Large celandine

Popular names: warthog, chistyak, yellow milkweed, swallow grass, light grass.

Great celandine (Chelidonium majus L.)Perennial herbaceous plant of the poppy family (Papaveraceae) with a light brown taproot. Stem erect, branched, with sparse longish hairs or almost glabrous, up to 1 m in height. The leaves are alternate, large, green above, bluish below, deeply pinnately dissected into crenate-lobed segments. The stem, branches and leaves, when broken, secrete a thick milky orange juice. The flowers are bright yellow, on long stalks, collected at the ends of the stem with umbrellas. The fruit is an elongated pod-shaped, single-celled bivalve box. Seeds numerous, black or dark olive, shiny, small. Celandine seeds have a white comb-shaped seedling, which ants love to feast on; dispersing the seeds, they contribute to the spread of the plant. Blossoms in May – July, fruits ripen in June – September. Propagated by seeds and vegetatively. Distributed in the European part of the CIS, the Caucasus, Kazakhstan and Central Asia. It grows on loose fertile soils in weedy places, wastelands, in gardens and orchards, in alder forests. It is traditionally found in small clumps; it rarely forms thickets over large areas. The plant is poisonous! The unusual color of milky juice in the Middle Ages attracted close attention of alchemists. They attributed this to the undoubted relationship of celandine with gold, in connection with which they made many attempts to isolate gold from the plant. Modern science has explained the reason for such an unconventional color of milky juice by the presence of a large amount of a red-orange pigment – carotene. The reason for the name “bright grass” was the fact that many generations of doctors, starting from the ancient Greek, Avicenna and up to the 18th century, considered celandine useful for the treatment of eye diseases. This belief was based on an old legend, which says that a swallow treats the eyes of its blind chicks with celandine juice.


Greater celandine herb is used as the main medicinal raw material. It is harvested during flowering, cut off with knives or sickles, and when it is thick, the flowering tops are mowed with braids without coarse lower parts. To preserve the thickets, re-harvesting in the same place should be carried out no earlier than a year later. Due to the poisonousness of the plant, during the collection of raw materials, it is not necessary to touch the face and eyes with your hands; after work, you will need to wash your hands thoroughly. The collection of raw materials of celandine can be carried out only in dry weather. Dry without delay in dryers at a temperature of heating the raw material to 50-60 ° C, in attics under an iron, tiled or slate roof or under canopies with good ventilation, spreading it loosely in a thin layer, periodically turning over. When drying slowly and when laid out in a thick layer, it turns brown and rots. The raw material is considered dry if the stems break when bent, and do not bend. The shelf life of raw materials is 3 years. The smell of raw materials is peculiar, the taste is bitter. The main harvesting areas are in Ukraine and Russia. Rhizomes with roots are harvested early in the spring, at the beginning of the growth of the aerial part, or in the fall – after it dies off. After digging with shovels, shake off the ground and cut the stems. Then immediately wash them in cold water.


The main properties of celandine are antispasmodic, choleretic and anti-inflammatory (bactericidal). Celandine alkaloids have the highest pharmacological activity. For example, chelidonin gives a pronounced analgesic and sedative effect. In addition, this alkaloid has an antispasmodic effect on smooth muscle organs, has hypotensive and bradycardic properties. Homochelidonin, another celandine alkaloid, on the contrary, gives an excitatory-convulsive effect and exhibits local anesthetic activity. The alkaloid protopine reduces the reactivity of the autonomic nervous system and enhances the tone of smooth muscles. Chelerythrin is characterized by a pronounced local irritant effect.


Rhizomes, roots. Decoction – in folk medicine for dysentery. The roots are part of the products prescribed for cholelithiasis, relapses of hepatitis, cholecystitis. Roots, aerial part. Decoction – in folk medicine for rheumatism, hypertension, dysentery. Aerial part. Included in the complex products “Enterosanal” and “Plantazan B” (ointment for the treatment of warts). The latter is approved for use in the treatment of cutaneous tuberculosis. Used in homeopathy. Tincture, juice, mushy mass were used for cauterization of warts, genital warts, psoriasis, eczema, lupus erythematosus, for the treatment of laryngeal papillomatosis in babies, periodontal disease, colon polyposis, rectal polyps, diseases of the liver, gallbladder and ducts. Juice, decoctions, baths, powder for all kinds of skin diseases: skin and lip cancer, fungal diseases, eczema, condylomas, urticaria, erysipelas, calluses, ulcers, psoriasis, scabies, burns, boils, warts, freckles. Juice – for the treatment of trachoma, walleye, diseases of the stomach, liver and gallbladder; has an analgesic, antispasmodic and diuretic effect. In homeopathy – for diseases of the liver and bile ducts. Leaves. Used to cover infected wounds. Flowers. In Tibetan medicine – as an antipyretic. In homeopathy – for diseases of the liver and bile ducts. Leaves. Used to cover infected wounds. Flowers. In Tibetan medicine – as an antipyretic. In homeopathy – for diseases of the liver and bile ducts. Leaves. Used to cover infected wounds. Flowers. In Tibetan medicine – as an antipyretic.


Greater celandine herb infusion (Infusum herbae Chelidonii majoris): 5 g (1 tablespoon) of the raw material is placed in an enamel bowl, poured into 200 ml of hot boiled water, covered with a lid and heated in boiling water (in a water bath) for 15 minutes, cooled at room temperature for 45 minutes, filter. The remaining raw material is squeezed out. The volume of the resulting infusion is adjusted with boiled water to 200 ml. The prepared infusion is stored in a cool place for no more than 2 days. Take 1/3-1/2 cup 2-3 times every day 15 minutes before meals as a diuretic, choleretic, laxative and analgesic agent. boil for 10 minutes, insist 20 minutes, then filter. Take 1-2 tablespoons 3 times every day before meals. Aristohol (Aristoxol) – see.Dandelion officinalis.CONTRAINDICATIONS AND POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: celandine in galenic forms for external use should not be used by persons suffering from epilepsy, bronchial asthma, angina pectoris, and also with a number of neurological syndromes. When taking celandine galenic products in large quantities or an overdose of preparations that include celandine as the main component, patients may develop poisoning with nausea, vomiting, paralysis of the respiratory center. It should be remembered that the use of celandine products is permissible only on the prescription of a doctor and under his supervision. * Celandine poisoning of goats, pigs, rabbits, and birds was observed. Poisoning manifests itself in inflammation of the digestive tract, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes bloody) and paralytic phenomena. If the hay contains 1% celandine, the hay should be rejected.


Roots stain fabrics yellow. The aerial part is used in veterinary medicine to treat “bloody urine” in cattle and ringworm in dogs. For dyeing wool in yellow tones: for various mordants it gives a range of shades. Insecticide against pests of gardens and orchards. In technology, celandine grass prevents corrosion of certain metals. Juice is used in metallurgy for pickling and blackening of metals. Elements of agricultural cultivation. Seeds of celandine are sown in early spring or late autumn in shallow furrows without infill, with a seed powder of 1-2 cm. Seeding rate is 2.5-3.5 kg/ha. Row spacing – 40-60 cm. Seed yield – within 140 kg/ha.

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