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I know what you might be thinking- “what????? Everyone and their mother is talking about celery juice! What could possibly be wrong with it?” Well, let me tell you!
I wrote a little bit about this in my post on current trends that aren’t holistic, but I think it might warrant a whole post.
What Is Celery Juice?
If you’re not already familiar with this trend, it is a big staple in a certain protocol that I am not going to name. To make this celery juice, you use 1-2 entire bunches of celery and juice them in entirety and then drink that entire amount (it usually comes out to about 8-16 ounces of juice depending on the size of the celery you’re using). The supposed benefits of this include detox support, clear skin, and healing of all autoimmune conditions.
We all know celery itself is a super health food, so what’s wrong with celery juice?
Well, most of us know that even too much of a good thing can be bad. Celery itself is a healthy food, but consuming 8-16 ounces of celery juice a day is not balanced, and can cause issues with kidney health in the long term. I have heard quite a few reports from clients and followers that they felt pretty good at first, but eventually developed kidney stress.
One reported having a kidney stone and an ER trip within 3 days of starting to use celery juice. There is a difference between detoxing and a true bad reaction- severe issues like kidney stones tend to be the latter! If symptoms are so severe that they land you in the ER or with actual organ damage, that’s a huge sign of a BAD reaction (similar reports have happened with high doses of iodine as well- this is why balance is so crucial while healing!).
Celery has a high oxalate content
Celery is high in oxalates, and when you juice it you are created a super concentrated oxalate juice! Other common sources of oxalates include leafy greens, some fruits and other veggies, cocoa, nuts, and seeds. If you’re consuming normal serving sizes of these foods, they usually wouldn’t cause a problem for you. But when they are in incredibly high amounts then there can be a issue.
Think of it this way- would you sit and eat 1-2 whole bunches of celery in a sitting every single day? Not likely! Maybe you’d have 1-2 stalks as a snack, or cooked in a meal. Did our ancestors juice celery? Nope! There is no way they would have been able to do this, and even if they did it likely wouldn’t have crossed their minds to even try.
Oxalates are naturally occurring in our food and generally not an issue for most people. It is when we’re overdoing it with high oxalate foods, dealing with severe mineral imbalances, or if something else weakens our kidney function that oxalates can harm us. We also produce a bit of oxalates ourselves. Kidney stones are the biggest health problems associated with excess oxalates. Excess oxalate intake can bind to calcium in the blood stream and create these stones.
What Can I Use Instead of Celery Juice?
Since the main purpose of celery juice is to detox the body and provide minerals, let me give you some MUCH safer options to do instead:
- Herbal Infusions- nettles, oatstraw, and chickweed infusions are especially nutrient dense and they actually HELP the kidneys instead of stressing them out. Read more here!
- Liver Life is the best support for the liver, kidneys, lymph, and more!
- Apple cider vinegar and lemon juice are great helpers for the liver and kidneys.
- Castor oil packs are great for wherever you need them: liver, kidneys, adrenals, colon, etc!