Herbs and spices of Provence
Latin: anthriscus cerefolium
Synonyms: fougère musquée, persil d'âne, persil d'anis
(musk-fern, ass' parsley, anise parsely)
Yes, surprisingly enough, celery grew wild in Europe and Asia and was used as an herb as before it was cultivated as a vegetable. In Roman times, the winners of sporting events were crowned with celery as well as the better know laurel wreaths.
Celery leaves have a distinct flavor that enhances soups and stews (pot-au-feu).
Celery ground into a powder, or used as a celery salt, is also used for a variation of flavor with salads and sauces, and is especially good with tomatoe-juice drinks. Careful, though, in these days of reduced-salt diets: the commercial jars of celery salt are about 10% celery and 90% salt.
Celery contains a natural hormone, similar to insulin, that makes it a good seasoning for diabetics. Celery leaves were once used as an herbal tea for upset stomachs and for diuretic problems. Used in the same manner, but in boiled milk sweetened with honey, celery is said to ease sore throats and help with the loss of the voice.