Celery Fruit. Apii Fructus. N. F. IV. Celery Seed. March, Celeri, Fr. Sellerie, Eppich, G.—"The ripe fruit of Apium graveolens Linne (Fam. Umbelliferae), without the presence of more than 10 per cent. of foreign fruit or other foreign matter." N. F. The ordinary celery of our gardens is too well known to need description. The N. F. recognizes the fruits and describes them as follows: "The fruits consist of two mericarps which may be united or separate. Mericarps ovoid, slightly curved, from 1 to 2 mm. in length, rather more than half as broad and about half as thick, of a rather deep brown color; the inner surface flat, the outer convex, smooth except for five very slender light-colored ribs, two of which are marginal. Oil-tubes in the pericarp from 6 to 15. Odor characteristic, agreeable; taste aromatic, warm and somewhat pungent. Transverse sections, when examined under the microscope, exhibit nearly equilateral pentagonal mericarps, with somewhat convex surfaces; the carpophore consisting of two groups of strongly lignified sclerenchyma cells; each mericarp has from six to fifteen vitae in the pericarp, the latter closely surrounding a somewhat pentagonal seed; the pericarp has an epidermal layer of cells elongated tangentially and with a thick cuticle; a few of the cells are developed into abort, smooth, papillae; a fibro-vascular bundle in each of the prominent ribs, composed of a few tracheae and strongly lignified sclerenchyma fibers; the inner tissue of the pericarp consists of largely tangentially elongated parenchyma with brownish walls; the seed consists chiefly of endosperm; the seed coat is composed of several layers of yellowish more or less collapsed cells, the endosperm of thick-walled polygonal cells containing fixed oil and aleurone grains, the latter each containing- a small rosette aggregate of calcium oxalate. The powdered drug is oily and has a brown color and, when examined under the microscope, exhibits fragments of the pericarp showing yellowish vittae, brown secretion cells and few of the epidermal papillae; tracheae and sclerenchyma fibers; cells of the endosperm with aleurone grains containing rosette aggregates of calcium oxalate from 0.002 to 0.006 mm. in diameter. Celery Fruit yields not more than 8 per cent. of ash." N. F.
Oil of Celery Seed was investigated by Swenholt, who found that it consisted of two oils, one heavy, sp. gr. 0.877, at 20° C. (68° F.), the other light, sp. gr. 0.84. Celery seed contains apiol but in less quantity than parsley (see Petroselinum). Celery has by some been believed to act as a nerve sedative and is used in hysteroidal states, but with doubtful advantage. The dose is twenty to sixty grains (1.2-3.9 Gm.).
Apium nodiflorum (L.) B. et H. (Sium nodiflorum L.) Water parsnip.—This is a perennial, umbelliferous, aquatic, European plant, growing also in the southern section of the United States. It is commonly considered poisonous; but the fresh juice has been used by Withering and others, in the dose of three to four ounces every morning, for scrofulous lymphadenitis and obstinate skin diseases.