Celandine herb health benefit Latin name: Chelidonium majus - Other name: Tetterwort
July 1 2016 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Only the above-ground parts of celandine plant have been tested for medicinal value. This herb is used to treat several inflammatory diseases and tumors. Celandine enjoys a long-standing reputation as a medicinal herb. The Roman scholar Pliny mentions its healing power, and in the 14th century it was taken in liquid form as a blood tonic and was thought to sharpen sight and other senses.
   I do not have personal experience using this plant as a medicinal herb but I present some of the research in this article.

Historical Uses
Historically Celandine has been used for appetite loss and liver and gallbladder problems. Celandine is frequently used for a wide variety of other ailments, including stomach problems, intestinal polyps, chest pain (angina), cramps, asthma, hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure, gout, and water retention. The fresh roots are sometimes chewed to relieve toothache, and a powder derived from the roots can be applied to ease tooth extraction. The herb has also been used for an assortment of skin conditions, such as rashes, scabies, and warts. In China, it is used to correct irregular menstrual periods.

Celandine side effects, adverse reactions
Anecdotal cases of liver injury from celandine use have been reported.

Celandine Extract
Celandine is available as an extract containing 2% Chelidonin.

Traditional phytotherapy of the Albanians of Lepushe, Northern Albanian Alps.
Fitoterapia. 2005.
An ethnobotanical and ethnopharmacognostic survey has been carried out in one of the most isolated mountainous area in Europe: the village of Lepushe and its surrounding territory, in the Northern Albanian Alps. Approximately 70 botanical taxa and 160 preparations, mainly derived from plants, but also derived from animal products or minerals, have been recorded. The archaic belief of the signature still plays a very important role in the present ethnomedicine of the Albanians of Lepushe. As a consequence, aerial parts of Chelidonium majus - celandine - are used to treat jaundice; leaves of the fern Phyllitis scolopendrium are thought to be able to treat every respiratory and lung affection; the bulbs of Lilium martagon are used to treat liver diseases; jasper is rubbed into milk and given to sheep to drink and, the membrane of a hen's muscular stomach is used to treat human kidney stones.

Stylopine from Chelidonium majus inhibits LPS-induced inflammatory mediators in RAW 264.7 cells.
Arch Pharm Res. 2004.
Stylopine is a major component of the leaf of Chelidonium majus, which has been used for the removal of warts, papillomas and condylomas, as well as the treatment of liver disease, in oriental countries. Stylopine per se had no cytotoxic effect in unstimulated RAW 264.7 cells, but concentration-dependently reduced nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), and the IL-6 production and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) activity caused by the LPS stimulation. The levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and COX-2 protein expressions were markedly suppressed by stylopine in a concentration dependent manner. These results suggest that stylopine suppress the NO and PGE2 production in macrophages by inhibiting the iNOS and COX-2 expressions. These biological activities of stylopine may contribute to the anti-inflammatory activity of Chelidonium majus.

Acute hepatitis induced by Greater Celandine (Chelidonium majus).
Scand J Gastroenterol. 2003.
We report on two cases of acute liver injury along with the intake of Greater Celandine (Chelidonium majus), a well-known herbal remedy frequently used for irritable bowel syndrome. All other possible causes of acute liver damage were excluded in both patients. In one patient, cholestatic hepatitis recurred rapidly after involuntary re-exposition. Both patients fully recovered after the withdrawal of Greater Celandine. The two cases add to the existing database about the potential hepatotoxicity of drugs containing Greater Celandine and raise the question whether the approval of this drug should be re-evaluated in the light of lacking evidence for a therapeutic benefit.