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Herbs & Plants

Ranunculus flammula

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Botanical Name :Ranunculus flammula
Family:    Ranunculaceae
Genus:    Ranunculus
Species:  R. flammula
Kingdom:  Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class:   Magnoliopsida
Order:    Ranunculales

Common Names: Lesser spearwort or Banewort,  creeping crowfoot, creeping spearwort

Habitat : Ranunculus flammula is very common throughout Britain,(Connecticut Maine Massachusetts New Hampshire Vermont) growing in wet and boggy parts of heaths and commons.(Floodplain (river or stream floodplains), forests, lacustrine (in lakes or ponds), marshes, riverine (in rivers or streams), shores of rivers or lakes, wetland margins (edges of wetlands)

 Description:
Ranunculus flammula is a species of perennial herbaceous plants in the genus Ranunculus (buttercup), growing in damp places throughout the Boreal Kingdom. The stems often root at the lower joints, being more or less horizontal to start with, but afterwards rising to a foot or more in height, being terminated by a few loose flower-bearing branches. It flowers June/July. The flowers are numerous, on long stalks, a light golden-yellow, 1/2 to 3/4 inch across. It has undivided, lanceolate (lance-shaped) leaves, the uppermost being the narrowest and smallest.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Flower petal color is yellow, the leaves are simple (lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets) they are alternate and there is one leaf per node along the stem, the edge of the leaf blade has teeth.

The fruit is dry but does not split open when ripe and the fruit length is 1.2–1.6 mm

Medicinal Uses: A tincture is used to cure ulcers.

Known Hazards: Ranunculus flammula is poisonous.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/spearw74.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranunculus_flammula
https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org/species/ranunculus/flammula/

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Herbs & Plants

Ranunculus acris

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Botanical Name :Ranunculus acris
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Ranunculus
Species: R. acris
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms: Gold Cup. Grenouillette.

Common names: Meadow buttercup, tall buttercup and giant buttercup.

Habitat:  This Buttercup is a native of meadows and pastures in all the northern parts of Europe, and is  more common buttercups across Europe and temperate Eurasia. This plant normally grows in 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

Description:
Ranunculus acris is a perennial flowering plant, growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).The leaves vary a good deal in form, according to their position on the plant: the lower leaves are on long petioles (foot-stalks) and are comprised of numerous wide-spreading and deeply divided segments; the upper leaves are small, composed of few segments, simple in form and few in number. The root is perennial, though the plant itself dies down each autumn, and has many long, white fibres.

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It is in flower from May to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles, lepidoptera. The petals of the flower are bright, shining yellow; the calyx is composed of five greenish-yellow spreading sepals. The centre of the flower, as in other Buttercups, is a clustering mass of stamens round the smooth, green immature seed-vessels, which develop into a round head of numerous small bodies called achenes. It is not frost tender.

Cultivation:  
Prefers a moist loamy soil. Grows well in marshy soils. Plants are hardy to at least -20°c. A good plant for the summer meadow. It spreads rapidly by means of runners and is often a weed in lawns or gardens. A polymorphic species, there is at least one named variety. ‘Flore Pleno‘ is a double-flowered form that does not spread by runners and so is unlikely to become a nuisance in the garden. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes.

Propagation:  
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.

Edible Uses:Leaves are cooked and used as greens. Some caution is advised, see the notes on Known Hazards below.

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used-: Whole herb.
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.

The juice of the leaves takes away warts, and bruised together with the roots will act as a caustic. In violent headaches where pain is confined to one part, a plaster made of them often affords instant relief, and they have been used in gout with great success.

The fresh leaves formed part of a famous cure for cancer, practised by a Mr. Plunkett in 1794.

Thornton, in his Herbal of 100 years ago, says if a decoction of the plant be poured on ground containing worms, ‘they will be forced to rise from their concealment.’

