Lesser celandine is a low growing perennial which has hairless stems. In this post, we will talk about Lesser celandine medicinal uses, benefits and side effects.
The heart-shaped leaves are dark, green and fleshy. The flowers start to appear in March-May period. They have bright, yellow, glossy petals. The leaves are in cordate fashion without stipules.
The actinomorphic flowers have three petals. You can see double-flowered varieties also. The stamens and carpels are numerous. After flowering, you see tubers in the leaf axils. It might produce 73 seeds per flower.
Common names of Lesser celandine
The common name of this plant is lesser celandine. It also has the names pilewort, fig buttercup, smallwort, Butter and cheese, and Bright eye.
Botanical name and family of celandine plant
The botanical names of this plant are Ficaria verna and Ranunculus Ficaria. It belongs to the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae.
Geological places where Ranunculus Ficaria grows
Native to Siberia, Western Asia, and Northern Africa, people brought it to North America. It is also widespread throughout Britain. In Western Asia, you can find it in Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Iran. In North Africa, it grows wild in Morocco and Algeria.
Lesser celandine medicinal uses and benefits
You must take care when you use the lesser celandine due to its toxic nature. You can make an infusion or use it as an ointment.
1. Lesser celandine for hemorrhoids treatment
Since the olden times, people have used the Lesser Celandine for treating hemorrhoids due to its astringent nature. The method of use included both external and internal application. They make the decoction of the pilewort from the dried leaves and crushed roots.
They have this twice a day. Then, a paste made of the roots and fresh leaves. They apply this topically at the spot of most discomfort twice a day. This will help to draw the fluids out of the piles and shrink them.
You can also apply the paste to treat bleeding gums and wounds to help speed up the healing process. The smallwort draws out the accumulated fluids in the wounds. This will bring fast relief to the person with the piles.
2. Ranunculus Ficaria is a cure for ulcers
The Ranunculus Ficaria has the ability to soothe the lining of the intestine. It will calm the spasms and rectify the disturbances and improve the digestive health of the person. This is why they use the lesser celandine to treat people having ulcers.
They make a decoction of the dried leaves and roots of the plant. Then, they drink this in the morning and the evening. The smallwort helps heal all the ulcers in a short time.
3. Rectify perineum damage after childbirth
The damage to the perineum is inevitable during childbirth and women know how painful it is. The perineum damage needs repair, and the best thing for this is the use of Lesser Celandine.
The extract from the plant finds use as a tonic to boost the health of the perineum. Add two drops of the extract to one glass of water. Have this three times a day. This will help to heal the perineum in a short time.
4. Tooth cleaner
This is one of the cosmetic applications of the smallwort. Many people have stains on their teeth. This happens due to drinking tea and coffee or smoking cigarettes. The paste of the smallwort helps remove these stains. Make the paste by crushing the fresh leaves of the lesser celandine with some water.
Brush your teeth with this morning and night. This will remove the discolorations in a short time. Make sure you use the fresh leaves because the ripe leaves are poisonous.
5. Treat corns and warts
It is easy to treat corns and warts with the Lesser celandine extract. The abrasive nature of the sap of the smallwort helps to remove the extra layers of dead skin. Within a short time, the corns and warts will disappear from the top of your skin.
6. Treat diseases of the chest
People suffer from asthma, shortness of breath, respiratory diseases, and other diseases of the chest. The use of Lesser celandine extract helps to ease the symptoms of asthma and give relief. The lesser celandine helps by opening the airways and removes the chest congestion. This helps improve the breathing conditions, and the person feels better.
7. Ranunculus Ficaria is a cure for scurvy
You can cure scurvy with ease by adding some vitamin C to your diet. If you avoid vitamin C in your diet for more than three months, then it is possible that you will get scurvy.
Make a tea with the dried leaves of the Ranunculus Ficaria. You can do this by steeping one teaspoon of the leaves in one cup of boiling water. Filter and drink. This will give you the vitamin C and help you overcome scurvy.
Preparing lesser celandine for consumption
When you pick the Lesser Celandine, make sure you pick the fresh and immature leaves. These are good, but the older riper leaves are poisonous. You can use water or alcohol to prepare an infusion with the dried leaves and root.
To make the infusion, take the dried leaves in a glass jar having a tight top lid. Put alcohol inside the jar. Add leaves and stir it. Close the lid and set aside for 24 hours. Open the lid and shake the contents. Stir it and let it air for 10 minutes.
Close the lid and set aside. Do this for one week. Then, you can leave the jar for another two to three weeks but give it an occasional shake. After 20-25 days, open the jar; filter the contents to get the dark liquid. Close and store it in a cool, dark place.
Side effects of the Ranunculus Ficaria
All parts of the plant are poisonous. The toxins get destroyed by heat so cooking them makes them safe. Many grazing animals die due to ingesting the poisonous leaves. If you touch the damaged leaves of the plant, it will produce itching and rashes on the skin. They can cause damage to the liver if used extensively.