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   Index



 

RANUNCULACEAE

(Buttercup family)

 

• Medicinal / Folk-medicinal aspects: The use of poultices, liniments, ointments etc. prepared from any one of several species as remedies for neuralgia, sciatica, arthritic joint pain and similar affections has often been documented. The plants used include both aconitine-containing species and protoanemonin-releasing species. •
• Adverse effects: A number of plants in this family contain aconitine and related diterpenoid alkaloids. These are dangerous neurotoxins that produce tingling and numbness on contact with skin, and irritation on contact with mucous membranes. A further group, which includes buttercups, clematis, and anemones produces an innocuous glycoside, named ranunculin, that is broken down enzymically in damaged plant tissue to release a strongly irritant and lachrymatory lactone, named protoanemonin. This is an unstable volatile oil that spontaneously undergoes dimerisation to anemonin, an innocuous substance. Dried buttercup hay or boiled buttercup leaves are non-irritant on this account. The most commonly reported adverse effect is profound skin irritation and ulceration following the deliberate application of protoanemonin-releasing plant material to the skin in the self-treatment of arthritic joint pain. •
• Veterinary aspects: Only isolated reports of dermatologic symptoms in animals have been reported, these being caused by ingestion of plant material rather than from skin contact. •

According to Mabberley (2008), this family comprises 2100 species in 56 genera distributed through temperate and boreal regions. Many are lianes, others form small shrubs, but most are herbs. The principal genera are Aconitum L. (about 100 spp.), Anemone L. (about 150 spp.), Aquilegia L. (80 spp.), Clematis L. (about 323 spp.), Delphinium L. (about 320 spp.), Ranunculus L. (about 600 spp.), and Thalictrum L. (120–200 spp.).

Turnbull (1838) noted that many members of the family are acrid and caustic in the highest degree.

Very many are grown as ornamentals for their colourful flowers. Hundreds of named cultivars of large-flowered climbing clematis, the so-called Jackman cultivars, have been produced from a cross originally made between Clematis lanuginosa Lindl. and the Henderson's clematis, itself believed to be a cross between Clematis viticella L. and Clematis integrifolia L. The result was Clematis x jackmanni van Houtte. Other members of the family are grown as hardy annuals, biennials, and perennials, as aquatics, and as alpines, the following genera being most commonly represented in cultivation (Hunt 1968/70):

Aconitum L.
Actaea L.
Adonis L.
Anemone L.
Aquilegia L.
Clematis L.
Delphinium L.
Eranthis Salisb.
Helleborus L.
Hepatica Mill.
Isopyrum L.
Nigella L.
Paraquilegia J.R. Drumm. & Hutch.
Pulsatilla Mill.
Ranunculus L.
Thalictrum L. 

Some species of Ranunculus L. in particular can become invasive weeds. Therefore, the potential for human contact with these plants is very high.



Aconitum carmichaelii Debeaux
Carmichael's Monkshood, Autumn Monkshood, Common Aconite, Japanese Aconite, Aconit de Carmichael

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Aconitum chasmanthum Stapf ex Holmes
Aconite

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Aconitum deinorrhizum Stapf

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Aconitum falconeri Stapf

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Aconitum ferox Wall. ex Ser.
Indian Aconite, Nepalese Aconite

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Aconitum hemsleyanum E. Pritzel
Climbing Monkshood

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Aconitum heterophylloides Stapf

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Aconitum japonicum Thunb.
Japanese Monkshood

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Aconitum laciniatum Stapf
(syn. Aconitum ferox Wall. ex Ser. var laciniatum Brühl)
Nepalese Aconite, Indian Aconite

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Aconitum napellus L.
(syn. Aconitum neomontanum Koelle)
Aconite, Monk's Hood, Friar's Cap, Wolfsbane, Venus' Chariot, Blauer Eisenhut, Aconit Napel, Aconit Casque de Jupiter

This species was formerly official in many pharmacopoeias, providing Aconitum, Aconiti Folia, Aconiti Radix, etc. With moderately toxic oral doses, there is a tingling of the tongue, mouth, stomach, and skin, followed by numbness and anaesthesia. When applied to the skin, aconite produces tingling followed by numbness. Aconite liniments (Linimentum Aconiti Radicis; Linimentum Aconiti Compositum) were formerly being used extensively in the treatment of neuralgia, sciatica, and rheumatism. The principal active constituent is aconitine, an alkaloid, which was at one time used to prepare an ointment (Unguentum Aconitinae) used to treat neuralgia (Martindale & Westcott 1924). Piffard (1881) noted that Aconitum has proved useful when applied locally in the treatment of pruritus and acne. Aconite and aconitine are no longer used in Western medicine because of the serious risk of possibly fatal poisoning.

