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This image of celandine comes from De historia stirpium commentarii insigne, a book produced by Leonhart Fuchs in 1542. This book was one of the most celebrated herbals from the sixteenth century, which features over 500 woodcut illustrations, all of which were hand-colored.  This book is available in the John R. Martin Rare Book Room in Hardin Library 

Celandine (Chelidonium majus)

Celandine is native in parts of Asia, Central and Southern Europe, and has naturalized in North America.  This perennial member of the Poppy family is commonly used in Korean and Chinese medicine (Gilca et al., 2010; Kim et al., 2012; Pantano et al., 2017), but also has a long history of use in Europe.  

Current Use

Clinical data supports the use of celandine to treat liver diseases, gastric ulcer and spasm, oral infections, rheumatic diseases, tuberculosis and jaundice (Deljanin et al., 2016). A limited number of cases of hepatitis from oral administration of celandine have been reported, and toxicity of the plant is still being researched (Moro et al., 2009; Pantano et al., 2017). 

Historical Use

According to Medical botany or Descriptions of the more important plants used in medicine, written by Robert Eglesfield Griffith and published in 1847, celandine is known to be effective in “stimulating and healing old and indolent ulcers.” 

Latest Research

  • The Croatian Translation of Flos Medicinae: From Health Instructions with Medicinal Plants to Contemporary Phytotherapy
    by S Inić on August 18, 2023 at 10:00 am

    Medieval European medicine relied on monasteries where ancient medical works were transcribed. Trade routes to the East and the influence of Arab medicine, which supplemented the knowledge of Greco-Roman physicians, enabled the foundation and development of the Salerno Medical School, whose most famous work is Flos medicinae: Regimen sanitatis Salernitanum. This medical textbook, written in verse and drawn up on the basis of ancient sources and empirical experiences of Salerno physicians,…

  • In vitro anthelmintic activity and safety of different plant species against the ovine gastrointestinal nematode Teladorsagia circumcincta
    by Myriam Esteban-Ballesteros on January 25, 2019 at 11:00 am

    The present study was conducted to evaluate the in vitro anthelmintic activity and safety of methanolic and aqueous extracts of 9 plants against the ovine GIN Teladorsagia circumcincta. Initially the ovicidal efficacy of all extracts was tested at 50 mg/ml and at 1%, this last concentration for the methanolic extract of Elettaria cardamomum, by the Egg Hatch Assay. In those extracts with efficacy higher than 95%, the effective concentration required to inhibit 50% of egg hatching (EC(50)) and…

  • Traditional and ethnobotanical dermatology practices in Romania and other Eastern European countries
    by Marilena Gilca on June 18, 2018 at 10:00 am

    The geographic and ecologic specificity of Romania and other Eastern European countries has resulted in the development of an exceptional diversity of medicinal plants. The purpose of this study was to provide an overview of the ethnobotanical dermatology practices based on the use of medicinal plants in this region. The indications, ethnopharmacologic activities, parts used, and administration of 106 medicinal plants are provided. We also discuss the relative importance of these species, using…

  • Ethnopharmacological approach to the herbal medicines of the “Elements Alpha to Delta” in Nikolaos Myrepsos׳ Dynameron. Part II
    by E Valiakos on May 15, 2017 at 10:00 am

    CONCLUSIONS: A total of 277 species have been catalogued, most of which are referred in our previous publication (Valiakos et al., 2015). Among them, 56 plants still play a very important role in medical practice, as they are used as traditional herbal medicines ( This evidence is a proof that the use of medicinal plants remains valuable from the ancient times until today. The recipes, in contrast to older medical compendia, contain precise measurements of ingredients and dosages for…

  • Hepatotoxicity induced by greater celandine (Chelidonium majus L.): a review of the literature
    by F Pantano on April 6, 2017 at 10:00 am

    The available literature assessing Chelidonium majus L. (CM) hepatotoxicity potential, and its risk to benefit assessment has been reviewed in this paper. Identification of significant scientific literature was performed via the following research databases: Cochrane Central, Google Scholar, EMBASE, Medline, Science Direct, Scopus, Web of Science, using the following keywords: “Chelidonium majus”, “greater celandine”, “Hepatotoxicity”, “Liver” “Injury”, “Toxicity” individually investigated and…


Deljanin, M., Nikolic, M., Baskic, D., Todorovic, D., Djurdjevic, P., Zaric, M., Stankovic, M., Todorovic, M., Avramovic, D., & Popovic, S. (2016). Chelidonium majus crude extract inhibits migration and induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in tumor cell lines. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 190: 362–371. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2016.06.056 

Gilca, M., Gaman, L., Panait, E., Stoian, I., & Atanasiu, V. (2010). Chelidonium majus–an integrative review: Traditional knowledge versus modern findings. Forschende Komplementarmedizin  17(5): 241–248. doi:10.1159/000321397 

Kim, D.-S., Kim, S.-J., Kim, M.-C., Jeon, Y.-D., Um, J., & Hong, S.-H. (2012). The therapeutic effect of chelidonic acid on ulcerative colitis. Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin 35(5): 666–671. doi:10.1248/bpb.35.666 

Moro, P. A., Cassetti, F., Giugliano, G., Falce, M. T., Mazzanti, G., Menniti-Ippolito, F., Raschetti, R., & Santuccio, C. (2009). Hepatitis from greater celandine (Chelidonium majus L.): Review of literature and report of a new case. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 124(2): 328–332. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2009.04.036 

Pantano, F., Mannocchi, G., Marinelli, E., Gentili, S., Graziano, S., Busardò, F. P., & di Luca, N. M. (2017). Hepatotoxicity induced by greater celandine (Chelidonium majus L.): A review of the literature. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences 21(1 Suppl): 46–52.