Real Talk on Celery Juice
Last year I started noticing a lot of people I follow on social media were juicing celery. At first, I didn’t really think about it. Celery is a good source of hydration and electrolytes, and I’d been including it in green juice recipes for years. Nothing suspicious here!
Then some of the people I follow started talking about why they are drinking celery juice. On an empty stomach. Every morning.
That started getting a little suspicious. Why? Because the claims being made had nothing to do with hydration or electrolytes.
Blog posts and IG stories started popping up with insane claims that celery juice could be used as medicine to treat everything from psoriasis and eczema to inflammatory bowel diseases. Now, I’m always up for a healthy debate and I was excited to hear the proposed mechanisms for how celery juice could do so many things at once.
No really, here are just some of the alleged illnesses daily celery juice is claiming to cure:
Eczema & Psoriasis
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
This is pretty amazing, especially since the symptoms of each of these illnesses are totally different. What’s that I see waving on the horizon? Looks like a big red flag.
I started to dig a deeper, and stuff got really sketchy…
First of all, a disclaimer: I’m not going to be linking to any of the original sources for the alleged benefits of celery juice. Because I don’t want to embarrass anyone, and because I refuse to provide backlinks (aka SEO gold) to the person who started all of this since they have a track record of exploiting sick people and spreading nutri-bullshit.
The “Global Celery Juice Movement” as it is being referred to originated from one individual. A regulated medical professional? Of course not. A nutritionist? Nope. An unregulated alternative medicine practitioner? Not even!
Just a dude (as he shall here on be referred).
Who happens to talk to spirits.
Now, I’m not here to make comments on whether this dude does or doesn’t possess some powers of clairvoyance.
But if you’re going to write multiple books on nutrition, specifically telling people what to eat, without mentioning a single reference, you’re probably going to get a few questions. And I have quite a few.
What Are the Actual Benefits of Celery Juice?
As a nutritionist, I am pretty familiar with the known benefits of celery. So let’s go over what you’ll get from juicing celery.
Like most green vegetables, celery is high in nutrients and low in calories so adding a glass of celery juice to your day isn’t going to provide much in the way of fuel or energy, but it does have some good stuff going for it.
Celery juice is pretty high in sodium and water, so it would be a good natural alternative to something like gatorade if you’re looking to hydrate during or after a sweaty workout. It’s an excellent source of vitamin K and provides a good amount of folate, too.
Not bad, not bad. But none of those benefits relate to the claims made about celery juice on social media.
Why Is Celery Juice a “Miracle Cure?”
Turns out (surprise!) it’s not.
According to the leading “expert” on celery juice as medicine, celery contains undiscovered mineral salts (specifically “cluster salts”) that possess healing powers that cannot be quantified by science…
… which is a super convenient claim, because there is a total absence of research.
It’s kind of like the kid on the playground who ruins the game by making up new rules so they don’t have to lose.
Basically, this dude is out here preaching that every chronic illness (including all autoimmune diseases) on earth is actually viral in nature and that celery juice can kill these couple viruses responsible for whatever ails you. Of all the ridiculous claims that are made in the wellness industry, this one is the most cringe-worthy by far.
If It’s All Nonsense, Why Do People Believe It?
Now, in a world where people are stressed to the max and eating fewer plants than ever, I’m not surprised that adding 16 oz of vegetable juice per day would improve the health of many. Alleged miracle healing powers aside, this is a good way to get more veggies in (even if you are missing the most beneficial part of that plant - the fibre).
When you ask people why they are listening to this dude and following his advice, they tend to say the same thing:
“It just makes perfect sense to me.”
He has convinced them, and it makes intuitive sense to them, so they follow along.
The problem is that anyone who has ever taken a single course in marketing can identify all the ways that this dude is using sales psychology in the ways he presents his “information.” It’s written very intentionally to convince readers and to seem legit, most importantly, his target audience is sick people, desperate for a cure, with little to no education in health sciences.
These people are easy to convince and willing to pay anything for a solution.
And perhaps, because of their ability to believe in this “cure” they end up benefitting from a placebo effect. The mind has amazing powers to impact the body, so we can’t write off all of the anecdotes and success stories. But we must acknowledge the limitations of the celery juice itself as the reason for these positive outcomes.
If you are considering using celery juice to treat an illness you have been diagnosed with instead of medication, you need to know that there is absolutely no reason to believe this is an effective treatment for any medical problem (aside from mild dehydration). It would be dangerous for you to ignore the recommendations of your medical professional and to try celery juice instead.
If you are considering adding celery juice to your diet to support general health and have the money to support this habit, go ahead! Unless you’re on blood thinners or have a medical need to avoid high doses of vitamin K, this is a safe way to increase veggie intake. But there is no need to stop with celery - try adding some kale, lemon, ginger, or other veggies to the mix too!
If you are a holistic health professional, you have a responsibility to provide advice to your clients that is based on solid evidence and not on the belief’s of one compelling individual. To incorporate this dude’s protocols into your practice based on his writings would be irresponsible and dangerous. You owe it to your clients and to your profession to do more research, ask more questions, and protect those most vulnerable to this type of exploitation.
If you have any questions about celery juice or have any research to provide on the topic, leave me a comment! I’m always happy to clarify or to consider additional information.