Celery juice and the gut: Why it works and how to use it

Celery juice is all the rage these days, due in large part to the Medical Medium.  I don’t have any sort of “gift” allowing me to be graced with some form of divine knowledge. But I do have access to the scholarly Dr. Google, which is arguably better.

People claim major beneficial effects on their digestion and gut health by consuming 16oz of celery juice every morning.  My initial impression of this was that it was a bunch of hooey. However, there actually appears to be a valid mechanism for how it works.

I found this thanks to my previously mentioned friend Dr. Google

Image result for celery juice
Image source

Falcarinol and Falcarindiol: The magic behind celery juice

Falcarinol and falcarindiol are natural pesticides found in the Apiaceae family which includes carrots, parsnips, fennel, and…you guessed it…celery.  In plants, they are used as antifungals to prevent root rot. So, they’re not just saving them up for us and rabbits to consume to feel better.

However, as with other plant components that function as pesticides such as sulforaphane, falcarinol and falcarindiol have beneficial effects in humans when consumed.  In fact, falcarinol acts via the same pathway as sulforaphane: it’s an NRF2 inducer.

There’s likely a synergistic effect to consuming falcarinol with falcarindiol as the latter activates pathways downstream from the former.  A few studies show the potential benefits of these compounds in the gut.  They also show us how to get the greatest benefit when using them.

Falcarinol and falcarindiol in action

The first 2 studies used pretreatment with falcarinol and falcarindiol in a rat model of colon cancer using azodymethane(AOM). AOM requires bile recycling and microbiota activation to cause colon cancer.  The first study found a reduction of cancerous lesions in rats receiving falcarinol and falcarindiol. The number of tumors larger than 3mm in the treatment group being 1 vs 6 in the control group.

They essentially found the same effect in the second study, but they dug a little deeper.  In the second study, they found that falcarinol and falcarindiol changed the microbiome. This change likely contributed to the resistance to colon cancer.  More on this in a bit.

The final study was probably the most interesting to me.  In this study, they compared gut and systemic inflammation induced by lipopolysaccharide(LPS) in mice receiving falcarinol, sulforaphane, and control mice with no treatment.  Both falacrinol and sulforaphane reduced:

  • LPS-induced intestinal inflammation
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Leaky gut

Falcarinol outperformed sulforaphane in this study.

Furthermore, this was in dosages readily achievable through normal dietary consumption.  When juiced from celery, even higher dosages are achieved because both are water soluble.

Overall these studies implicate falcarinol and falcarindiol as the potential effectors in the beneficial effects of celery juice. They also may give us a hint as to how to best utilize it.

Using celery juice to heal the gut

In the above studies, falcarinol and falcarindiol were pretreatment to reduce the damaging effects of AOM and LPS.  This means that they likely heal cells while at the same time bolstering their resilience to insults in the gut.  These studies suggest using celery juice early in the healing process to help heal gut damage is the way to go.

Once the cells in the gut are healed, the environment is conducive to the growth of beneficial bacteria.  This is a huge mistake most people with gut problems make. They introduce probiotics and prebiotics in to a damaged gut.  Doing this will only exacerbate the already damaged gut.

This is where you want to reintroduce foods and potentially probiotics to help re-establish a healthy microbiome.  However, to test if you’re ready, it’s a good idea to come off celery juice to see if it’s safe.  Since it’s bolstering cellular defense against inflammatory insults, if you remove it and go back to the same symptoms as before, whatever is inflaming your gut is still there.

Relapse after celery juice: What does it mean?

Typically, relapse after removal of celery juice indicates one of 3 problems:

  • You’re doing something wrong-Circadian disruption, poor sleep, physical inactivity, poor meal frequency and spacing, overfeeding, poor stress management, etc
  • You’re eating something wrong-There’s a component of your diet that’s stimulating the immune system. Alternatively, you are deficient in a nutrient critical to gut health
  • You have dysbiosis-Either lack of good guys, presence of bad guy, or an overgrowth of either

The first 2 are simple enough to address and could rule out the latter.  They also may stabilize the gut in a way that makes the 3rd option irrelevant.  For example, many people live with blastocystis without any symptoms.  This also explains the recent death due to fecal microbiota transplant. The donor obviously gave the recipient something the donor’s gut could tolerate(E. coli), but was lethal to the recipient.

This is a key element to the proper use of celery juice. It makes you resilient to an insult, but it doesn’t necessarily clear the cause of the problem.  So it’s not a solution but a component of a solution.  Outside of aging which may simply make the gut less resilient, celery juice is a temporary tool.


Anecdotally, many people have seen substantial improvements in gut and overall health by consuming 16oz of celery juice every morning.  I believe that falcarinol and falcarindiol likely play a huge role in the beneficial effects of celery juice.

Falcarinol and falcarindiol appear to exert most of their effects by making the gut more resilient to inflammatory insults.  Based on this mechanisms, it doesn’t seem logical to look at celery juice as a cure. It does seem a potential tool to correct a gut problem(s).

