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Chelidonium Majus

Updated on April 12, 2011

The celandine (Chelidonium majus L.) is a herbaceous plant, spontaneous in Italy, belonging to the family of Papaveraceae. It is the only species of the genus Chelidonium.It is a herbal plant.

Botanical Description


A perennial herb, 30 to 90 cm high, with branched stems and swollen nodes.


The leaves are lobed, alternate, imparipinnate, bluish-green, or lighter gray beneath. The flowers are composed of two glass falling sepals and corolla with 4 yellow petals, twenty stamens, ovary exceeded.


The fruit is a silique that contains a row of small brown seeds with a clear peak.


Broken branches out from a yellow-orange latex that is one of the unmistakable features of the plant. Exposed to air, latex rapidly oxidizes and darkens.


 Map of the Mediterranean basin, grows wild in the woods and abandoned areas. It is considered an indicator of the presence of nitrogen compounds. It grows well in gardens and flower beds, and grows every year, so it is considered weeds.





·         The active ingredients of this plant are mainly isoquinoline alkaloids, in particular the copticina but berberine and sparteine.


·         The plant is traditionally used in herbal medicine popular for outdoor use. Against warts, the fresh latex is applied in the area, leaving it dry.


The toxicity of certain principles is not recommended for internal use without expert supervision.


In Homeopathy was pioneered by Samuel Hahnemann and his school.


·         Appears often in the recipes of Maurice Mességué as a component of mixtures for footbaths and hand washing. In gypsy culture is used in foot baths, to relieve the legs.


·         In moderate doses can be used as an aqueous solution (the). In the rural areas of Lodi and Crema, a traditional country uses a mash made of celandine and dandelion for cleansing action of the liver. Like other Papaveraceae action has purgative and sedative and a spasmolytic action on smooth muscle.




Used in the eighteenth century as decorative plants for flower beds, perhaps for the color of the leaves.


It is avoided by grazing animals, the taste bitter and disgusting.



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