My experience with celery juice has been a love/hate relationship. I started juicing for the first time over Christmas break to get rid of my stomach problems, clear my acne and make my body feel healthier overall. Every morning, within the first 15 minutes of waking up, my mom would have a perfectly poured 16-ounce glass of green juice waiting for me downstairs.
I’ve hated celery since I can remember, but this was my mom’s idea so I couldn’t say no. Within moments of taking my first sip, I thought it was the nastiest thing to ever be juiced. Ew. I thought that every time I drank the juice for a month straight. But after a month, I saw some positive effects. My skin got clear, my stomach problems healed, and I felt better overall. But I had questions.
Celery juice became a widespread trend around the end of 2018. Regular people like me hopped on the bandwagon, and so did celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Miranda Kerr, Robert De Niro and Pharrell Williams. Celery juice became a drink believed to cure almost anything.
This is not a regular cleanse. There is no fasting. This juice cleanse calls for a regular balanced diet: I wake up every morning and drink a tall glass of the celery juice. After that, I eat my breakfast, followed later by lunch, then dinner.
The celery juice cleanse was started by Anthony William. He claims to be the “originator of the Global Celery Juice Movement” on his website, Medical Medium. He is neither a nutritionist or doctor, but on his website he writes that he was “born with unique ability to converse with Spirit of Compassion who provides him with extraordinary accurate health information that’s often far ahead of its time.”
William claims the celery juice cleanse “neutralizes and flushes toxins out of the liver, fights autoimmune disease, clears up acne, eczema, psoriasis, lowers inflammation, supports weight loss, helps digestion, prevents high blood pressure, helps lower high cholesterol, and helps prevent UTI’s and Ulcers."
Despite what William claims, it’s hard to find professionals who endorse this juice cleanse. In fact, the experts I found say the celery juice cleanse has no scientific evidence to back up any of its benefits.
Dr. Gabriella Safdieh practices medicine at Parsley Health. She took a strong stand on the celery juice cleanse, saying that there’s simply no proof that it works. “There isn’t much scientific evidence to show that juicing is any better than eating whole foods, though, and in fact, it may be worse,” says Dr. Safdieh.
It’s safe, though, and Dr. Safdieh says celery itself has a long list of good-for-you properties. It’s an antioxidant, and “can prevent cardiovascular diseases, jaundice, liver disease, urinary tract obstruction, gout, and rheumatic disorders.” The list goes on: celery can reduce blood pressure, and experimental studies show it has “antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties,” Dr. Safdieh says.
So William doesn’t seem to be too far off — Dr. Safdieh says celery is in fact good for psoriasis and other skin conditions. But juicing it? Maybe not so much.
One Lawrence professional named Lindsay O’Reilly would agree with Dr. Safdieh. She is a registered dietitian who says “celery is very good for helping with inflammation,” but getting nutrients from “whole foods” is much more valuable for the body than getting it from certain types of juices.
I spoke to another professional, this time from my hometown. Dr. Bill Fesmire is a pediatrician, and he strongly believes that “getting the right nutrition comes from food, whole food in general.”
“Yes, I know that celery is good for the heart but why do you need to juice it?” Dr. Fesmire says. “I don’t agree with juicing to become healthier. I guess I am more old school when it comes to helping, healing, and losing weight for the body."
Still, it worked for me. I felt significantly less bloated, the acne on my cheeks cleared up within the first month, and I had no aches or pains throughout my body anymore. I even lost 10 pounds. Unlike my mom, I am not easily persuaded to try new health kicks, but I am glad I tried this one. I felt like a new person.
My experience may not apply to everybody else’s. But what’s the worst that could happen?