Apium graveolens is a plant species in the family Apiaceae, and yields two important vegetables known as celery and celeriac.
Apium graveolens is used around the world as a vegetable, either for the crisp petiole (leaf stalk) or fleshy taproot.
In temperate countries, celery is also grown for its seeds, which yield a valuable volatile oil used in the perfume and pharmaceutical industries. Celery seeds can be used as flavouring or spice either as whole seeds or, ground and mixed with salt, as celery salt. Celery salt can also be made from an extract of the roots. Celery Salt is used as a seasoning, in cocktails (notably to enhance the flavour of Bloody Mary cocktails), on the Chicago-style hot dog, and in Old Bay Seasoning.
Celery is one of three vegetables considered the holy trinity (along with onions and bell peppers) of Louisiana Creole and Cajun cuisine. It is also one of the three vegetables (together with onions and carrots) that constitute the French mirepoix, which is often used as a base for sauces and soups.
There is a common belief that celery is so difficult for humans to digest, that it has 'negative calories' because human digestion burns more calories than can be extracted. Snopes believes this to be true, however at only 6 calories per rib, the effect is negligible. Celery is still valuable in diets, where it provides low-calorie fiber bulk. Celery contains androsterone . Bergapten in the seeds can increase photosensitivity, so the use of essential oil externally in bright sunshine should be avoided. The oil and large doses of seeds should be avoided during pregnancy: they can act as a uterine stimulant. Seeds intended for cultivation are not suitable for eating as they are often treated with fungicides.
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