Common Name: Celandine, Greater Celandine, Celandine Poppy
Species: Chelidonium Majus
Greater Celandine is an herbaceous perennial plant with slightly hairy and tall stems (40 cm to 120 cm high). The whole plant abounds in a yellowish juice, which is emitted freely wherever the stems or leaves are broken.
This juice stains and has a persistent and nauseous smell, also irritating. Leaves are pinnate with lobed margins, flowers appear from late spring to summer and consist of four yellow petals. This plant displays long, narrow seedpods plenty of seeds that are dispersed by ants and germinate very easily. The whole plant is mildly toxic and irritating, but there are numerous therapeutic uses when used in the correct way. Roots are particularly toxic, consider wear gloves when handling this plant, because the sap may irritate your skin.
Greater Celandine has been used as an herbal remedy for eye irritations. By simply rubbing its leave and its sap on the external part of the eyelid, fatigued eyes can have some relief. The most common use of this plant and its orange-yellowish sap, is used fresh to cure warts, ringworm and corns. The yellow milk sap from the plant is a corrosive substance that can dissolve warts and corns. Due to its corrosive nature, the sap shouldn’t be allowed to come into contact with any other part of the skin, in order to avoid irrritation.
An exception is also to rub its leaves and stems on the scalp to prevent hair loss and stimulate new hair grow. Greater Celandine has been used externally to speed up healing of minor wounds and scrapes, and as a relief for skin problems such eczemas.
Apart from the external use of the plant sap as a remedy for warts and various eye problems, greater celandine is not suitable for self-medication.