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Celandine

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  • Botanical: Chelidonium majus
  • Family: Papaveraceae
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Celandine

Botanical

Chelidonium majus

Family

Papaveraceae

Known as

Chelidonium, tetterwort, Schöllkraut

Old Use

bloodroot, wart weed

Parts Used

leaves

Medicinal

abdominal pain, angina, angina, anxiety, arteriosclerosis, asthma, bronchitis, bladder disease, bladder stones, bladder weakness, bile weakness, bronchitis, cancer, conjunctivitis, coughs, diarrhea, digestion, dropsy, eye inflammation, gallstones, gastrointestinal, laxative, liver weakness, respiratory, rheumatism, swollen feet, ulcers, warts, worm, edema, osteoarthritis

Heart & Circulation

angina, arteriosclerosis, dropsy (edema), edema, high blood pressure, swollen feet

Hormone & Sexual Organs

uterine bleeding

Infection & Inflammation

conjunctivitis, eye inflammation, skin inflammation, toothache

Muscle & Joints

gout, rheumatism, osteoarthritis

Mind & Nerves

pain relief

Respiratory System

asthma, bronchitis, cough, lung weakness, whooping cough

Stomach & Intestinal

abdominal pain, bladder disease, bladder stones, bladder weakness, cancer, cancer prevention, constipation, diarrhea, digestion, gastritis, gastrointestinal, gastric inflammation, laxative, liver weakness, intestinal inflammation, stomach pain, stomach cramps, stomach complaints, ulcers, worm

Skin & Hair

eczema, warts

Properties

antispasmodic, cholagogue, diaphoretic, diuretic, narcotic, stomachic

Description

Greater celandine is a perennial herb with an erect habit, and reaches 30 to 120 cm high. The leaves are pinnate with lobed and wavy-edged margins, 30 cm long. When injured, the plant exudes a yellow to orange latex. The flowers consist of four yellow petals, each about 1 cm long, with two sepals. A double-flowered variety occurs naturally. The flowers appear from late spring to summer in umbelliform cymes of about 4 flowers. The seeds are small and black, borne in a long capsule. Each has an elaiosome, which attracts ants to disperse the seeds (myrmecochory). It is considered an aggressive invasive plant in natural areas (both woods and fields). Control is obtained mainly via pulling or spraying the plant before seed dispersal.

Properties & Uses

Greater celandine is a plant. The dried above-ground parts, root, and rhizome (underground stem) are used to make medicine. Don’t confuse greater celandine with lesser celandine (Family: Ranunculus ficaria). Greater celandine is used for various problems with the digestive tract including upset stomach, gastroenteritis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, loss of appetite, stomach cancer, intestinal polyps, and liver and gallbladder disorders. Other uses include detoxification, treating menstrual cramps, cough, pain, breast lumps, chest pain (angina), fluid retention (edema), “hardening of the arteries” (arteriosclerosis), high blood pressure, asthma, gout, and osteoarthritis. Some people apply greater celandine directly to the skin for warts, genital warts, rashes, eczema, and scabies; and to the gums for tooth pain and to ease tooth extraction. The fresh root is also chewed to relieve toothache.

Other use

Leaves - cooked in small quantities. They contain small amounts of toxic alkaloids. The leaves are boiled with clean earth, the mixture is left overnight and then thoroughly washed in several changes of water. 

Plants rapidly form a ground cover, but should only be used in wild places because of their invasive nature. Seed contains 50 - 66% of a fatty oil.

Cautions

The whole plant is poisonous. It is of very low toxicity and this is greatly reduced by drying the plant. The stem juice is highly irritating and allergenic, it may cause paralysis. Large doses cause sleepiness, skin irritation, respiratory tract irritation, violent coughing and dyspnoea. It also stains the urine bright yellow and may cause ulcers. May cause burning sensation in the mouth, nausea and vomiting. Avoid contact with eyes. Concerns of liver toxicity so avoid in those with liver disease. Not recommended during pregnancy and for children under 12

Distribution

It is native to Europe and western Asia and introduced widely in North America.

Constituents

Protopine, stylopine, and allocryptopine. Allocryptopine and stylopine assumingly support the action of protopine. 

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.