According to Piffard (1881), erysipelatous inflammation, redness and vesicles, and tingling and numbness of the sensory nerves may result from skin contact with Aconitum. Schwartz et al. (1957) included this species in a list of plants that might irritate the skin of florists, gardeners, and field labourers.

[Aconitine]

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Aconitum septentrionale Koelle
(syns Aconitum excelsum Reichb., Aconitum lycoctonum L. ssp lycoctonum)
Northern Wolfsbane, Northern Aconite, Purple Wolfsbane, Wild Delphinium

Referring to wolfsbane, probably this species, Gerarde (1636) noted that "the symptoms that follow those that do eate of these deadly herbs are these: their lips and tongues swell forthwith, their eyes hang out, their thighs are stiffe, and their wits are taken from them." He identified this wolfsbane as Aconitum lycoctonum flore Delphinii bearing blue flowers like those of larkspur, with black stamens, and having a "thicke and knobby root".

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Aconitum spicatum Stapf

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Aconitum variegatum L.
(syn. Aconitum neomontanum Willd.)
Manchurian Monkshood

Piffard (1881) noted that Aconitum neomontanum Willd., when applied to the skin, is vesicant.



Actaea cimicifuga L.
(syn. Cimicifuga foetida L.)
Foetid Bugbane, Chinese Cimicifuga

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Actaea pachypoda Elliot
(syn. Actaea alba Mill.)
White Baneberry, White Cohosh

Weber (1930 & 1937) included Actaea alba in lists of irritant plants of the United States. Schwartz et al. (1957) included Actaea alba in a list of plants that might irritate the skin of florists, gardeners, and field labourers.



Actaea racemosa L. var racemosa
(syn. Cimicifuga racemosa Nutt.)
Black Bugbane, Black Cohosh, Snakeroot, Schwarze Schlangenwurzel, Cimicaire en Grappes

This plant was formerly official in various pharmacopoeias, providing Cimicifuga, otherwise known as Actaeae Racemosae Radix. The name Macrotys or Macrotrys was also applied. Although historically it had a high reputation for treating rheumatism and neuralgia, amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, and for promoting uterine contractions during childbirth (Felter & Lloyd 1898), it has in recent times been investigated mainly as a remedy for treating menopausal symptoms (Foster 1999).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Actaea rubifolia Kartesz
(syns Actaea cordifolia auct. non DC., Cimicifuga cordifolia auct. non Torrey & Gray, Cimicifuga rubifolia Kearney)
Appalachian Bugbane

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Actaea rubra Willd.
(syns Actaea spicata L. var rubra Aiton, Christophoriana rubra Nieuw.)
Red Baneberry, Red Cohosh

In the traditional medicine of the native peoples of British Columbia and neighbouring areas, the chewed leaves are spit on boils and on wounds (Turner 1984).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Actaea spicata L.
(syn. Christophoriana spicata Moench)
Herb Christopher, Baneberry, Toadroot, Actée en Épi, Christophorienne

The rhizome provides the crude drug Radix Christophoriana (Remington et al. 1918). A decoction of the green root, used locally, destroys lice, fleas, and the itch insect [= scabies?] (Felter & Lloyd 1898).

According to Piffard (1881), the crude drug applied to intact healthy skin may produce vesication. Weber (1930, 1937) subsequently included this species in lists of irritant plants of the United States.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Adonis L.

This genus comprises 26 species found in temperate Eurasia (Mabberley 2008). Adonis vernalis L. and other species contain cardiac glycosides and have been used in traditional medicine for their digitalis-like action on the heart (Wren 1988).



