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									                Celandine – Chelidonium majus L. (Papaveraceae)

Common names: Garden Celandine, Greater Celandine, Common
 Celandine, Tetterwort, Chelidonium, Swallowwort.
 Habitat: Native to Europe and Asia, naturalized to North
 America. It is found in moist or shady places, usually near
 dwellings or roadsides.
 Description: Perennial with thick and fleshy root, and erect brittle
 thin stem growing up to 3 ft. in height. It has almost hairless
 divided yellowish-green leaves 6 to 12 inches long, and small 4-
 petal yellow flowers arranged in umbels cluster, and yield
 narrow, long pods, containing blackish seeds. If/when the plant is
 cut or wounded, a orange-colored juice (sap/latex) flows out
 which has nauseous taste and unpleasant odor, and powerful
 irritant on contact.
 Cultivation: Seeds may be sown or they may be divided in the
 fall. Grow plant in well-drained soil in sun or mottled shade.

Actions: Cathartic, diuretic, diaphoretic, expectorant, purgative,      Parts Used: the whole plant. (herb, root, latex)
 vulnerary, alterative, cholagogue, bitter, anti-spasmodic, local

Constituents:                                                           Pharmacology:
 Isoquinoline alkaloids (incl. allocryptopine, berberine,                 Isoquinoline alkaloids – toxic in large dose. Several of
 chelidonine, Chelerythrin, protopine, sanguinarine, sparteine).          these alkaloids have analgesic effects.
 Bitter principle                                                         Chelidonine – antispasmodic and hypotensive effects.
 Volatile oil                                                             Sparteine – has hypertensive effects.
 Proteolytic enzymes in fresh latex                                       Chelerythrin - narcotic and poisonous
Uses:                                                                   History & Folklore:
 A mild sedative, relaxing the muscles of the bronchial tubes,           The name celandine comes from the Greek chelidon
 intestine, and other organs. In Western and Chinese medicine it         meaning swallow, due to the belief that the plant
 has been used to treat bronchitis, whooping cough, and asthma.          flourished with the swallows’ arrival in the spring and
 Promotes bowel movement and relieves constipation. It                   their fall departure. It was also and belief that swallows
 stimulates bile flow, making useful in the treatment of hepatitis,      used the latex of the plant to sharpen their eyesight, and
 jaundice, gallstones and any associated pain, and as a detoxifying      for this reason, it was then used to clear eye sight, esp.
 agent. For Sluggish portal circulation, and diseases of the spleen      when cataracts,
 (it relieves congestion and reduces splenic hypertrophy).               In folks medicine Celandine has often been view as a
 Externally is used to soothe and encourage healing of eczema,           cure-all herb. The sap or latex was/is used to treat warts
 ulcers, malignant sores, tetter, tumors/cancer. The sap is              and ringworms, and skin problems such as pimples and
 commonly used fresh to cure warts, ringworm and corns, but              blisters (formerly called tetters).
 should not be allowed to come into contact with any other part of       Today, the plant is also used in the production of yellow
 the skin.                                                               dye for wool.
 An ointment made of the roots and lard boiled together, or the
 leaves and flowers, has been used to treat piles.
Pharmacy:                                                               Cautions, contraindications and toxicity:
  Dried herb: – 2-4g 3 times/day.                                        Cautions/warnings:
  Decoction: 2 tsp-herb + 1 tsp-root per cup water; bring to boil;       - The plant is subject to legal restriction in some
  remove from heat; let it sit for 10 min. Dose: 1 cup twice daily.           countries.
  Tincture: 1:10 @45%; dose: 2 – 4 mls 3 times/day.                      - The latex turns quickly to orange-red when expose to
  Liquid Extract: 1:1 25% 1 – 2 mls 3 times/day.                              air, and can burn the skin on contact and causing
  Topically: The latex for warts, ringworms, corns (see cautions0).           painful blisters.
  Combinations:                                                          Contraindications:
    With white cedar for endometriosis and Uterine Fibroids.                Avoid during pregnancy
    With Barberry and Dandelion for gallbladder conditions.              Toxicity: In large doses, purgative and poisonous
                                                                         (mainly the root); symptoms: nausea, vomiting, bloody
                                                                         diarrhea, numbness, fainting, and coma.
Celandine – Chelidonium majus L. (Papaveraceae)

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