Chelidonium majus, (commonly known as greater celandine, nipplewort, swallowwort, or tetterwort, which also refers to Sanguinaria canadensis) is a herbaceous perennial plant, one of two species in the genus Chelidonium. It is native to Europe and western Asia and introduced widely in North America. In Devon it is also known as St John's wort.
Greater celandine is a perennial herb with an erect habit, and reaches 30–120 cm (12–47 in) high. The blue-grey leaves are pinnate (feather-like) with lobed and wavy margins, up to 30 cm (12 in) long. When injured, the plant exudes a yellow to orange latex, or sap.
The flowers consist of four yellow petals, each about 18 mm (0.71 in) long, with two sepals. A double-flowered variety occurs naturally. The flowers appear from late spring to summer, May to September (in UK), in umbelliform cymes of about 4 flowers.
Taxonomy and naming
The greater celandine is one of the many species described by the father of taxonomy, Carl Linnaeus, in volume one of his Species Plantarum in 1753. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, celandine comes from Late Latin celidonia, from earlier Latin chelidonia or chelidonium, and ultimately from Ancient Greek χελιδόνιον, from χελιδών (chelidṓn) "swallow". Ancient writers said that the flower bloomed when the swallows returned and faded when they left.
Distribution and habitat
Chelidonium majus grows in most regions of Europe. It is also found in North Africa: Macaronesia, Algeria and Morocco. In Western Asia it is found in the Caucasus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Siberia, Iran and Turkey.
It is considered an aggressive invasive plant in parts of North America, and an invasive plant in other areas. In Wisconsin, for example, it is a restricted plant. Control is obtained mainly via pulling or spraying the plant before seed dispersal.
The whole plant is toxic in moderate doses as it contains a range of isoquinoline alkaloids; use in herbal medicine requires the correct dose. The main alkaloid present in the herb and root is coptisine. Other alkaloids present include methyl 2'-(7,8-dihydrosanguinarine-8-yl)acetate, allocryptopine, stylopine, protopine, norchelidonine, berberine, chelidonine, sanguinarine, chelerythrine, and 8-hydroxydihydrosanguinarine. Sanguinarine is particularly toxic with an LD50 of 18 mg per kg body weight (IP in rats). Caffeic acid derivatives, such as caffeoylmalic acid, are also present.
The aerial parts and roots of greater celandine are used in herbalism. The above-ground parts are gathered during the flowering season and dried at high temperatures. The root is harvested in autumn between August and October and dried. The fresh rhizome is also used. Celandine has a hot and bitter taste. Preparations are made from alcoholic and hot aqueous extractions (tea). The related plant bloodroot has similar chemical composition and uses as greater celandine.
As far back as Pliny the Elder and Dioscorides (1st century CE) this herb has been recognized as a useful detoxifying agent. The root has been chewed to relieve toothache. John Gerard's Herball (1597) states that "the juice of the herbe is good to sharpen the sight, for it cleanseth and consumeth away slimie things that cleave about the ball of the eye and hinder the sight and especially being boiled with honey in a brasen vessell."
It was formerly used by some Romani people as a foot refresher; modern herbalists use its purgative properties. The modern herbalist Juliette de Baïracli Levy recommended greater celandine diluted with milk for the eyes and the latex for getting rid of warts. Chelidonium was a favourite herb of the French herbalist Maurice Mességué. Chelidonium majus has traditionally been used for treatment of various inflammatory diseases including atopic dermatitis. It is also traditionally used in the treatment of gallstones and dyspepsia.
- "Chelidonium minus L.". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2018-07-28 – via The Plant List.
- "Chelidonium majus subsp. grandiflorum (DC.) Printz". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2018-07-28 – via The Plant List.
- "Chelidonium majus". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 16 December 2017.
- Hanzlik, P.J. (1920). "The pharmacology of chelidonin, a neglected alkaloid of chelidonium, or tetterwort". Journal of the American Medical Association. 75 (20): 1324–1325. doi:10.1001/jama.1920.02620460022007.
- Grigson, Geoffrey (1975). The Englishman's Flora. St Albans: Paladin. p. 59. ISBN 0586082093.
- Reader's Digest Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of Britain. Reader's Digest. 1981. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-276-00217-5.
- Linnaeus C (1753). "Tomus I". Species Plantarum (in Latin). Stockholm: Laurentii Salvii. p. 505.
- "Swallow". Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 1989.
