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Celandine, also known as Chelidonium majus, is a medicinal plant that has been used in folk medicine for centuries. Its active ingredients are versatile and have found a firm place in both traditional and modern medicine.

Celandine: the discovery

The use of celandine as a medicinal plant dates back to ancient times. It is believed that the plant got its name from “chelidonia”, the Greek word for “swallow”, as it was observed that swallows used it to clean the eyes of their young. In medieval medicine, it was prized by herbalists for its bright yellow milky sap, which turns orange when exposed to air, and was used for various medicinal purposes.

Medicinal forms and dosage

Celandine can be consumed in various forms:

  • Tea: As a rule, a teaspoon of dried celandine leaves is poured over a cup of hot water and left to infuse for around 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Tincture: A few drops of the tincture are dissolved in water and taken several times a day.
  • Ointment: For external use, an ointment is made from the extract of the plant.

However, the exact dosage should always be discussed with a doctor or alternative practitioner, as the plant contains strong active ingredients and can cause side effects.

Celandine: Healing effect

It is traditionally used for various illnesses, including:

  • Liver and biliary tract disorders: It is thought to stimulate the production of bile, helping to relieve symptoms such as jaundice and bile stasis.
  • Gastrointestinal disorders: Due to its antispasmodic properties, it can help with stomach cramps, indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Skin problems: Used externally, it helps with skin conditions such as warts, eczema and other skin blemishes.
  • Wound healing: It can be used to promote the healing of small cuts and abrasions.

This wide range of applications makes celandine a versatile natural remedy in herbal medicine.

Recommendations for use

Celandine should primarily be taken when needed, i.e. for acute complaints or to support the treatment of chronic illnesses. However, it is important to always discuss the intake with a health expert beforehand.

Celandine: contraindications

It is not recommended for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and children. People with liver disease should also be careful, as the alkaloids can put a strain on the liver.

Additional dietary supplements and medicinal plants

Other medicinal plants such as milk thistle for the liver or camomile for gastrointestinal complaints can be used as supplements. A balanced diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit supports the effect of celandine.

Celandine: side effects and overdose

Possible side effects of celandine include nausea, diarrhea and dizziness. In the event of an overdose, more serious symptoms such as liver damage or neurological disorders can occur. A severe overdose can even lead to life-threatening health problems such as liver damage. It is therefore important not to exceed the recommended dosage and to use it under medical supervision.

Naturopathy and celandine

In naturopathy, it is often used in phytotherapy. It is a component of many traditional recipes for treating the ailments mentioned above. The plant is often used in combination with other medicinal herbs to increase its effectiveness and broaden the spectrum of healing effects.

Precautions and responsible use

Due to its strong ingredients and possible side effects, it is important to use celandine responsibly. An accurate diagnosis should be made before use and ideally use should be under the supervision of a qualified health advisor. Taking it together with other medicines or medicinal herbs should also be discussed with a doctor to avoid unwanted interactions.


Celandine is a remarkable medicinal plant with a long history in traditional medicine. It is prized for its ability to treat a variety of ailments, especially those related to the liver and skin. Despite its many benefits, it is important to use it with caution and always seek medical advice before treatment. If the correct dosage and possible side effects are observed, it can be a valuable addition to natural healing methods.

Published on: 8. May 2024


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