United States Dispensatory 1926 Part II
A Modern Herbal. Mrs. M. Grieve. F.R.H.S.
Boericke�s Homoeopathic Materia Medica.
Compiled and edited by Ivor Hughes

United States Dispensatory 1926
Ranunculus. Crowfoot. Renoncule, Fr. Hahnenfuss, G.

Most of the plants belonging to the genus Ranunculus have similar acrid properties, and, from their close resemblance, are confounded under the common name of buttercup. R. bulbosus L. was formerly in the Secondary List of the U. S. Pharmacopoeia; but R. sceleratus L. had attracted more attention in Europe, and R. acris L. and R. flammula L. were recognized by the Dublin College.

In all these species the plant itself is a violent irritant, producing when chewed excessive inflammation in the mouth and throat, and, when swallowed toxic gastritis which may be fatal. Clarus discovered, in R. sceleratus L., besides an acrid volatile oil, a nearly inert resin, and anemone camphor (see under Pulsatilla).

The volatile oil is soluble in ether, and is decomposed, on standing, into a white amorphous substance having acrid properties (anemonic acid), C15H14O7. (Brit, and For, Med.- Chir. Rev., 1859, 181.) Rochebrune states that he has separated from R. aquatilis L., R. flammula L., R. sceleratus L. and R. bulbosus L., crystalline alkaloids to which he has given the name of ranunculine, although their identity is doubtful. These alkaloids are violent irritants and active cardiac poisons. (Toxicolog. Africaine, i.) Before the introduction of cantharides the green butter-cup plants were much employed as vesicants.

Mrs. M. Grieve. F.R.H.S. A Modern Herbal.
Ranunculus bulbosus (LINN.)
Parts used. Juice and Herb
N.O. Ranunculaceae
Synonyms. St. Anthony's Turnip. Crowfoot. Frogsfoot. Goldcup (French) Jaunet

The Bulbous Buttercup or Crowfoot is perhaps the commonest of the Ranunculus family, covering the meadows in May with dazzling yellow, being one of the earliest of the varieties to flower, owing to the nourishment stored up in the bulbs. The specific name bulbosus refers to the bulb-like swelling at the base of the stem, roundish and white, flattened a little both at the top and bottom, somewhat resembling a small turnip - hence one of the popular names for this plant: St. Anthony's Turnip. It is, however, not a true bulb, only 'bulb-like. ' This is the 'Cuckow buds of yellow hue' of Shakespeare, and in France it is called the jaunet from the brilliance of its blossoms. Frogs-foot (from the form of its leaves) and Goldcup, from the shape and colour of its flowers, are other English names it bears.

The Bulbous Buttercup has some superficial resemblance to the Upright Crowfoot and the Creeping Crowfoot, but is distinguished not only by its bulb and by the fact that it never throws out runners, but by the fact that its sepals are turned back in the fully expanded blossom, so as to touch the stem that supports the flower. The stems are furrowed slightly, not merely round, as in Ranunculus acris. The upper leaves are composed of long, narrow segments, the lower ones broadened out into very distinct masses. When once established it is not easily eradicated.

Medicinal Action and Uses. Like most of ' the Crowfoots, the Bulbous Buttercup possesses the property of inflaming and blistering the skin, particularly the roots, which are said to raise blisters with less pain and greater safety than Spanish Fly, and have been applied for that purpose, especially to the joints, in gout. The juice, if applied to the nostrils, provokes sneezing and cures certain cases of headache. The leaves have been used to produce blisters on the wrists in rheumatism, and when infused in boiling water, as a poultice, at the pit of the stomach.

A tincture made with spirits of wine will cure shingles very expeditiously, it is stated, both the outbreak of the small pimples and the accompanying sharp pains between the ribs, 6 to 8 drops being given three or four times daily. For sciatica, the tincture has been employed with good effect. The roots on being kept lose their stimulating quality, and are even eatable when boiled. Pigs are remarkably fond of them, and will go long distances to get them. The herb is too acrid to be eaten alone by cattle, but possibly mixed with grasses it may act as a stimulus.

It is recorded that two obstinate cases of nursing sore mouth have been cured with an infusion made by adding 2 drachms of the recent root, cut into small pieces, to 1 pint of hot water; when cold, a tablespoonful was given three or four times a day, and the mouth was frequently washed with a much stronger infusion.

Its action as a counter-irritant is both uncertain and violent, and may cause obstinate ulcers. The beggars of Europe sometimes use it to keep open sores for the purpose of exciting sympathy.

Boericke�s Homeopathic Materia Medica.
Acts especially upon the muscular tissue and skin, and its most characteristic effects are upon the chest walls, like pleurodynia. Bad effects of Alcohol; delirium tremens. Spasmodic hiccough. Hydrothorax. Shocks throughout the whole body. Sensitive to air and touch. Chronic sciatica.

Head.� Irritable, pains in forehead and eyeballs. Creeping sensation in scalp. Pressing pain in forehead from within outward.

Eyes.� Day-blindness; mist before eyes; pressure and smarting in eyes, as from smoke. Pain over right eye; better, standing and walking. Herpes on cornea. Vesicles on cornea, with intense pain, photophobia, and lachrymation.

Chest.� Various kinds of pains and soreness, as if bruised in sternum, ribs, intercostal spaces, and both hypochondria. Intercostal rheumatism. Chilliness in chest when walking in open air. Stitches in chest, between shoulder-blades; worse, inspiring, moving. Rheumatic pain in chest, as from subcutaneous ulceration. Tenderness of abdomen to pressure. Muscular pain along lower margin of the shoulder-blade; burning in small spots from sedentary employment.

Skin.� Burning and intense itching; worse, contact. Hard excrescences. Herpetic eruptions, with great itching. Shingles; bluish vesicles. Itching in palms. Blister-like eruption in palmg. Corns sensitive. Horny skin. Finger-tips and palms chapped. Vesicular and pustular eruptions.

Modalities.� Worse, open air, motion, contact, atmospheric changes, wet, stormy weather, evening. Cold air brings on all sorts of ailments.

Relationship.� Incompatible: Sulph.; Staph.

Compare: Ranunc. acris (pain in lumbar muscles and joints by bending and turning body); Ranunc. Glacialis � Reindeer-flower Carlina � (Pulmonary affections; broncho-pneumonical Influenza � enormous weight in head with vertigo and sensation as of impending apoplexy; night-sweats � more on thighs); Ranunc. repens (crawling sensation in forehead and scalp in evening in Bed); Ranunc. flammula (ulceration; gangrene of arm). Compare, also: Bry.; Croton; Mez.; Euphorb.

Antidotes: Bry.; Camph.; Rhus.

Dose. � Mother tincture, in ten to thirty drop doses in delirium tremens; third to thirtieth potency generally. Chronic sciatica, apply tincture to heel of affected leg (M. Jousset).

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