Can celery juice lower blood pressure?
There are both animal studies and human studies on celery phytochemicals that support celery juice for high blood pressure.
In this article I’ll share a couple of these studies with you, and also a delicious blood-pressure lowering juice recipe.
I invite you to watch the video or scroll down to continue reading.
3-n-Butylphthalide in Celery Lowers Blood Pressure
Researchers discovered a compound in celery called 3-n-butylphthalide, or “3nB.”
In animal and lab studies, researchers found that a very small amount of this phytochemical lowered blood pressure by 12 to 14% in rats, and was safe at very high doses.
In a human celery 3nB study published in Natural Medicine Journal, 30 people with mild to moderate high blood pressure were given a 3nB celery seed extract. Mean blood pressures at baseline were 139.4/85.4 mm Hg. At three weeks, they fell to 134.8/80.9, and at six weeks they fell to 131.2/76.9. This represents total drops of 8.2 mm Hg systolic and 8.5 diastolic from baseline.
How 3nB Lowers Blood Pressure
3nB appears to help lower blood pressure by acting as a diuretic, vasodilator and calcium channel blocker.
- Diuretics are prescribed to help reduce water retention and cause blood vessel walls to relax and widen, helping to lower blood pressure. But prescription diuretics have a downside. They can throw off blood chemistry, causing you to have too much or too little sodium or potassium, which can lead to dizziness, headache or muscle cramps. Celery juice, on the other hand, provides magnesium and potassium which helps regulate your blood pressure.
- Vasodilators help open blood vessels so blood can flow more freely. But pharmaceutical vasodilators come with a host of possible side effects. These include rapid heart beat, heart palpitations, nausea, vomiting, headache, excessive hair growth, joint pain and chest pain. (Yikes!) Celery juice won’t do this.
- Calcium channel blockers slow the movement of calcium into heart cells and blood vessel walls which makes it easier for the heart to do it’s job, lowering blood pressure. But unlike pharmaceutical calcium-channel blockers that are known to reduce blood flow to the brain, 3nB improves brain blood flow and can reduce the risk of stroke and protect your brain cells.
How Much to Lower Blood Pressure
So how much celery do you need to eat or juice to lower your blood pressure?
- The amount used in the human study was the equivalent of 50 lbs of celery a day. But that may be way more than you actually need to see a blood pressure lowering effect. The study authors had ties to a supplement company, so they no doubt used an amount that would prove effective, and they may also have used an amount to make a supplement look way more attractive than eating or juicing celery.
- The makers of one brand of 3nB supplement that uses the same concentrations as was used in this study, recommends consuming only 8 ribs of celery or two of their capsules a day. But I think that still may be a bit high.
- Dr. Kenneth Shafer at the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic is quoted as recommending “four stalks daily – about one cup, chopped.” I assume he meant ribs of celery, rather than a whole stalk. And if I cut up 4 ribs of celery, I’ll have way more than a cup of chopped celery. So we’ll go with 1 cup of celery, since that is the only verifiable measurement he referenced.
- It’s interesting that the father of the researchers on the animal study normalized his blood pressure in a week by eating ¼ pound of celery daily. His blood pressure dropped from 158 over 96 (definitely high, Stage 2) to a normal reading of 118 over 82. He did this by eating just 4 ounces of celery a day. And that is what prompted the study.
A medium celery rib weighs about 1.75 to 2 ounces. So conceivably, including just 2 ribs of celery in your daily juice could do it.
How to Get Started
If you want to give this a try, you could start with 2 ribs of celery (or 4 ounces) a day, and if you don’t see the improvement you want after 7 days, you could increase the amount of celery in your daily juice. If you are on blood pressure lowering medication, you’ll want to inform your doctor and monitor your blood pressure to make sure it does not go too low.
Why Celery Juice?
The reason I recommend the celery or celery juice rather than a 3nB supplement is because there are so many more phytochemicals in celery that have been discovered that benefit our health in other ways. From resolving digestive complaints, to lowering cholesterol, to anti-cancer properties, and even protection for your brain. And those are just the phytochemicals that have been discovered so far. There are certainly many more. And the nutrients in a whole fruit or vegetable work together synergistically to create a greater health benefit that a nutrient that has been extracted and isolated.
Juicing celery ensures that every plant cell is broken open and all of the nutrition extracted in a predigested form that your body can put to work right away. Celery juice makes it easy to consume the amount you need for the desired health benefits.
Blood Pressure Lowering Celery Juice Blend
Yield: ~ 16 ounces
2 Swiss chard leaves with stems (An excellent source of potassium, calcium and magnesium, minerals that help maintain healthy blood pressure.)
3 kiwifruit (Also shown to lower blood pressure in people. It is thought that it does this by improving endothelial function.)
2 large celery ribs
1 medium cucumber
Cut the produce to fit your juicer. Alternate ingredients finishing with cucumber.
More Celery Juice Blends: