Greater celandine has a long history of herbal use[4]. Traditionally it was employed as an ophthalmic to treat and clear the eyesight whilst in modern herbal medicine it is used more as a mild sedative, antispasmodic and detoxifying herb, relaxing the muscles of the bronchial tubes, intestines and other organs[254]. The latex is much used externally to treat warts. Caution should be employed, especially when the plant is used internally however, because it contains toxic alkaloids[7, 21]. The leaves and the sap are acrid, alterative, anodyne, antispasmodic, caustic, cholagogue, diaphoretic, diuretic, hydrogogue, narcotic, purgative[4, 7, 9, 21, 46, 165, 238]. They are used in the treatment of bronchitis, whooping cough, asthma, jaundice, gallstones and gallbladder pains[254]. The plant is harvested in the spring as it comes into flower, it is best used fresh[7], but can also be dried for later use[9]. The roots can also be used, these are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[9]. The plant has anticancer properties and is analgesic[4, 218]. It is an important component of a stomach ulcer drug[218]. The plant has an abundant acrid bright-orange sap that stains the skin strongly and is powerfully irritant[4]. It is used as an external treatment to get rid of warts, ringworm and corns[13, 187, 222, 244] and has also been used to remove films from the cornea of the eye[4]. The plant contains the alkaloid chelidonine, which is similar to the alkaloid papaverine found in poppies. This alkaloid has antispasmodic and sedative effects on the bile ducts and bronchi. However, results have been inconsistent, especially if the preparation is not fresh[244]. The plant also contains the alkaloid sparteine, which restores normal rhythm to feeble arrhythmic myocardia[207]. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Chelidonium majus for liver and gallbladder complaints (see [302] for critics of commission E).