Chelidonium majus

Greater Celandine – Majus de Celandonium

Greater Celandine is a native to Europe.  It has been used medicinally for centuries.  It is a very good example of how the ‘Doctrine of Signatures’ was interpreted:  the plant, when cut or bruised, exudes a yellow/orange sap (latex) and because of the colour of the liquid it was considered to be good for the liver and gall bladder.  Well, in this case, it happens to be right.

chelidonium majus

Greater Celandine

It is a perennial, 30-90 cm high.  The stems are slightly hairy and branched.  The leaves are pinnate, hairy or glabrous, with 5-7 ovate or oblong leaflets, 30 cm long, wavy-edged or toothed;  the underneath of the leaves are blue-green.  The flowers have 4 petals.  In Provence, they are in flower just now.
The plant is not edible, but has a long medicinal history.  The dried or fresh leaves, stalks, roots and latex are used.  In herbal and homeopathic medicine, Greater Celandine is used to treat liver and gall-bladder problems, specifically, inflammation of the gall bladder and biliary duct.  In addition, it is used to treat jaundice, hepatitis, gout and rheumatism.  This plant should only be used internally under supervision of trained herbal or homeopathic specialists.  In large doses it is poisonous.
The sap (latex) has been used as a home remedy to treat warts and corns.  It has proved to be quite successful.  Simply squeeze the latex on to the wart or corn once a day and let it dry.  
Bibliography:  Herbs and Herbalism – Malcolm Stuart;  Kruidenleer Deel 1 – Chris Raes;  Greater Celandine – Wikipedia;  RHS Encyclopedia of Herbs and their uses- Deni Bown

About seasonalforaging

We are a group of friends who enjoy walking in the countryside in Provence searching for plants and herbs to identify and use.
This entry was posted in Leaves, Roots and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s