What are your favorite teas? Chamomile? Earl Gray? Peppermint? What about celery seed tea?
If you’re anything like us, celery seed may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about tea. And there’s a good reason for that: celery seed tea is not actually tea! In fact, many of what we refer to in the United States as “herbal teas” are not teas at all.
“Wait a minute,” you might be thinking. “I love herbal teas! And you’re telling me … there’s no such thing?”
What is Tea Anyway?
Yes, technically things like rose hip tea, peppermint tea, and chamomile tea are not tea at all. In Europe, the European Herbal Infusion Association, formerly the European Tea Committee, oversees and regulates the tea industry.
Technically, to be a tea, part of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, must be used. In the United States, no such regulations exist, and we are pretty comfortable with calling any dried herb, flower, or fruit steeped in boiling water a “tea.” So for our purposes, we’ll continue to call herbal teas herbal teas. Most importantly, whether you’re an American who is comfortable calling chamomile a tea, or a Brit who shudders at the idea, one thing is certain: using herbs in tea may be an ideal way to get the most potential benefits of the herb.
Celery seed is one such herb that, by steeping in hot water, can be turned into an herbal tea. So what do we know about celery seed tea? What are the potential health benefits? How do you make it? And most important, what does it taste like?
What is Celery Seed?
Celery leaf is native to the United Kingdom, but you can find it all over the world – celery seed and celery leaf are both very common in Indian cooking. Celery leaf is an herb and it looks just like French parsley, the leaves of the celery seed plant have a deep, rich flavor that is more intense than celery stalks.
Celery seed available in the spices and herbs section is commonly harvested from a plant called smallage. These seeds are light brown and small and slightly bigger than sesame seeds. They are described as having a strong, warm bitter and astringent flavor and can be added to tomato and vegetable juices. Each seed contains flavonoids, volatile oils, coumarins, and omega-6 fatty acids, which may provide many potential medicinal benefits.
How to Make Celery Seed Tea
In an interview with Lynne Rossetto Kasper on The Splendid Table, an internet podcast, guest Jekka McVicar who is known as the “Queen of Herbs” explains how she makes celery seed tea. “I just put a teaspoon of seed into a cup, I add boiled water, and that helps my joints … It’s fantastic.” However, she also added a warning: “Please, if any of you are allergic to peanuts, do not drink celery seed tea. You can eat the leaf, by all means, you won’t have any reaction, but you can to the seed.”
So as long as you do not have a peanut allergy, all you need to make celery seed tea is a teaspoon and some hot water! Oh, and celery seed.
Potential Health Benefits
In the Eastern world, celery seed has been used as medicine for thousands of years, often as a diuretic. Some studies in animals have shown that celery seed may help maintain blood pressure already within the normal range, and may support a healthy liver.
In addition, celery seed also contains polyphenols. Polyphenols are “abundant micronutrients” which, more and more research suggests, can support a variety of nutritional goals. Other foods that contain polyphenols include cloves, dried peppermint, capers, and hazelnuts, which can also be used to make tea.
What Does it Taste Like?
Celery seed tea is said to have a taste profile that is similar to vegetable broth. So you may not want to stir milk and sugar into your brew, but if a warm cup of broth on a cool day sounds appealing to you, then celery seed tea might be right up your alley!
And if tea isn’t your thing, you can purchase Celery Seed Extract in the Natural Healthy Concepts store.
Have you made celery seed tea? How did it turn out?