- "Chapter NR 40 INVASIVE SPECIES IDENTIFICATION, CLASSIFICATION AND CONTROL" (PDF). wisconsin.gov. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Invasive Plant Atlas of New England". Retrieved 2015-06-03.
- Gruenwald, Joerg (2000). PDR for Herbal Medicines. Thomson PDR. ISBN 978-1-56363-361-4.
- Cahlikova L., Opletal L., Kurfurst M., Macakova K., Kulhankova A., Host'alkova A.,"Acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase inhibitory compounds from Chelidonium majus (Papaveraceae)." Natural Product Communications. 5 (11) (pp 1751–1754), 2010. Date of Publication: 2010.
- Li X.-L., Yao J.-Y., Zhou Z.-M., Shen J.-Y., Ru H.-S., Liu X.-L.,"Activity of the chelerythrine, a quaternary benzo[c]phenanthridine alkaloid from Chelidonium majus L. on Dactylogyrus intermedius." Parasitology Research. 109 (1) (pp 247-252), July 2011
- Park J.E., Cuong T.D., Hung T.M., Lee I., Na M., Kim J.C., Ryoo S., Lee J.H., Choi J.S., Woo M.H., Min B.S.,"Alkaloids from Chelidonium majus and their inhibitory effects on LPS-induced NO production in RAW264.7 cells". Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 21 (23) (pp 6960-6963), 2011. Date of Publication: 01 Dec 2011.
- Golob, Peter; Caroline Moss; Melanie Dales; Alex Fidgen; Jenny Evans; Irene Gudrups (1999). The use of spices and medicinals as bioactive protectants for grains. FAO Agricultural Services Bulletin. 137. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization. ISBN 978-92-5-104294-6. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- Hahn, R.; Nahrstedt, A. (1993). "Hydroxycinnamic Acid Derivatives, Caffeoylmalic and New Caffeoylaldonic Acid Esters, from Chelidonium majus*,1". Planta Medica. 59 (1): 71–5. doi:10.1055/s-2006-959608. PMID 17230338.
- "Assessment report on Chelidonium majus L., herba" (PDF). European Medicines Agency. January 20, 2012.
- Rogelj, B.; et al. (1998). "Chelidocystatin, a novel phytocystatin from Chelidonium majus". Phytochemistry. 49 (6): 1645–9. doi:10.1016/s0031-9422(98)00281-7. PMID 9862139.
- "Celandine". American Cancer Society. August 2011. Retrieved September 2013. Check date values in:
- Edzard Ernst (14 October 2012). "A telling story about "alternative" cancer cures and their purveyors". Retrieved December 4, 2012.
- Chevallier, Andrew (1996). The encyclopedia of medicinal plants. New York: DK Publishing. p. 185. ISBN 978-0-7894-1067-2.
- Grieve, Maud (1971). A Modern Herbal: The Medicinal, Culinary, Cosmetic and Economic Properties, Cultivation and Folk-lore of Herbs, Grasses, Fungi, Shrubs, & Trees with All Their Modern Scientific Uses, Volume 1.
- Howard, Michael (1987-05-21). Traditional Folk Remedies. Century Paperbacks. Ebury Press. pp. 146–147. ISBN 978-0-7126-1731-4.
- Bailes M., "The Healing Garden", ISBN 978-0-7318-0753-6
- Gabsik Yang; Kyungjin Lee; Mi-Hwa Lee; So-Hyung Kim; In-Hye Ham; Ho-Young Choi (2011). "Inhibitory effects of Chelidonium majus extract on atopic dermatitis-like skin lesions in NC/Nga mice". Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 138 (2): 398–403. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2011.09.028. PMID 21963561.
- Gabriela Mazzanti; Antonella di Sotto; Antonio Franchitto; Caterina Loredana Mammola; Paola Mariani; Sabina Mastrangelo; Francesca Menniti-Ippolito; Annabella Vitalone (2009). "Chelidonium majus is not hepatotoxic in Wistar rats, in a 4 weeks feeding experiment". Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 126 (3): 518–524. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2009.09.004. PMID 19761826.
- Rousseau, Jacques 1945 Le Folklore Botanique De Caughnawaga. Contributions de l'Institut botanique l'Universite de Montreal 55:7-72 (p. 45)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chelidonium (Papaveraceae).|
|Wikispecies has information related to Chelidonium (Papaveraceae)|
|Wikiversity has bloom time data for Chelidonium majus on the Bloom Clock|