Greater celandine, Chelidonium majus hero image

Hashtags for this post, hashtags for this plant:

Instagram hashtags

Facebook hastags

  • #naturewitchery
  • #plantloversofinstagram
  • #plantmagiclife
  • #herbwitchcraft
  • #healingherbgarden
  • #celandine
  • #wartwort
  • #liverplant
celandine - chelidonium majus - herb

Greater celandine, Chelidonium majus

There are two plants in this online plant handbook with celandine as their common name in English, lesser celandine and greater celandine. Although their names would suggest otherwise, these two are not related. In Dutch, their names aren’t even similar. They belong to different families and do not really look alike either, apart from the colour of their flowers. One is edible, while the other is definitely not.

They are both native to the area I was born, so I have both known them for as long as I can remember. And they have different properties as well. Hence, I work with both of these plants and they both ended up in my plant vademecum. This monograph tells you about greater celandine, Chelidonium majus.

I remember very well that my cousin had a wart and that my grandmother took him towards a plant at the back of the garden. It literally grew in the fence and had yellow flowers. My grandmother carefully broke off a piece of the plant and dabbed the wart with the juice that came out of the stem. Then she instructed my cousin to touch the wart with the juice of this plant at least times a day. After a few weeks, the wart was completely gone. That was my first encounter with greater celandine.

Healing effects of greater celandine, Chelidonium majus

Later on in life, I found out that celandine has much broader medicinal properties. Like many plants with yellow flowers, it has an impressive effect on the liver and gallbladder. One of its effects on these organs is that this herb decramps smooth muscle cells and it does that in other organs as well. This makes it very useful for other conditions in which cramping plays a role. Think of asthma, stomach and intestinal cramps and related indications. Celandine has been used for eye conditions and much more since ancient times.

Magical effects of this plant

The magical properties of greater celandine are also quite extensive. It protects you in general and during wars specifically. With celandine by your side, success is assured. It also makes sure that you don’t get stuck, literally and figuratively. Chelidonium majus can also predict the course of a disease. In short, this plant is a valuable ally. I will tell you more about it in this plant monograph.

Botanical description Celandine, Chelidonium majus

Greater celandine has a highly branching, but small rhizome. The rhizome is thick and succulent. Celandine can proliferate a bit. The stems are hollow and fragile, with woolly hair, which secrete a stinking dark yellow to orange juice when broken off or crushed. The leaves are green on top and blue-green underneath and are imparipinnate – in this case there are 5 or 7 leaf segments – or scalloped.
Celandine has yellow flowers, 2 to 2.5 cm in size, with four petals that are arranged decussately. The flowers stand in loosely arranged umbels in the leaf axils at the end of the stems and have a large number of yellow stamens. After flowering, thin legumes with small black seeds appear.

Interesting facts

Ants love the white appendages of the seeds. Hence, they drag the seeds everywhere and help spreading the plant.
Celandine seems to like being around people. You often see this plant near buildings.
The name chelidonium comes from swallow. Celandine is associated with the swallow because it emerges when the swallows return in the spring and dies when the swallows leave for winter.
Alchemists put a different spin on that name. They made it coeli donum, or gift from heaven, because the colour of the sap made them think the plant contained gold.

It's not allowed to copy content of this website

Become a member for free

and view hidden content

Greater celandine, Chelidonium majus image