Homeopathy Papers

Chelidonium majus: The Great Light or the Prometheus Myth

Written by Dragana Blagojevic

Dr. Dragana Blagojevic explores the myths, legends and characteristics of Chelidonium.


In the 16th century, Paracelsus introduced the doctrine of signatures. He said that the powers and the characteristics of plants are revealed through the signature which they carry.


Chelidon (Greek) – SWALLOW

There is an ancient connection between Chelidonium majus and the swallow. Traditionally, there is belief that swallows use the juice of the Chelidonium majus to develop or to strengthen the eyesight of their fledgings. (Hence the popular names: “swallow herb” or “root for the eyes”). Also, the life cycle of the Chelidonium majus coincides with the migratory habits of the swallow.


(The alchemists believed that the Chelidonium majus was a Philosopher’s Stone.)

The Papaveraceae family

(Chelidonium majus belongs to the family Papaveraceae.)

• Mainly grown in northern regions – cold air.

• All members have stems and leaves that contain a well developed system of secretory canals.

• The only representative plant of the genus Chelidonium is Chelidonium majus – herbaceous plant, weed.


• The characteristic sign of recognition for Chelidonium majus is its yellow – orange juice milk.

•When any part of the plant is broken, it exudes an acrid, sticky orange juice with an unpleasant smell.

• Depending on the stage of the plant’s development and the season, the juice can have a colour from light yellow to bright orange. This intense colour gives the brownish color to the fingers, and if it inadvertently comes into contact with your clothing, it can’t be removed, even with boiling – the theme of remorse!

• Even when there is summer drought and the soil is dry, if we break any part of the Chelidonium, yellow – orange juice will flow – the subject of constant anxiety – bile.


The most important healing principles are alkaloids (opium relatives – poppy alkaloids):

• Chelidonine



“The best and the worst of all the plants!”

• If taken in excess quantity – it’s a dangerous poison.

• The symptoms of poisoning include: vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions and paralysis of the respiratory center.

• Animals never touch it – they turn their head when they see it.

The Cult of Chelidonium

• They say that Chelidonium “makes the cry of a man who will die, and the singing of those who will recover.”

• There is also a belief that if a person carries Chelidonium majus, he will overcome all enemies and solve all his problems.

• It’s one of the most powerful weapons of phytotherapy, regardless in which form it is applied.

Fetish plant

• There is a belief that the Chelidonium helps one to escape from unjustified arrest. It attracts the mercy of the court and jury and serves as a protection.

• Amulet for choleric, aggressive people – it’s a symbol of peace and balance.

Plant of the Sun – brings “Sun” in the heart, liver and gallbladder, calms the nervous system and releases of melancholy and sadness.

Healing properties – Indications

• Even Paracelsus observed the similarity between bile juice and Chelidonium juice (color and bitterness) and that similarity was incorporated in his method, known as “Paracelsus Medicine of the Signs”, where he called Chelidonium a bloody plant (suitable for the treatment of blood) and yellow plant (one that can cure jaundice and liver disease).

• Experience has shown that Chelidonium is an excellent cholagogue – stimulator of gallbladder and bile passage.

• The effect on gallbladder is based on the capability of breaking cramps – spasmolytic effect (the effect of alkaloids in the plant).

Chelidonium as a spasmolytic

• It works on all pain crises caused by bile passage disorder, whether on organic basis (where there is objective mechanical obstacles – stone, tumor, etc.) or due to functional problems.

• Asthmatic symptoms – spasmolytic effect on the respiratory system.

• Reduces spasm of blood vessels – good for treatment of angina pectoris, circulatory disorders, arteriosclerosis, hypertension etc.

“Yellow Plant”

• Yellow refers to the solar plexus or third chakra (hind.) – symbolizes the power of fire, dynamism, movement.

• In medical terms, solar plexus, or Plexus coeliacus is a complex network of nerves located in the abdomen.

“The Liver – the seat of Anger”

Chelidonium symbolizes the choleric nature (“flooded with bile”). I have already mentioned that when any part of the plant is broken, it exudes an acrid, sticky orange juice.

The liver is the main organ for metabolism of harmful products (or detoxification), and due to hepatic failure, there are several important symptoms:

• Aggr. in 16 h and 4 h (“organic hour”, related with the liver).

• They wake up unrefreshed and irritable (slow metabolism of liver and accumulation of harmful products of metabolism).

• Better from hot drinks (hot milk) – they stimulate liver function.

Yellow – Intellect

• Yellow also symbolizes intellect: light, fast, agile, alert. This brain has a dominant left hemisphere, which is characterized by analytical, logical thinking, rationality, the tendency to criticism, condemnation and skepticism.

• This powerful left brain (mental) results in an equally right somatic (physical) dominance, so that most of Chelidonium symptoms are located on the right side of the body or start on the right and then move to the left.

The Philosopher’s Stone

• At the beginning I mentioned that the yellow juice of Chelidonium (gold color), was fascinating for the medieval alchemists, who called it “Donum Coeli” – the gift from Heaven.

