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Greater Celandine: Medicinal Properties and Contraindications

Greater celandine is utilized in the preparation of medicines and homeopathic remedies. Find out about its properties and contraindications here.

Greater celandine: medicinal properties and contraindications

Last actualisation: March 18, 2023

Greater celandine, scientific name Chelidonium majus, is a perennial plant belonging to the Papaveraceae family, including poppies and fumitors. Some also comprehend it as “swallow” since it comes from a Greek word Chelidonwhat’s so vital.

It is native to Europe and the Mediterranean, but its cultivation began in America by colonizers who considered it treatment for warts. Currently, it is especially used for pharmacological purposes, but there are warnings about potential risks. Let’s take a more in-depth take a look at its properties and contraindications intimately.

Characteristics of greater celandine

Greater celandine (Chelidonium majus) to not be confused with lesser celandine (Ficaria vernaWith Ranunculus ficaria family). This is perennial herbaceous plant that may reach as much as 1 meter in height and typically grows in meadows, shady and funky places, dumps and old partitions.

It has erect, branched and brittle stems, in addition to large leaves (as much as 30 centimeters), divided into oval or lobed segments. Its peculiar yellow flowers appear in umbellate terminal inflorescences, normally from May to October.

They also produce fruit inside an elongated silica-like capsule, the within which comprises small black seeds. The whole plant exudes a characteristic orange latex, to which medicinal uses have been given. The dried parts of its surface (leaves), root and rhizome (metro stem) even have pharmacological uses.

Nevertheless, its use needs to be prudent because it comprises potentially toxic compounds.

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Healing properties of greater celandine

In the past, all parts of the greater celandine – especially its latex – were used as a treatment for various conditions and ailments. It was applied topically within the treatment of skin diseases and eye problems. Internally, it was a treatment for digestive, respiratory and inflammatory problems.

In fact, tests found that the plant comprises substances with a pharmacological effect, amongst which the next stand out:

  • Phenanthridine-derived alkaloids (chelidonine, chelerythrine and sanguinarine).
  • Chelidonic acid (gamma-pyrone bicarbonate).
  • Isoquinoline derivatives (protopine).
  • Alpha and beta allocryptopine.
  • barberry
  • Coptizine.

properties in the meanwhile C. majus are utilized in the shape of extracts and purified derivative compounds which are included in medicines and homeopathic remedies. Home use of the plant is discouraged.

And even though it has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antispasmodic, antimicrobial and anticancer potential was recognized, there may be controversy as a consequence of the high risk of opposed effects. What healing properties are attributed to it?

Chelidonium majus.

Upset stomach or indigestion

One of the predominant uses of greater celandine is said to digestive disorders. Specifically, people use as an adjuvant to alleviate flatulencebelching, nausea and other indigestion related complaints.

AND publication in Iranian Red Crescent medical journal lists this plant as a possible ally within the treatment of functional dyspepsia. There was a 60% improvement in symptoms within the receiving group C. majus in comparison with 27.6% within the placebo group. The duration of treatment was 6 weeks.

AND a newer study suggests that a particular product containing greater celandine(Iberogast ®) and other medicinal plants (peppermint leaves, chamomile, cumin, liquorice, lemon balm, angelica and milk thistle) is a protected and well-tolerated phytotherapy for symptoms comparable to the next:

  • Stomachache.
  • acid reflux disease.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.

As a homeopathic treatment, greater celandine appears to be helpful within the treatment of functional dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome. We still need more comprehensive research.

The plant isn’t intended for oral consumption unless it’s in the shape of supplements for this purpose.

Viral warts

The milky juice of greater celandine (i.e. its orange latex) is a component of people and homeopathic medicine as an additive to facilitate the removal of viral warts. Is it working?

In a report shared by International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, juice Chelidonium majus has been reported to have therapeutic potential within the fight against skin warts .

It is protected when used externally. Still, we’d like more research to know if there are effects related to transdermal absorption.

Other research described in International Journal of Molecular Sciences states that the alkaloids and proteins present within the latex C. majus latex gives antiviral properties they work against the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is a standard explanation for warts.

Other medicinal uses

Due to the concentration of energetic compounds, including alkaloids, celandine appears to produce other health effects. However, the evidence for these uses is insufficient, and it is a subject that continues to be debated as a consequence of the risks of ingesting the plant.

Compilation of data from certainly one of book chapters Meyler uncomfortable side effects , other traditional uses Chelidonium majus are following:

  • Ringworm.
  • Asthma.
  • Jaundice.
  • whooping cough.
  • Bronchitis.
  • calluses.
  • Gallstones.

In addition to the above plant seems to affect irregular periods, hypertension, lack of appetite, and toothache, amongst others. Lack of evidence results in cautious use in all these cases.

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Risks and contraindications of greater celandine

Due to the high content of alkaloids, celandine mustn’t be eaten. The artisanal use of the plant isn’t protected because obviously causes liver damage. Hence the controversy surrounding the plant, because up to now people thought it had helpful effects on the liver.

However, while the usage of celandine latex appears to be protected for warts, it’s may cause allergic skin rashes in some people. If so, rinse with loads of water and discontinue use.

Due to the shortage of reliable information on its safety, the plant and its derivatives mustn’t be utilized in the next cases:

  • Small children.
  • Pregnancy and lactation.
  • Autoimmune diseases comparable to multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
  • Liver diseases, including hepatitis.
  • Obstruction of the bile ducts.

At the identical time, don’t use it concurrently with drugs that increase the danger of liver damage including but not limited to paracetamol, amiodarone, carbamazepine, fluconazole, erythromycin and lovastatin.

Although some scientists imagine that the plant has liver-protective properties, they don’t recommend it for hepatitis.

What to recollect about greater celandine?

In traditional medicine, celandine has been used for a very long time to treat skin problems, digestive discomfort and pain. After some research, scientists determined that it has potential against indigestion and skin warts.

Despite this, several reports indicate that the high content of alkaloids can result in toxic effects, especially at the extent of the liver. For this reason, scientists don’t recommend consuming it at home. If you’re taking supplements containing this plant, seek the advice of your doctor beforehand.

When it involves topical application of latex, reports indicate that it’s protected and other people tolerate it well when applied to warts and calluses. Even, you must do somewhat test before applying it in its entirety. If no allergic reactions occur after using the agent, you should use it with none problems.

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