Celery Seed Extract Effective for Treatment After Stroke

celery and stroke
Photo by David Owen
By Case Adams, Naturopath

Researchers from the Peking Union Medical College Hospital and the Chinese Academy of Medical Science have found that treating stroke with a constituent of celery seed called butylphthalide produces better outcomes than treatment with leading post-stroke drug, ozagrel.

The researchers treated 535 adults who suffered from a stroke. The patients were randomly given one of three possible treatments: the combination of an infusion (blood infusion) of celery seed extracted Dl-3-n-butylphthalide followed by a capsule of it; the Dl-3-n-butylphthalide for fourteen days with an aspirin; or the standard conventional medical treatment – a fourteen day infusion of the drug ozagrel (ozagrel hydrochloride) followed by an aspirin.

The researchers then examined the patients after ninety days, and via a test called the Modified Rankin Scale, determined that the patients who took the celery seed extract were in better condition than those who took the ozagrel drug. The Modified Rankin Scale gauges the disability of a post-stroke victim, and their ability to resume day-to-day activities.

The researchers concluded that the celery seed extract “was associated with a significantly favorable outcome” than the standard drug treatment.

The researchers also concluded that the celery seed – both given in blood infusions and orally – was “safe” – with few if any side effects.

In comparison, the drug ozagrel has been shown to produce a myriad of adverse side effects, including tendancy to bleed (as the drug is a blood thinner), thrombocytopenia, headache, fever, numbness, malaise, leg pain, dizziness, sleepiness, and arthralgia ncrea (low platelet count), increased liver enzymes, intestinal discomfort, nausea, abdominal pain.

Treating after stroke critical for neurological, motor control, memory and other problems

Post-stroke treatment is critical because of the risk of permanent neurological damage, paralysis, or otherwise lose of motor control over different parts of the body.

This is because a stroke will often cut off the circulation of blood to the brain, and depending upon which part of the brain doesn’t get blood flow, those parts of the body that these brain locations control can become damaged.

For example, many who have a stroke will later complain of the loss of motor control over a part of the body – such as an arm, leg or otherwise.

Stroke can also impair memory and learning. These are also byproducts of bloodflow being temporarily cut off from critical brain centers.

For this reason, doctors typically prescribe ozagrel hydrochloride or another drug to increase blood flow to the brain. Ozagrel is a selective thromboxane A2 synthetase enzyme inhibitor, which means it stops the process of the thromboxane A2 synthetase enzyme. This enzyme facilitates the conversion of prostaglandin to thromboxane. Thromboxane constricts blood vessels and serves to aggregate platelets. So by blocking this enzyme after an injury the blood remains thinner and the blood vessels remain wider.

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This study shows, however, that celery seed extract promotes an equivalent mechanism and even outperforms Ozagrel in helping to prevent some of the negative outcomes related to cutting off bloodflow to the brain.

Whole celery seed extract medicinal in other ways

In other research, celery seed has been shown to slow and even halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. See the Realnatural article here.

A new laboratory analysis found that celery seed contains numerous other medicinal constituents outside of the butylphthalide used in the above study. It contains limonene and selinene, the fatty acids petroselenic, oleic, linoleic, linolenic, and palmitic, sedanolide, sedanonic anhydride and other phthalides.

Another study found that celery seed stimulated liver function and increased the detoxification of plasticizers.

Given this additional evidence, perhaps the whole celery seed or a whole extract would have better efficacy than an isolated chemical extracted from celery seed.


Cui LY, Zhu YC, Gao S, Wang JM, Peng B, Ni J, Zhou LX, He J, Ma XQ. Ninety-day administration of dl-3-n-butylphthalide for acute ischemic stroke: a randomized, double-blind trial. Chin Med J (Engl). 2013;126(18):3405-10. http://www.cmj.org/ch/index.aspx

Zhang J, Yang J, Chang X, Zhang C, Zhou H, Liu M. Ozagrel for acute ischemic stroke: a meta-analysis of data from randomized controlled trials. Neurol Res. 2012 May;34(4):346-53. doi: 10.1179/1743132812Y.0000000022.

El-Shinnawy NA. The therapeutic applications of celery oil seed extract on the plasticizer di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate toxicity. Toxicol Ind Health. 2013 Feb 1.

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