These compounds may help relax the muscles in artery walls, increasing blood flow.
- Coumarins: These compounds may help prevent platelet buildup and vascular damage.
- Potassium: This mineral helps regulate fluid balance and control blood pressure.
- Nitrates: Celery contains nitrates which can convert into nitric oxide, a gas that may dilate blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
In one small study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2013, researchers found that celery extract was able to significantly reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with mild or moderate hypertension after six weeks. More studies are needed to confirm these effects.
|Baseline Systolic BP
|6 Week Systolic BP
|Baseline Diastolic BP
|6 Week Diastolic BP
While this study shows promising results, more research is still needed. It’s also important to note that this study used a concentrated celery extract, not straight celery juice.
Other potential benefits of celery juice
In addition to possibly lowering blood pressure, some other potential benefits of celery juice include:
- Reducing inflammation: Celery contains polyphenols and flavonoids with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Preventing liver disease: Celery may help prevent excess fat buildup in the liver.
- Supporting digestive health: Celery juice contains electrolytes and minerals that may help soothe the gut.
- Protecting brain health: Compounds in celery may help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain.
- Lowering cholesterol: The phytosterols in celery can help lower LDL cholesterol.
However, more human research is needed on celery juice specifically before conclusions can be made.
Possible side effects and risks
For most people, drinking celery juice is safe and does not have negative side effects. However, there are some risks to be aware of:
- Allergic reactions – Celery is among the foods most likely to trigger severe allergic reactions in sensitive people.
- Pesticide exposure – Celery is on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list for high pesticide residue. Choose organic celery when possible or wash carefully.
- Blood thinning – Very high intakes of celery juice may thin the blood. Those taking blood thinners should exercise caution.
- Salt sensitivity – Celery is relatively high in sodium. Those with high blood pressure may want to limit intake.
Introduce celery juice gradually to assess tolerance. Those with kidney issues should consult a doctor before increasing intake of foods high in oxalates like celery.
Is celery juice enough to lower high blood pressure?
While celery juice may provide some benefits for blood pressure, it is very unlikely that celery juice alone will lower high blood pressure into the healthy range in most cases.
Some tips for using celery juice specifically for blood pressure:
- Drink 16 ounces on an empty stomach each morning and wait at least 30 minutes before eating.
- Choose organic celery and wash well.
- Juice the whole celery stalk, leaves included.
- Consume within 24 hours for best nutrition.
- Pair with lifestyle changes like diet, exercise, and stress management.
- Monitor your blood pressure and talk to your doctor about medications if not seeing improvement.
For people with moderately high blood pressure, celery juice may help move your numbers in the right direction when combined with a healthy lifestyle. But it is not likely to be a magic bullet solution on its own.
Other natural ways to lower blood pressure
Along with potentially drinking celery juice, here are some other evidence-based natural remedies that may help lower your blood pressure:
|Potential Impact on Blood Pressure
|Lose extra weight
|May lower BP by 5-20 mmHg per 10 kg weight lost
|Typically lowers BP by 4-9 mmHg
|Reduce sodium intake
|Lowering sodium by 100 mmol/day can reduce BP by 5-6 mmHg
|Follow DASH diet
|Can lower BP by 8-14 mmHg
|Reducing alcohol by two drinks per day can lower BP by 2-4 mmHg
|Can lower BP by 5-10 mmHg
|Chronic stress contributes to high BP
Making lifestyle modifications is generally the first line of defense for reducing blood pressure. But some people may still need medications, even with lifestyle changes.
The bottom line
Current research is limited, but celery juice may help modestly reduce blood pressure levels when paired with other lifestyle changes. Its impact is likely not strong enough to adequately control high blood pressure on its own in most people.
Drinking celery juice is generally safe and may provide other benefits beyond blood pressure reduction. But make sure to introduce it gradually and pair it with other evidence-based approaches for optimal blood pressure control.
As with any major lifestyle change, consult your doctor before making any drastic adjustments to your diet, exercise, or medication protocol.