Celandine (Chelidonium majus) has been used traditionally as an herbal remedy for liver diseases, many ailments of the digestive system and for eye irritations. It was used internally to support the liver and bile duct and protect against liver damage caused by hepatitis. It has also been used to stimulate digestion and treating cramps related to the digestive system.
The main active ingredient found in greater celandine is the alkaloid chelidonin, a substance not unlike papaverine found in the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). Chelidonin has an antispasmodic effect and seems to specifically target the bile duct and bronchi. Furthermore, the substance has mild tranquilizing properties.
Precautions: The herb is contraindicated for children and pregnant and lactating women. Any use of it for more than two weeks is discouraged if the herb is used on its own, in combination with other medicinal plants or herbs it may possibly be used for longer periods.
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