Treatment of women's sexual dysfunction using Apium graveolens L. Fruit (celery seed): A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial

J Ethnopharmacol. 2021 Jan 10:264:113400. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2020.113400. Epub 2020 Sep 22.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Traditional manuscripts refer to plants such as Apium graveolens L. Fruit (celery seed), which could be used to improve sexual function among women. Since that time, local herbal shops in Iran continue to provide this herb as a natural aphrodisiac product.

Aim of the study: This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of celery seed for the treatment of female sexual dysfunction.

Methods and materials: In this parallel, randomized, double-blinded clinical trial, 80 women were assigned to receive either 500 mg of celery seed or placebo 3 times a day for a period of 6 weeks (n = 40 per group). The female sexual function index (FSFI) questionnaire was used to evaluate women's sexual function before and after treatment.

Results: At the end of the sixth week, an improvement in the total FSFI score was significantly greater in celery seed-treated women than those receiving the placebo (P < 0.001). Increased total FSFI score is mainly contributed by improvement in the sexual desire (p < 0.001), arousal (p < 0.001), lubrication (p < 0.001), and pain (p = 0.033) domains at the endpoint of study. No serious side effects were noticed in both groups during the study period.

Conclusion: It seems that celery seed improved sexual function in women and could be used as a safe, well-tolerated, and effective herbal medicine in women with sexual dysfunction.

Keywords: Celery seed; FSFI questionnaire; Female sexual dysfunction; Herbal medicine.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Apium*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Iran / ethnology
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Seeds*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / diagnosis
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / diet therapy*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / ethnology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Plant Extracts