The origins of this vegetable’s reputation as an aphrodisiac are obvious. A slender shaft, it was used as a treatment for lagging libido for centuries. But celery holds many aphrodisiac powers beyond its phallic form.
The history of celery as an aphrodisiac
Our forefathers didn’t need a scientist’s explanation to realize this vegetable’s potential when it comes to games of love. Interestingly, the power of this unusual vegetable was well understood as far back as the Middle Ages.
According to a quote unearthed in the Eighteenth Century by Grimod de la Reyniere, “It is enough to stress that [celery] is not in any way a salad for bachelors.” And speaking of the Eighteenth Century, in the same period, the French believed eating celery soup could increase sexual desire.
Celery benefits sexually
Many sexual benefits of celery have to do with the surprising nutritional punch this low-calorie vegetable can offer. You may be surprised to learn some of the reasons we link aphrodisiac celery and sex.
Does celery increase pheromones?
According to National Geographic, it is believed that celery smells like androstenone, the primary male pheromone.
As a quick refresher, pheromones are those “invisible” scents we all give off. They give anyone within sniff range information about us on an unconscious level. Read more about pheromones and how they impact sexual attraction.
Although the natural conclusion would be that eating celery will increase a man’s pheromone production, that’s not quite what happens.
According to Dr. Allen Hirsch of Chicago’s Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, “When you chew a stalk of celery, you release androstenone and androstenol odor molecules into your mouth. They then travel up the back of your throat to your nose. Once there, the pheromones boost arousal, turning you on and causing your body to send off scents and signals that make you more desirable.” This alone should be a good reason to link celery and sex.
Is celery juice an aphrodisiac?
It is not just the slender stalks but celery juice that has a reputation as an aphrodisiac. Many believe that if eating celery can cause your body to send off scents of attraction, then drinking celery juice must intensify the effect.
It’s a great thought. Unfortunately, according to National Geographic, this theory doesn’t really pan out in practice. But celery juice does offer many nutritional benefits, so don’t dismiss it entirely, if you enjoy the flavor.
In fact, the benefits of celery juice include several that may help you sexually. According to the USDA, celery juice is a good source of potassium, a key nutrient for both men and women’s sexual health. Celery juice is also a source of magnesium, vitamin A and vitamin C, all of which are linked with sexual health.
Celery benefits for men
While the celery pheromones link is obviously one-way celery can benefit men, there are also nutritional attributes to celery that may boost men’s sexual health.
Celery contains phthalides. According to the Cleveland Clinic, these active compounds are known to relax artery walls to increase blood flow. Now, this is not only good news for your heart. Good blood flow is also necessary for sexual arousal and maintaining an erection.
This low-calorie vegetable also contains key nutrients for supporting heart health, thereby supporting sexual health. As you might expect since celery juice is loaded with nutrients for sexual health, celery is a source of both potassium and manganese.
An additional benefit of celery that might surprise you. One large stalk of this crunchy green offers over 20% of your daily intake of vitamin K.
Vitamin K is believed to protect against the hardening of arteries. And healthy arteries are key for sex. Why is that? Because good blood flow is crucial for men when it comes to achieving sexual arousal.
Will it increase testosterone levels?
There is a line of thought that because androsterone, the pheromone I mentioned earlier that links celery with sex, is a weak steroid metabolite of testosterone, celery should increase testosterone levels. (It even sparked a celery juice craze a few years back.) However, I can find no studies to substantiate the claim that eating celery will increase testosterone production.
But there are more ways celery benefits sexually.
Celery benefits for sperm production
Celery may have one additional benefit for men in a couple that is trying to conceive. According to a study conducted in 2014, celery may increase sperm count.
Celery is also a source of vitamin C, vitamin A and folate, which benefit women’s health as well as men’s health.
Does celery work like Viagra?
One more benefit you may have heard that celery can offer when it comes to sexual health. And this one can benefit both men and women! Celery contains arginine, also called l-arginine. Arginine is an amino acid important to regulating blood flow. More specifically, arginine creates nitric oxide, which widens and relaxes blood vessels similarly to erectile dysfunction medications like Viagra.
So can celery have the same effect as Viagra? Well, yes and no. Eating celery is definitely beneficial to blood flow. However, unlike with a scientifically measured prescription medication, there’s no way to predict how much celery you would need to eat to help with achieving sexual arousal or climax.
Which has more benefits, raw celery or cooked?
Although modern science has yet to reach a conclusion on the potency of raw versus cooked, raw celery root was used for centuries as a cure for impotence.
Yet some historians say that the ancient Romans cooked the root to use in their love potions, as, in their opinion cooking increased potency.
Clearly, it is up to you to decide how best to enjoy celery sexual benefits.
Cooking and recipes
This article was written in 2010 and most recently updated in January 2022.
FREE APHRODISIAC NEWSLETTER
Subscribe to our free aphrodisiac newsletter