Herb: Meadow Buttercup


Latin name: Ranunculus acris


Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)



Medicinal use of Meadow Buttercup:

The whole plant is acrid, anodyne, antispasmodic, diaphoretic and rubefacient. The plant has been crushed and applied as a poultice to the chest to relieve colds and chest pains. The fresh leaves have been used as a rubefacient in the treatment of rheumatism etc. The flowers and the leaves have been crushed and sniffed as a treatment for headaches. An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea. The poulticed root is also rubefacient and was applied to boils and abscess. The plant sap has been used to remove warts. The sap has also been used as a sedative. The flowers are used in Tibetan medicine, where they are considered to have an acrid taste and a heating potency. Their use is said to promote heat, dissolve tumours and draw out serous fluids. They are used in the treatment of disorders brought about by rotting sores or wounds. Use with caution, the whole plant is extremely acrid and can cause intense pain and burning of the mouth, mucous membranes etc.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

Flovering:
May to
July

Habitat of the herb:

Damp meadows and pastures, usually on calcareous or circum-neutral soils. Also found on damp rock ledges, in gullies and occasionally on mountain top detritus.

Edible parts of Meadow Buttercup:

Leaves - cooked and used as greens. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring in situ. You are very unlikely to need to encourage this plant. Division in spring. Very easy, though probably totally unnecessary, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.

Cultivation of Meadow Buttercup:

Damp meadows and pastures, usually on calcareous or circum-neutral soils. Also found on damp rock ledges, in gullies and occasionally on mountain top detritus.

Known hazards of Ranunculus acris:

All parts of the plant are poisonous, the toxins can be destroyed by heat or by drying. The plant has a strongly acrid juice that can cause blistering to the skin.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.