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Uses

Toxic parts

The whole plant is poisonous[1][2][3]. It is of very low toxicity and this is greatly reduced by drying the plant[4]. The stem juice is highly irritating and allergenic, it may cause paralysis[5]. Large doses cause sleepiness, skin irritation, respiratory tract irritation, violent coughing and dyspnoea[6]. It also stains the urine bright yellow and may cause ulcers[6].

Edible uses

Notes

Leaves - cooked in small quantities[7]. They contain small amounts of toxic alkaloids[8]. The leaves are boiled with clean earth, the mixture is left overnight and then thoroughly washed in several changes of water[8]. Very much a famine food, to be used when all else fails!![K].

Leaves

Material uses

Plants rapidly form a ground cover, but should only be used in wild places because of their invasive nature[9]. Seed contains 50 - 66% of a fatty oil[10]. No more details given.

Unknown part

Oil

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Greater celandine has a long history of herbal use[11]. Traditionally it was employed as an ophthalmic to treat and clear the eyesight whilst in modern herbal medicine it is used more as a mild sedative, antispasmodic and detoxifying herb, relaxing the muscles of the bronchial tubes, intestines and other organs[12]. The latex is much used externally to treat warts. Caution should be employed, especially when the plant is used internally however, because it contains toxic alkaloids[1][13].

The leaves and the sap are acrid, alterative, anodyne, antispasmodic, caustic, cholagogue, diaphoretic, diuretic, hydrogogue, narcotic, purgative[11][1][14][13][15][16][17]. They are used in the treatment of bronchitis, whooping cough, asthma, jaundice, gallstones and gallbladder pains[12]. The plant is harvested in the spring as it comes into flower, it is best used fresh[1], but can also be dried for later use[14]. The roots can also be used, these are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[14]. The plant has anticancer properties and is analgesic[11][18]. It is an important component of a stomach ulcer drug[18]. The plant has an abundant acrid bright-orange sap that stains the skin strongly and is powerfully irritant[11]. It is used as an external treatment to get rid of warts, ringworm and corns[19][20][5][21] and has also been used to remove films from the cornea of the eye[11]. The plant contains the alkaloid chelidonine, which is similar to the alkaloid papaverine found in poppies. This alkaloid has antispasmodic and sedative effects on the bile ducts and bronchi. However, results have been inconsistent, especially if the preparation is not fresh[21].

The plant also contains the alkaloid sparteine, which restores normal rhythm to feeble arrhythmic myocardia[22].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Soil surface

Ecological Functions

Ground cover

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow in situ February to May or August to November. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 12 months[23][9]. The plant self-sows freely and should not need much encouragement. Division in March[24]. The plant bleeds profusely so this method is not recommended[9].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Chelidonium majus. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Succeeds in any soil other than boggy conditions[25][24][26]. Prefers a rich soil of a woodland nature[25][27]. Shade tolerant[27]. Plants grow well on walls if they are given a semi-shaded position and a pocket of soil into which to root[28]. A short-lived perennial[20], but it self-sows freely and can easily become a weed[9]. It quickly colonizes waste ground and thin woodland areas[26]. Once established, the plant is very difficult to eradicate.

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Chelidonium majus. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Chelidonium majus.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Chelidonium majus
Genus
Chelidonium
Family
Papaveraceae
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
6
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
permanent shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Chelidonium majus bgiu.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Chelidonium majus bgiu.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


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    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.31.4 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    2. ? Altmann. H. Poisonous Plants and Animals. Chatto and Windus ISBN 0-7011-2526-8 (1980-00-00)
    3. ? Stary. F. Poisonous Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-35666-3 (1983-00-00)
    4. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.2 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Stuart. M. (Editor) The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism Orbis Publishing. London. ISBN 0-85613-067-2 (1979-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.2 Reid. B. E. Famine Foods of the Chiu-Huang Pen-ts'ao. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre (1977-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.49.5 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Komarov. V. L. Flora of the USSR. Israel Program for Scientific Translation (1968-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.111.211.311.411.5 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.112.2 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.2 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.114.214.3 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
    17. ? 17.017.1 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    18. ? 18.018.118.2 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    19. ? 19.019.1 Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-33545-3 (1975-00-00)
    20. ? 20.020.120.2 Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Perennials Volumes 1 and 2. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30936-9 (1991-00-00)
    21. ? 21.021.121.2 Phillips. R. & Foy. N. Herbs Pan Books Ltd. London. ISBN 0-330-30725-8 (1990-00-00)
    22. ? 22.022.1 Coffey. T. The History and Folklore of North American Wild Flowers. Facts on File. ISBN 0-8160-2624-6 (1993-00-00)
    23. ? Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 4. Thompson and Morgan. (1990-00-00)
    24. ? 24.024.1 Sanders. T. W. Popular Hardy Perennials. Collingridge (1926-00-00)
    25. ? 25.025.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    26. ? 26.026.1 Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (1990-00-00)
    27. ? 27.027.1 Brown. Shade Plants for Garden and Woodland. ()
    28. ? Grey-Wilson. C. & Matthews. V. Gardening on Walls Collins ISBN 0-00-219220-0 (1983-00-00)
    29. ? Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)

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