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Botanic Name: Chelidonium Majus


Chelidonium majus, commonly known as the greater celandine or tetterwort (in America, the latter refers to Sanguinaria canadensis), is the only species in the genus Chelidonium, family Papaveraceae. The lesser celandine is not closely related, but its family, the Ranunculaceae, is allied to the Papaveraceae (Order Ranunculales). The greater celandine is native to Europe and the Mediterranean basin. It is also widespread in North America, having been brought there by settlers as a herbal remedy for skin problems such as warts as early as 1672.

The latex could be employed as a caustic for healing small open wounds. Early studies of celandine showed that it causes contact dermatitis and eye irritation, particularly from contact with the red to yellow latex. This effect has not been observed in animal studies; no inflammation was observed in rabbit eye tests. The latex can leave a non-permanent stain. Stains on skin of the fingers are sometimes reported to cause eye irritation after rubbing the eyes or handling contact lenses. When any part of the plant causes eye irritation, wash it out with clear water and when needed seek medical help. The latex is also known to stain clothes.

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