Chelidonium majus (Papaveraceae)
The whole herb, from its delicate
bright-yellow flowers to its pale-green leaves, is used by homeopaths and
herbalists, East and West, for a wide range of conditions from jaundice to
An ancient liver remedy mentioned in many of the great herbals, celandine is named after the
Greek for swallows because it starts flowering when they arrive and stops when they leave. It is native to Europe but has been introduced
throughout the temperate world. A perennial, it has deeply cut, pale-green leaves that are thin and hairy, and a stem that oozes rich orange latex if cut or broken.
Small clusters of delicate bright-yellow flowers are produced all summer, followed by thin pods.
Alkaloids, including berberine,
chelamine, and chelidonine; saponins; choline.
Increases the flow of bile; increases urine production; reduces muscle tension and spasm.
Given internally for jaundice, gallstones, and gallbladder disease. Applied externally for eczema,
verrucas, and warts. It has also been used to remove cataracts. Used in homeopathy (Chelidonium) for nervous headache, nausea, and vomiting.
Chinese physicians prescribe it as a painkiller, cough suppressant, and anti-inflammatory for bronchitis and whooping cough.
Infusion, tincture, homeopathic remedies.
Only use under the guidance of a qualified practitioner.