However, as with any tool, it should be used for the proper task.  Based on the evidence, celery juice should be used early on in an intervention. This helps achieve homeostasis in the gut.  But that’s not the end of the journey. Clearing the gut of the insult and reintroduction of foods is critically important for optimizing gut health.

10 thoughts on “Celery juice and the gut: Why it works and how to use it

  1. Nori says:

    I enjoy reading the fruits of your intense labor in digging up facts that are beyond my knowledge base and explaining them in bite size pieces of info I’m able to digest and assimilate…so thank you for all your posts, I’ve learned a lot from them. I do take exception with your comment that google is an arguably superior source of knowledge than the divine source which is revealed to the MM by spirit….I’d like to hear your reasoning in justifying that statement..
    If I were to compare 2 highly esteemed concert pianist, one who studied music and practiced playing 5 hrs daily for 20 years and the other a child prodigy, like Mozart, who was composing by the age 4, who would you argue had the innate genius, a divine gift if you will? Btw that’s how old the MM was when his gift of spirit first manifested…Ever since then, people around the globe have credited him with their healing, despite the fact, he never studied medicine.

    • cincodm says:

      It was an attempt at humor, but I’ll bite. I get to pick whatever I want to look for and learn about it. I could be given an innate ability to garden but I would never choose that.

      Also, let’s say MM is correct and his stuff works. He attributes the results to mineral salts but if that’s not what actually causes the improvement they can be driven to taking supplemental mineral salts. We are all fallible and I’m interested in knowing, not guessing. Dr. Google helps me do that.

    • Gene Aum says:

      Nori, You can find a youtube of the MM as a guest host on a popular daytime TV show. On this ‘tube video the MM ‘scans’ the female host and pronounces her in perfect health. Oddly enough a short time after this the host was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma (not something you get overnight).

      Comparing the MM who charges people $500 for a 15min phone consult with Mozart is a real putdown on Amadeus. No comparison.

  2. Heidi Jones says:

    Yeah, Dave, but what if you have tried the elimination diet which was a disaster, then followed the circadian rhythm program to a tee and have wound up much worse than before? Upping the exercise, dropping the fat and eating more carbs can have pretty bad effects for some people. Can’t tolerate broccoli sprouts, and I know darn well if I started drinking 16 oz of celery juice every day I would soon be reacting to it too. Doctor’s don’t know what to do, tests are inconclusive, supplements don’t help, still stuck in the same place.

    • cincodm says:

      Hey Heidi, some folk take longer than others on the program and I know 3 months seems like a long time but it’s not. Unfortunately, I think that since we can’t measure sleep or HRV in your case that we really can’t get ahead of the curve. We use that to streamline the program to the individual, and it’s quite possible that some aspects of the program may be negatively affecting your sleep or increasing stress. Those measures also help to gauge how quickly we should progress. We’re all different, and one person’s beneficial response is another person’s crushing stress. Denise may have never known how well low fat worked for her if she hadn’t had a Fitbit and Oura Ring showing her how dramatically her resting heart rate dropped. Low fat may not be the ideal for you, but we are flying blind trying to figure that out.

      I fully understand some people will have difficulty with the program and that there are ups and downs with it. I remember when you posted in the first few weeks and were very happy with the small amount of progress in the short time.

      All of the above is why I made the program a lifetime membership. I just posted the Gut Optimization Protocol module in the group and have noted ways to minimize oxalates. Furthermore, the juice route is meant for those who don’t tolerate fiber, and next week’s FB Live will cover how we can introduce foods and get the benefits of the nutrients mentioned in this article.

      I will keep adding material to the program and hope we can either figure out another way to gauge your progress or find a way to allow you to get HRV and sleep data so we can get to your individual program.

      Hopefully we’ll get you straightened out.

      • Heidi Eisenmann-Jones says:

        I hope so too! I do measure my resting heart rate with a blood pressure sleeve, but that may not be enough to tell what’s going on. I will look forward to the next FB Live, as I’m deficient in just about everything in spite of eating the very best foods available to me, many of them fresh from the garden or growing wild on the farm. I have an ideal situation for healing, being outside most of the time, getting light and fresh air, so it is frustrating, but I’m not giving up.

      • cincodm says:

        I know, I’m jealous as I hear the cars going down the road outside my window right now. Do you have a protocol for measuring heart rate and BP? Those may be an archaic option that we can make work for now.

  3. Michelle says:

    MM is only right “part” of the time. This is due to the fact of “where” MM is getting it’s source of information which comes from the dark side. God himself (The God of Abraham, Isacc and Jacob) put the desire within each person to want to know truth and satan knows this so he will offer up 10% truth but the remainder is a lie, the 10% truth is there to pull you in and cause you to believe “the lie” even tho it isn’t all truth.
    Dr. Google is a better source of information if you use discernment.

    Thanks for the article, I have been using celery with my dog to try to heal what may be an ulcer.

    • cincodm says:

      This blog isn’t endorsing celery juice, it’s explaining how it may work. I prefer people focus on food, but in order to reach a larger audience it made more sense to write this from the perspective of “celery juice” rather than “‘celery” because tens of thousands search the former and almost no one searches the latter.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.