This section is from the book "Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by W. Hale White. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics..
Chelidonium. - Synonym. - Celandine. The entire plant, Chel-idonium majus Linne (nat. ord. Papaveraceae).
Europe; naturalized in North America.
Root several-headed, branching, reddish-brown; stem about 50 cm. long, light-green, hairy; leaves about 15 cm. long, thin, petio-late, the upper ones smaller and sessile, light-green, on the lower side glaucous, lyrate-pinnatifid, the pinnae ovate-oblong, obtuse, coarsely crenate or incised and the terminal one often three-lobed; flowers in small, long pedun-cled umbels with two sepals and four yellow petals; capsule linear, two-valved and many seeded. The fresh plant contains a saffron-colored milk-juice, and has an unpleasant odor and acrid taste.
1) Chelerythrine, C21H17No4. (2) Sanguinarine, C29H15No4 (See P. 450.) (3) Chelidonine, C20H9No5. (4) Protopine, C20H17No5, also contained in Opium and Sanguinaria. (5) Chehdoxanthin, Chelidonic and Chelidoninic Acids.
Dose, 15 to 60 gr.; 1. to 4. gm.
Celandine has been found useful in jaundice, apparently possessing a stimulating effect upon the hepatic secretions. It is a somewhat irregularly acting purgative, giving rise to watery motives, but at the same time to griping pains. It was the chief ingredient in the old Decoctum ad Ictericos of the Edinburgh Pharmacopoeia.