Health Benefits of Celandine
In North America, celandine dates back to the year 1672 when it was used for treating warts. But the plant has a longer history; it has been used as a medicinal herb starting from ancient times. Long ago it was used by nomads as a perfume for feet, while today its purgative properties are considerably appreciated.
Description of Celandine plantCelandine (Chelidonium majus) is a herbaceous, perennial herb, found on plains but also in mountainous areas at maximum altitudes of 800 to 1000 meters. It grows on soft, sometimes even sandy soils, in shaded places in forests, bushes or gardens, while developing itself in a ramified fashion and reaching heights of 30-100 cm. Its flowers are yellow and they blossom in the period between May and fall. Its leaves are serrated, similar to oak leaves. All parts of the plant contain latex, a milky, yellowish-orange colored substance that has a bitter taste, which gets darker in color when being in contact with air. The plant is of European origin, (it was discovered near the Mediterranean region). Despite that, however, it has spread out easily to other areas of the world.
Properties and benefits of CelandineCelandine contains alkaloids like chelidonine, homo-chelidonine, oxy-chelidonine, methoxy-chelidonine, sanguinarine, coptisine, protopine, alocryptopine, in a percentage of about 0.2 - 0.5% depending on the part of the plant and on the time of harvesting. It also contains smaller quantities of baberine and sparteine, vitamin C (especially the leaves), resins, essential oils and mineral salts. Chelidonine and homo-chelidonine act in a similar way as morphine, sedative and narcotic on the superior nervous centers. At the same time, they also have a slight stimulating action upon respiration. Chelidonine is also responsible for anti-spastic action that the herb triggers. Sanguinarine from celandine has a stimulating effect on the medullary centers, and it even presents anti-tumoral effects of a colchinic type while the cheleritrine has the property to reduce the arterial pressure and to stimulate intestinal peristalting and the contractions of the uterus.
Apart from the described properties, celandine extracts have a remarkable antibiotic effect on many pathogenic germs. Other actions: calming, anti-septic and anti-spastic.
Treatments and mixturesCelandine is used successfully in treating severe hepatic illnesses, biliary and renal diseases (it eases liver and bile pains). Having a depurative property (of purifying blood), but also a property of de-toxifying the liver, celandine is beneficial to metabolism. Externally, celandine is used to control skin diseases: treating skin tuberculosis, treating wounds, fistulas, psoriasis, warts or callosities. It is also efficient in cases of skin cancer and eczemas that are hard to treat. Celandine can be used as an adjuvant against baldness (alopecia), also having the property of fortifying the hair strands.
When preparing the mixtures that are presented here, the use of the plant's more fragile branches and stems are recommended. These are to be harvested in their full blossoming period (the months of April and May) because that is when the plant contains the highest amount of active elements. It can be dried artificially at temperatures of 35-40 degrees Celsius or in the shade, stretched onto a thin layer and moved around once every three days.
Celandine infusionIt is prepared by boiling a spoonful of grained herb in a cup of water. The infusion is recommended for treating hemorrhoids. In this purpose, two or three cups of tea are to be consumed every day in small drams.
Celandine syrupIs recommended in cases of hepatic afflictions. It is prepared by boiling a liter of water. After it starts bubbling slightly, five grams of dried celandine are added. The pot is covered with a lid and kept in a warm place over night, covered with pillows. The next day it is filtered and mixed with 200g of honey, until the honey dissolves completely. The resulting liquid is put into a bottle. This juice is administered ten times a day, a spoonful every hour. A wooden spoon is to be used. The syrup is well-known for the fact that it regenerates hepatic cells. The treatment should only be repeated after a pause of six months.
Celandine tinctureIt is a homeopathic remedy recommended for treating icterus, biliary dyskinesias, biliary calculosis, bladder atony, spleen and intestinal diseases. For controlling hysteria, insomnia or restlessness, it can be mixed with tincture of valerian or St. John's wort. Against warts, callosities, skin irritations, keratitis or skin cancer, a poultice will be applied on the affected area. In cases of uterine fibroids, the tincture poultice will be applied on the lower abdominal area.
Fresh celandine juiceTo obtain celandine juice, the stems, leaves and flowers have to be washed, then the liquid is squeezed out of them. It is only used externally. It is a good caustic against warts. The juice can be effective in cases of cataracts, cornea spots, or retinal bleedings. In this case, a moist celandine leaf is used from which the juice is squeezed out. The liquid is spread out toward the corner of the eye. The eyes are kept shut at this time. The same juice can be used for weak sight or overstressed eyes.
WarningOverdoses are not recommended since they can trigger toxic reactions.
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