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!
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.
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.
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.