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Is Celery Juice a Sham?

Many credit Mr. William, who wrote a book called, “Celery Juice: The Most Powerful Medicine of Our Time Healing Millions Worldwide.” He shares advice with his large fan base through his podcast, his website, his New York Times best-selling books, or in his contributions to Gwyneth Paltrow’s site Goop.

Mr. William, who also uses the moniker “Medical Medium,” is neither a medical doctor nor formally trained in nutrition, and his process is unconventional. “Spirit starts to speak to me and I write every word exactly the way spirit wants it until I have a stack of notepads many feet high,” he said, adding, “It’s a gift that was given to me.”

His claims are as large as the fields of celery in California, the country’s biggest producer. Nutritionists call his assertions unfounded. “Any reputable scientist would say there’s nothing here,” said David Levitsky, a professor of nutrition and psychology at Cornell University. “And I guarantee you next year there will be some other juice or food or magical mushroom that will come out and offer these same properties.”

However, across the country, according to an analysis from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, cartons of celery were fetching $15.05 earlier this month, a 42.8 percent increase from the same time the year before, although far below the high of $73.66 in April.

Celery is from the plant Apium graveolens, and is a relative of carrots, parsley and cilantro. Before being cast to the bottom of the crisper, it had quite the illustrious history. Charles Davis, a plant evolutionary biologist at Harvard University, said that the Egyptians placed wild celery in King Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1325 B.C. and that the first cultivated medicinal use of celery dates to 400 B.C. by the Romans.

Greeks drank a wine from it, and winning athletes wore crowns of the foliage in Pan-Hellenic games. The seeds and fruit have long been used medicinally. “I find it intriguing that the purported medical usage of the plant is being revived today, but is instead extracted from the vegetative parts,” Dr. Davis said in an email interview.

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