Celandine,Swallowwort:Celandine is named after the Greek word for the swallow, because it starts flowering when the birds arrive and stops when they leave.
- Basic Botanical Info:Celandine,Swallowwort.
- Chelidonium majus Botanical Description.
- Historical or traditional use:Chelidonium majus.
- Chelidonium majus Phytochemicals and Constituents.
- Medicinal Action and Uses:Chelidonium majus.
- Chelidonium majus Therapeutics and Pharmacology.
- Dosage and Administrations:Chelidonium majus.
- Research Update:Chelidonium majus.
Historical or traditional use:Chelidonium majus.:
Celandine is named after the Greek word for the swallow, because it starts flowering when the birds arrive and stops when they leave. According to the Doctrine of Signatures, this plant, with its yellow juice, was deemed suitable for biliary complaints. In Chinese medicine it is used as an analgesic, antitussive, anti-inflammatory and detoxicant. Mrs Grieve states that it was used in Suffolk as a fomentation for toothache.
The Roman scholar Pliny mentions its healing power, and in the 14th century it was taken in liquid form as a blood tonic and was thought to sharpen sight and other senses. It may be used both internally and externally and is often an ingredient in various herbal teas, especially bile and liver teas. For centuries, celandine has been used as a pain reliever, a cough suppressant, antitoxin, and anti-inflammatory drug in Chinese medicine. The fresh, bright yellow-orange stem latex was once a popular folk medicine treatment for warts, eczema, ringworm and corns. Traditionally, celandine was also used as a remedy for jaundice, scurvy, scrofula, gout, toothache, peptic ulcers, piles, and most notably as a topical to treat abnormal growths, probably owing to the antimitotic properties of the active ingredients, sanguinarine and chelerythrine. Celandine is also prescribed for bronchitis and whooping cough, appetite loss, stomach cramps and gastrointestinal problems as well as for conditions that affect the gallbladder. At present, the extract of alkaloids from celandine is the base of a preparation that has demonstrated immunomodulating activity and is employed in the therapy of different types of abnormal growths. Celandine is also a component of some drug preparations employed in the diseases of the biliary tract and liver. Because the biological effect of the principal constituents of celandine are different and often quite antagonistic and their representation and concentrations vary during the growing season, the efficacy of preparations change in relation to the prevailing substance in the preparation. It should be noted that there have been several cases reported of acute hepatitis attributed to preparations of greater celandine, and therefore it is not recommended to use this herb without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor. European herbal traditions regard greater celandine as a valuable remedy for the topical treatment of warts. It was also a folk remedy for cancer, gout, jaundice, and a variety of skin diseases. The famous French herbalist Maurice Messegue used greater celandine extensively in hand and foot baths and teas for many conditions, particularly those affecting the liver. In eastern Asia it was also valued as a treatment for peptic ulcer.
This plant is undoubtedly the true Celandine, having nothing in common with the Lesser Celandine except the colour of its flowers. It was a drug plant in the Middle Ages and is mentioned by Pliny, to whom we owe the tradition that it is called Chelidonium from the Greek chelidon (a swallow), because it comes into flower when the swallows arrive and fades at their departure. (The English name Celandine is merely a corruption of the Greek word.) Its acrid juice has been employed successfully in removing films from the cornea of the eye, a property which Pliny tells us was discovered by swallows, this being a double reason why the plant should be named after these birds.
In the fourteenth century, a drink made with Celandine was supposed to be good for the blood. Clusius, the celebrated Dutch botanist, considered that the juice, dropped into small green wounds, effected rapid cure, and when dropped into the eye would take away specks and stop incipient suffusions. The old alchemists held that it was good to 'superstifle the jaundice,' because of its intense yellow colour.
- 1.Celandine,Swallowwort:Celandine is named after the Greek word for the swallow, because it starts flowering when the birds arrive and stops when they leave.
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