Known Hazards:   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.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ranunculus+acris
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/croup120.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranunculus_acri

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Herbs & Plants

Delphinium ajacis

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Botanical Name : Delphinium ajacis
Family :Ranunculaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales
Genus: Consolida
Species: C. ajacis

Synonyms : Consolida ambigua, Consolida ajacis, Delphinium ambiguum, Doubtful knight’s spur

Common Name :Rocket Larkspur

Habitat : Delphinium ajacis  is  native to Eurasia. It is widespread in other areas, including much of North America, where it was an introduced species.

Description:
Delphinium ajacis is an occasional garden annual flowering plant  grows about 1 meter but gets little recline with age.
CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES
Leaves are alternate, petiolate below to sessile above, with 3-5 deeply divided lobes, typically pubescent. Ultimate divisions linear to linear-oblong, entire (ciliate-margined), to 2.5mm broad. Petioles to 9cm below.

click & see

Flowers are Sepals deep blue-purple,(sometimes whitish to pinkish or mottled in cultivation), the most showy portion of the flower, spurred. Spur to -2cm long, dense pubescent. Petals 4, united, covering other floral organs(stamens and carpel), spurred. Stamens many, included. Filaments white, sparse pubescent, 5-6mm long, expanded at base. Anthers yellow, 1.1mm long. Ovary dense pubescent, 3-4mm long, conic.Flowering  time is July – August.

Fruit is a follicle to 2cm long, one per flower, variously pubescent. (All other native members of the genus have 3 follicles per flower).

Medicinal Uses:
Larkspur formerly had a reputation for its ability to consolidate and heal wounds, while the juice from the leaves is considered to be a remedy for piles and an infusion of the flowers and leaves has been used as a remedy for colicky children. However, the whole plant is very poisonous and it should not be used internally without the guidance of an expert.  Externally, it can be used as a parasiticide. A tincture of the seed is applied externally to kill lice in the hair.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://www.missouriplants.com/Bluealt/Delphinium_ajacis_page.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/delphinium+ajacis
http://www.wildflowerinformation.org/Wildflower.asp?ID=86

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consolida_ajacis

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Ranunculus sceleratus

Botanical Name : Ranunculus sceleratus
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Ranunculus
Species: R. sceleratus
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales

Synonym: Marsh Crowfoot.

Common Name:Cursed buttercup and Celery-leaved buttercup

Habitat : A common plant native to Europe and naturalized in the United States. Can be found in fields, pastures and dry meadows of the northeastern United States and the Pacific northwest coastal areas

Description:
It is an annual herb growing up to half a meter tall. The leaves have small blades each deeply lobed or divided into usually three leaflets. They are borne on long petioles. The flower has three to five yellow petals a few millimeters long and reflexed sepals. The fruit is an achene borne in a cluster of several.

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General: hairless to sparsely stiff-hairy annual with
numerous slender, fleshy roots. Stems 1 to several, erect,
20-50 cm tall, usually freely branched, hollow.

Leaves: the basal with a stalk 2-4 times as long as the
blades, the blade kidney-shaped in outline, mostly 2.5-4
cm long and deeply 3 (or apparently 5)-parted into more or
less wedge-shaped, and again less deeply once- or twice-
lobed or toothed. Stem leaves numerous, alternate, more
deeply cleft or divided than the basal leaves.

Flowers: several on stalks rather stout, 1-3 cm long.
Sepals 5, spreading, yellowish, 2-4.5 mm long, soon
dropped. Petals 5, yellow, 2-5 mm long. Nectary scale 1
mm long, largely joined to the petal, the edges and base
forming a slight pocket bordering and partially covering the
exposed gland. Receptacle in fruit ellipsoid-cylindric, up to
14 mm long, usually slightly short-hairy. Stamens 15-20.
Flowering time: May-September.

Fruits: achenes, 100-250 in a cylindrical cluster,
obovate in outline, about 1 mm long, flattened, the central
portion of the face smooth and set off from the edges by a
distinct depression. Style pimple-like, about 0.1 mm long.

Cultivation :: In and by slow streams, ditches and shallow ponds of mineral rich water and muddy bottoms, avoiding acid soils.

Propagation :: Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. This plant is unlikely to need much assistance. Division in spring.

