For centuries, people have used celandine to improve digestion, detoxify, and fight disease. Modern research confirms some of these uses, but questions others and warns us of potential dangers. Read on to find out more about this plant.
Celandine - what kind of plant is it?
The herb celandine belongs to the poppy family. Although it is a perennial plant native to Europe and Western Asia, it grows all over the world.
Celandine has delicate leaves and blooms with small yellow flowers. When damaged, the stem releases a bright yellow-orange juice.
Its Latin name - Chelidonium - actually comes from the ancient Greek (chelidon) and means "swallow". Oddly enough, the blossoming of celandine flowers coincides with the return of swallows from the south.
The effect of celandine on the human body has not been sufficiently studied to date. The following effects of its use are noted:
- supporting the health of the digestive system;
- stimulation of the outflow of bile;
- reducing inflammation and reducing allergic reactions;
- fighting infections and stimulating immunity;
- manifestation of anti-cancer properties.
Despite the positive effect, negative consequences of celandine treatment were also noticed:
- the plant is potentially toxic to the liver;
- may cause allergic reactions;
- may disrupt heart rhythm.
The use of celandine for medicinal purposes dates back to the days of ancient Greece, where a doctor and a botanist
In the Western world, people use more celandine for the following purposes:
- treatment of diseases of the lungs and liver;
- stimulation of digestion and bile secretion;
- fighting infections and supporting immunity;
- removal of warts and skin ulcers.
Chinese herbalists use bai-qu (the Chinese name for the plant) to improve circulation, fight cramps and menstrual pain, treat jaundice, and more. The Russian name "celandine" is associated with cleansing the body.
The ground parts of the great celandine (Chelidonium majus) have the widest medical use. The dried herb is used for solid and liquid extracts, and the juice is extracted from fresh stems and leaves. Some herbalists in Eastern and Central Europe also use roots.
Celandine contains a group of alkaloids with a unique structure (isoquinoline) and a variety of medicinal properties.
Chelidonine is the main celandine alkaloid named after this plant (Chelidonium). In standardized celandine products, the total alkaloids are expressed as a percentage of chelidonine.
The benefits of using celandine
Potential health effects of celandine include fighting bacteria, viruses and fungi, boosting the immune response, supporting digestion, reducing inflammation, and enhancing antioxidant defenses.
Thanks to its complex pharmacological action, celandine alkaloids support the cardiovascular system, digestive system, immunity and bone health.
Like other bitter herbs, celandine can speed up digestion.
The complex carbohydrates and enzymes of this plant stimulate the immune system and fight infections.
Celandine flavonoids such as rutin and quercetin are known for their powerful antioxidant effects.