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Greater Celandine/Swallowwort - any ideas for uses? experience?

 
pollinator
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Location: Hilversum, Netherlands, urban, zone 7
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Hi everybody,

In our community garden we have a lot of perennial plants that people don't know what they are, but they are in the beds (the people who started the garden have since left). Imagine my delight then, when today as I was showing a friend around, she squealed in joy at these beautiful yellow flowers and said she used them as a kid to get rid of warts. Prior to that, people had been snubbing the plant as 'oh, just weeds'. (I'm working on spreading the permie attitude )

So, I went home and looked it up. It's greater celandine or swallowwort.

Wikipedia tells me : 'It was formerly used by gypsies 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 majus has traditionally been used for treatment of various inflammatory diseases including atopic dermatitis (ezcema). It is also traditionally used in the treatment of gallstones and dyspepsia.'

So, pretty potent stuff not to be taken lightly.
Of all these uses, I'm most likely to have use for it for the eczema.

First - I was wondering if anybody had experience with this plant for eczema? How would you prepare it?

Second - has anybody incorporated this plant into a permaculture design, on purpose? I'm pretty sure that this is an opportunistic lady, it's pretty rampant.

Thank you for your thoughts!





 
pollinator
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Location: Anjou ,France
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We have the lesser Celandine here in large numbers its an important plant for the bees as its flowers so early . I would be interested in uses for that also . Edible ?
 
Posts: 157
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Has anyone here actually used it successfully to remove warts?
My mother said when she was young she had many warts and her mother took her to a man who made all the warts disappear, she has no idea how though unfortunately.
 
gardener & author
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Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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My father swore by celandine to remove warts, but I never got any warts of my own back then, so I don't remember using it. I assume he did and it worked, since he was such an advocate.
 
Shaz Jameson
pollinator
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I've not used it for warts myself, but my friend has.

I'd have more use for it for eczema I believe.

And of course the bee plant, hadn't though of that (shame on me), that's reason enough to include it in the garden.

As for whether it's edible or not, I'm browsing around hte web and it seems to be mainly used for serious digestive issues, so not something you want to eat when healthy. Not edible.

 
Mother Tree
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I dug out my Juliette de Baiiracli Levy books. She doesn't mention eczema, but she does give two slightly different recipes for making an eye lotion in the two books I have.

In the Illustrated Herbal Handbook she says

To make a soothing and healing eye lotion, boil two dessertspoons of cut herb - including the flowers when possible - in one pint of water. When cold, add one part of the herb brew to one pint of raw milk, and bathe the eyes in this. Bathe the eyes thrice daily. For warts: use the raw juice pressed from the main stems, and rubbed directly onto the warts. Renew three times daily.



She recommends that the herb is used only externally.

In The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable she says

Use Treatment of severe eye ailments, especially cataract. Not recommended for ulcers. Cure of warts.

Dose Make a lotion by boiling approximately two tablespoonfuls of cut herb in one pint of water. Brew well. Add two teaspoonfuls honey. When cold add one part of herb brew to one part of raw milk. Bathe the eyes thrice daily. For warts, break the main stems and apply twice daily the raw exuding acrid juice; allow the juice to dry upon the warts.



I also dug out my copy of The Hamlyn Guide to Edible and Medicinal Plants of Britain and Northern Europe, which says

An infusion (1/2 to 1 tablespoon to 1 litre water) or decoction (1 - 2 teaspoons finely cut herb to 1 litre of water, simmer for 3 - 5 minutes, keep for fifteen minutes) 3 times daily against stomach pain, indigestion or gallstones. A stronger dose will be harmful. This drug is contained in many proprietary medicines.



I have no personal experience using this herb so please use any of the info I shared at your own risk.
 
Shaz Jameson
pollinator
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Thanks Burra, that's really helpful! I guess it's also reassuring that not many have come forth with personal experience, makes me feel like I wasn't missing out totoo much...
 
author
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Here is something from the first edition of my book, "Herbal Medicine From the Heart of the Earth". I have used it for warts for myself and others (I am a naturopath.) It is an escharotic. This means it will eat up tissue. Escharotic: Caustic or corrosive agent capable of sloughing off tissue. Because it is an escharotic, it is used to eat up warts and external cancers for this reason. The Russians have been studying this herb for both external and internal use for some time and you should be able to find their research data on line. I have read the research online in the past and assume it is still available. It is a plant I would not use long term. Only short term and due to it having an escharotic action, I personally do not use it internally usually as there are other choices. In case you do not check out the link below, I will at least copy the contraindications here for you to read, so you see why I say it may not be good to use it long term internally.

Contraindications: Do not use in pregnancy due to the alkaloids, chelidonine, sparteine, protopine, chelerythrine and berberine. Animal studies have shown these alkaloids to be uterine stimulants. There have been some cases of Celandine inducing cholestatic hepatitis and some believe it is due to Celandine having greater choleretic activity than cholagogue activity and have remedied it by using it in conjunction with stronger cholagogues. I would recommend that there are other herbs that can be used rather than Celandine for internal use. If you decide to use it, watch lab values for liver enzyme levels.

http://www.herbaltransitions.com/materiamedica/Chelidonium.htm
 
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