Edible Uses:
Edible parts of Celery-Leaved Buttercup: Young plant cooked. It is said to be not unwholesome if the plant is boiled and the water thrown away and then the plant cooked again. Caution is strongly advised, see the notes above on toxicity and below on medicinal uses.

Medicinal Uses:
Part used: Juice of leaves and flowers

Acrid, anodyne, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, rebefacient.
Has been used for abrasions, toothache, and rheumatism.
The Montagnais tribe of Native Americans relieved sinus headache by using the dried plant as snuff to promote sneezing. The Algonquins of Temiscaming used the flowers and seeds powdered for the same purpose.

The celery-leafed buttercup is one of the most virulent of  plants. When bruised and applied to the skin it raises a blister and creates a sore that is not easy to heal. If chewed it inflames the tongue and produces violent effects. The herb should be used fresh since it loses its effects when dried. The leaves and the root are used externally as an antirheumatic.  The seed is tonic and is used in the treatment of colds, general debility, rheumatism and spermatorrhea. When made into a tincture, given in small diluted doses, it proves curative of stitch in the side and neuralgic pains between the ribs.

Homeopathic :
Mostly used homeopathically.A homeopathic tincture is used for skin diseases, rheumatism, sciatica, arthritis, rhinitis.

Other Uses:
Dye:
*Sources state both red and yellow can be produced. The Ojibwe used burr oak to set the color which was probably red. The Forest Potawatomi used the entire plant to produce a yellow dye which they used on rushes or flags to make baskets and mats (color was set by placing a handful of clay in the pot).

*The Ojibwe smoked the seeds in their pipes along with other herbs to lure deer close enough for a shot with bow and arrow.

Known hazards: All parts of the plant are poisonous when fresh, the toxins are destroyed by heat or by drying. The plant also has a strongly acrid juice that can cause blistering to the skin.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranunculus_sceleratus
http://www.sdnhm.org/fieldguide/plants/ranu-sce.html
http://earthnotes.tripod.com/buttercup.htm

http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/r/ranunculus-sceleratus=celery-leaved-buttercup.php

http://montana.plant-life.org/species/ranun_scele.htm

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Bulbous Buttercup

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Botanical Name :Ranunculus bulbosus
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Ranunculus
Species: R. bulbosus
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales

Common Names: Bulbous Buttercup,St Anthony’s turnip

Habitat :The native range of Bulbous Buttercup is Western Europe between about 60oN and the Northern Mediterranean coast. It grows in both the eastern and western parts of North America as an introduced weed Bulbous buttercup grows in lawns, pastures and fields in general, preferring nutrient-poor, well-drained soils. Although it doesn’t generally grow in proper crops or improved grassland, it is often found in hay fields  and in coastal grassland.

Description:
Bulbous Buttercup  is a perennial weed of the Buttercup Family. It has attractive yellow flowers, and deeply divided, three-lobed long-petioled basal leaves. Bulbous buttercup is known to form tufts.

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The stems are 20-60 cm tall, erect, branching, and slightly hairy flowering.  There are alternate and sessile leaves on the stem. The flower forms at the apex of the stems, and is shiny and yellow with 5-7 petals. The flowers are 1.5-3 cm wide. The plant blooms from April to July.

Chemical constituents:
This plant, like other buttercups, contains the toxic glycoside ranunculin. It is avoided by livestock when fresh, but when the plant dries the toxin is lost, so hay containing the plant is safe for animal consumption.

Medicinal Uses:
In spite of its toxic nature, this plant is listed as an herbal remedy used in homeopathy for subepidermal blistering of the skin, especially in summer

The root has been placed in a tooth cavity to act as a painkiller.  A decoction of the plant has been used in the treatment of venereal disease.  It is directly applied to remove warts.  The juice is topically applied to rheumatic and gouty joints to relieve these conditions.  A tincture may be both externally applied and taken internally to treat shingles and sciatica

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranunculus_bulbosus
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://luirig.altervista.org/schedeit/pz/ranunculus_bulbosus.htm