• It was regarded as an ingredient of the Philosopher’s stone or the Philosopher‘s stone itself (according to legend, the philosopher and scientist of the 13 th century – Albert the Great, discovered the Philosopher’s stone and passed it to his student, Thomas Aquinas.)

The Philosopher’s Stone is a symbol of enlightenment and the bliss of Heaven. It is the elixir of life, a symbol of immortality. This theme of immortality is a link to the regeneration of the liver!


• In ancient times, the liver was the seat of the prediction, vision, looking into the future – the wisdom of making the right decisions. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, a healthy liver equals healthy eyes.

• French name for Chelidonium majus is a “Great Light” (Le Grand Eclair).

• However, the person who needs Chelidonium majus, refuses to see the light, he/she is living in the dark (rational, down to earth, with no abstract thoughts).

Why is he/she afraid of light? (The archetype of God’s punishment – Prometheus)

The Great Light” – The Prometheus myth

• Prometheia (Greek) – prediction, forethought.

• It is a well known mythological story of the god Prometheus, who according to legend, made people of clay (he used tears instead of water). In order to improve their lives, Prometheus stole fire from the supreme god Zeus and gave it to mortals (up to that time, people lived in darkness, symbolically).

• Because of his rebel works, Zeus punished the Man and Prometheus. Zeus punished people by sending them Pandora (first wife) in order to bring misfortune to the “House of Man.“ (Pandora’s Box – a symbol of all evil in the world.)

How did Zeus punish Prometheus?

Prometheus Bound

• As eternal punishment for giving fire to the Man, Prometheus was chained to a rock in the Caucasus, where his liver was eaten daily by an eagle,only to be regenerated by night, which, by legend, was due to his immortality. This cycle was repeated continuously (liver – regeneration). Prometheus suffered silently, though he passed through the pains of Hell and torture.Thus, Prometheus became a symbol of eternal human suffering and torture – the symbol of Mankind!

Prometheus as the Archetype

• “Chelidonium persons” have great metaphysical anxiety. They cannot rationalize why it is happening, as it is constantly present in the unconscious (in Chinese Medicine, the liver is responsible for the depression).

Rubric of Chelidonium: Mind, Anxiety, allowing no rest.

(It is day and night anxiety).

• Also, Chelidonium people have feelings of guilt for the death of other people (the archetype of the sentence – Pandora’s Box).

The fear of being caught in his own actions (the archetypal, the connection with a stolen fire).

• They have a great uneasiness in the abdomen, as if about to go crazy (archetypal, eagle which ate Prometheus’s liver).

Aversion to talk (the archetypal, the connection to the silent suffering of Prometheus)

The Theme of Remorse

• Chelidonium people have the feeling that they have committed a great crime, and they can’t calm down.

Rubric: Mind, insecure, uncertain, scared, anxiety; of conscience (as if guilty of a crime).

What are the dreams of Chelidonium?

• Dream of death, burial.
• Dream of corpses, graves, that they would be killed.
To bury people alive.
To have buried themselves alive.

Rubric: Dreams , dream that my husband and I were burying two men alive.

Rubric: Dreams, dreams of being buried alive.

The main delusion of Chelidonium:

Rubric: Mind, delusion has ruined health (feeling of guilt and punishment).

Pain – the character of pain

Rubric: Abdomen, pains from the region of the liver, shooting towards the back and shoulders.

Rubric: Back, constant pain under the lower and inner angle of right scapula.

Dr. Rajan Sankaran – The Papaveraceae family:

Pain, intense pain, pain of any kind, but high intensity.
Torture, intense suffering.
The fear and shock of intense pain and torture. The room is intended to torture one in hell.
Killed, executed.


Not touched by pleasure or pain.


Malarial miasma person is stuck, blocked intermittently and suffers from attacks that last for some period of time, then go and come again. There is intermittent (periodic) return of complaints.

When we connect all:

• Papaveraceae in malarial miasm – intense pain in which they are stuck and intermittently attacked.

And again: the Swallow!

• At the beginning I noted that there is an ancient connection between Chelidonium majus and the swallow (“roots for the eyes”).

• According to another legend, the swallow is a bird who stole fire from Heaven and gave it to Man (Prometheus analog). The gods punished the swallow and threw fire on it, but the swallow managed to escape. Only part of her tail was burned, which, due to fire, broke in two (symbolically, that’s how the swallow’s tail was created).

As Chelidonium majus persons have a very dark side, I would like to finished this text with their other polarity – the theme of light, peace and Heaven:

“People who walk in darkness will see a Great Light.

“For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a Great Light will shine.”


About the author

Dragana Blagojevic

Dr. Dragana Blagojevic was born on September 22nd, 1979, in Zrenjanin (Serbia). She studied medicine and graduated from the Medical University of Belgrade in 2008. She studied classical homeopathy in the School of Classical Homeopathy "Hahnemann" in Novi Sad from 2007 till 2011. Dragana enjoys writing about homeopathy and her greatest wish is to teach homeopathy around the world.


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