seeds of Chelidonium majus, Nipplewort
Chelidonium majus Samen
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Chelidonium majus, also called the nipplewort, is an herbaceous plant species that belongs to the family Papaveraceae. The plant’s synonyms include Chelidonium cavalerei, Chelidonium dahuricum, and Chelidonium glandiflorum. Other names for the species include tetterwort, greater celandine, and swallowwort. Chelidonium majus is indigenous to Western Asia and most of Europe. Successful naturalization has led to the plant’s extensive growth in North America and North Africa. Chelidonium majus reaches a height of 30 to 120 cm at maturity. The leaves are greyish-blue, pinnate and have several lobes on their margins. Each leaf can grow to a length of 30 cm. Each flower has 4 petals and 2 sepals and often grows in umbels comprising 3 other flowers. Flowers can grow to a length of 18 mm. The plant’s seeds are small, black and occur in the form of capsules. Prickling any plant part leads to sap that’s either orange or yellow oozing out. Chelidonium majus contains many alkaloids that make ingesting any parts of it toxic for the body. The plant, however, is of great interest to Pharmacists who seek to figure whether its chemical compounds can be of medicinal value. Examples of alkaloids present in the herb include stylopine, chelidonine, allocryptonine, and sanguinarine. Drugs whose primary ingredients derive from the plant have antimicrobial, analgesic, sedative and cholagogic effects. Chelidonium majus is one of the plants that provide alternative cancer medications. An example of such a drug is Ukrain. Chelidonium majus was also useful in the making of traditional herbal remedies in the past; a practice that goes on to the present day. Many believe that extracts from the plant can treat warts as well as dyspepsia and gallstones. Chelidonium majus grows best in temperate regions but will still thrive if one grows it under conditions favourable to its growth.
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