WILD FOODIES' HOME PAGE
IFFY EDIBLES - Proceed at your own risk
LESSER CELANDINE -
CAUTION: All parts of the plant are poisonous. The toxins are unstable and of low toxicity, they are easily destroyed by heat or by drying. The sap can cause irritation to the skin. Do not use internally. Stop using the herb if breathing problems or chest & throat tightness .
EDIBLE: leaves & root - Young leaves in spring - raw or cooked as a potherb[2, 74, 105, 183]. The first leaves in spring make an excellent salad. The leaves, stalks and buds can be used like spinach, whilst the blanched stems are also eaten[46, 183]. The leaves turn poisonous as the fruit matures. Caution is advised regarding the use of this plant for food, see the notes above on toxicity. Bulbils - cooked and used as a vegetable[9, 105]. The bulbils are formed at the leaf axils and also at the roots[9, 183]. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. The flower buds make a good substitute for capers.
MEDICINAL: Lesser celandine has been used for thousands of years in the treatment of haemorrhoids and ulcers. It is not recommended for internal use because it contains several toxic components. The whole plant, including the roots, is astringent[4, 165, 238]. It is harvested when flowering in March and April and dried for later use. It is widely used as a remedy for piles and is considered almost a specific[4, 238]. An infusion can be taken internally or it can be made into an ointment and used externally[4, 238]. It is also applied externally to perineal damage after childbirth. Some caution is advised because it can cause irritation to sensitive skins.