Greater Celandine: A Guide to Its Uses and Health Benefits

Greater Celandine

Our easy guide shows how it may help your health naturally.

Greater celandine (Chelidonium majus) is a herbaceous perennial plant in the poppy family. It is known for its distinctive bright yellow flowers and deeply lobed, green leaves. The plant’s sap is yellow-orange. Greater Celandine has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, but little is known about it in Western society.

Greater Celandine and its potential health benefits.

  • Digestive Health:  Greater celandine has traditionally been used to support gallbladder function and promote healthy digestion. The herb is believed to stimulate bile production, which can help digest fats.
  • Contains antispasmodic properties: Greater celandine may help relieve spasms in the digestive tract, which can reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other digestive discomforts.
  • Antimicrobial Activity: The remarkable plant contains several alkaloids that have been shown to possess antimicrobial properties, potentially helping to fight bacterial and viral infections.
  • Support for Liver Health: Greater celandine has been used in herbal medicine to support liver function and help with detoxing. It is thought to have hepatoprotective* effects, which can aid in protecting the liver from toxic substances.
  • Pain Relief: Topically, the sap of greater celandine has been used to relieve pain and treat skin conditions like warts, eczema, and rashes due to its potential analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Additionally:

The leaves and other parts of the celandine plant can help fight parasite infections caused by protozoa (microscopic organisms). The plant contains chemicals known as alkaloids, including chelerythrine protozoa and sanguinarine, which are most effective at killing these microorganisms. They work by damaging and breaking down the protozoa, showing that greater celandine could help treat protozoal infections. Some common protozoal infections include malaria, giardiasis, and amoebiasis.


Here are some common ways to use dried greater celandine:

  1. Tea Infusion:
    • Quantity: Use 1-2 teaspoons of dried celandine herb per cup of boiling water.
    • Preparation: Pour boiling water over the dried herb and steep it for 10-15 minutes. Strain the mixture to remove the plant material.
    • Usage: Drink the tea 2-3 times a day. It’s typically used for digestive issues or to stimulate liver function.
  2. Tincture:
    • Dried greater celandine can make a tincture. Soaking the herb in alcohol to extract its active compounds.
    • Preparation: Combine the dried herb with a high-proof alcohol (like vodka) in a jar, using a ratio of about 1 part herb to 5 parts alcohol. Seal the jar and store it in a cool, dark place for 4-6 weeks, shaking it occasionally.
    • Usage: After straining out the plant material, take a few drops of the tincture daily, typically not exceeding 2-3 ml per day, unless advised by a healthcare professional.
  3. Topical Application:
    • The dried herb can be infused with oil or made into a poultice for external uses, such as treating skin issues or warts.
    • Poultice: Soak the dried herb in a small amount of hot water to create a paste, and apply it directly to the affected skin area. Cover with a bandage and leave for a few hours.

Important Considerations:

  • Dosage: It is crucial to adhere to recommended dosages, as greater celandine can be toxic in high amounts.
  • Before using greater celandine, especially internally, consult with a healthcare professional; as with all herbs, it can interact with medications and has contraindications for specific health conditions.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Avoid using greater celandine during pregnancy and breastfeeding due to potential risks.

Greater Celandine should be used with care, as it contains alkaloids that can be toxic in high doses or prolonged use. Seek advice from a healthcare professional before starting to use this herb if you have a history of liver disease. Discontinue use if symptoms occur. If in doubt, contact us for a chat. We offer a free phone consultation.

*”Hepatoprotective” means able to prevent damage to the liver. This term often describes substances or actions that can help protect the liver from harm and help improve its function.

Further Reading:

Greater Celandine on rxlist listed Greater Celandine

This is a good information page. (RXList)

Some medications that can harm the liver include acetaminophen (Tylenol and others), amiodarone (Cordarone), carbamazepine (Tegretol), isoniazid (INH), methotrexate (Rheumatrex), methyldopa (Aldomet), fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), erythromycin (Erythrocin, Ilosone, others), phenytoin (Dilantin), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor), and many others.






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