Adonis aestivalis L.
Summer Pheasant's Eye

Pammel (1911) listed this species as being irritant.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Adonis amurensis Regel & Radde
(syn. Adonis vernalis L. var amurensis Finet & Gagnepain)
Amur Adonis, Amur-Adonisröschen

Pammel (1911) listed this species as being irritant.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Adonis vernalis L.
Spring Pheasant's Eye, Yellow Pheasant's Eye, Vernal Pheasant's Eye, False Hellebore

Pammel (1911) listed this species as being irritant.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Anemone L.

According to Mabberley (2008), the genus comprises about 150 species distributed through Eurasia, Sumatra, South & East Africa, and North America to Chile. Gerarde (1636) noted that "All the kindes of Anemones are sharpe, biting the tongue; … "



Anemone altaica Fischer ex C. Meyer
(syns Anemone nemorosa ssp altaica Korsh., Anemonoides altaica Holub)
Windflower, Altaianemonen

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Anemone apennina L.
Apennine Anemone, Blue Anemone, Anémone Bleue

Pammel (1911) listed this species as being irritant.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Anemone coronaria L.
Poppy Anemone, Lilies-of-the-Field, Anémone Coronaire

Pammel (1911) listed this species as being irritant.



Anemone cylindrica Gray
Candle Anemone, Thimbleweed

A poultice made of the plant (and probably also Anemone multifida Poiret — see below) causes violent blistering when applied to the skin for 10–20 minutes (Turner & Bell 1973).



Anemone fulgens Gay
Scarlet Windflower

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Anemone hupehensis Lemoine ex. Boynton
Japanese Anemone, Japanese Thimbleflower, Japanese Windflower

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Anemone hupehensis Lemoine ex. Boynton var japonica Bowles & Stearn
(syns Anemone japonica Siebold & Zucc., Anemone scabiosa Léveillé & Vaniot, Atragene japonica Thunb.)
Japanese Anemone, Japanese Thimbleflower, Japanese Windflower

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Anemone multifida Poiret
Cliff Anemone, Cutleaf Anemone, Pacific Anemone, Pazifisches Windröschen

In the traditional medicine of the native peoples of British Columbia and neighbouring areas, the fresh leaves are used as a poultice for sores, swellings, bruises, etc., being left on for only a few minutes. They are also used to plug the nose to stop nose bleeds. A strong decoction of the plant is used to kill fleas and lice (Turner 1984).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Anemone nemorosa L.
(syn. Anemonoides nemorosa Holub)
Wood Anemone, Wind Flower, Wind Crowfoot, European Thimbleweed, Buschwindröschen, Anémone des Bois, Anémone Sylvie

Pammel (1911) listed the plant as being irritant, citing a number of earlier texts. Piffard (1881) noted that local application to healthy skin can produce redness, vesicles, and ulcers. Bulliard (1780) also referred to the irritancy of this species. White (1887) stated that he had not known this plant to cause trouble to anyone handling it although it was of wide occurrence and one of the earliest and most plucked wildflowers of spring.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Anemone obtusiloba D. Don
Wind Flower

This species is probably the plant to which the name Anemone obtusifolia, a name of no botanical standing but used by several authors, actually refers.

Chopra & Badhwar (1940) described the plant as vesicant. In Indian traditional medicine, the pounded root is used externally as a blistering agent but is apt to produce sores and scars (Nadkarni 1976, Behl et al. 1966).



Anemone pavonina Lam.
Peacock Anemone

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Anemone quinquefolia L.
(syn. Anemone nemorosa L. var quinquefolia Pursh)
Wood Anemone, Wild Anemone, Wind Flower

Weber (1930, 1937) included this species in lists of irritant plants, and Schwartz et al. (1957) included Anemone quinquifolia [sic] in a list of plants that might irritate the skin of florists, gardeners, and field labourers.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Anemone raddeana Regel var raddeana
(syn. Anemonoides raddeana Holub)
Radde's Anemone

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Anemone ranunculoides L.
(syn. Anemonoides ranunculoides Holub)
Yellow Anemone, Yellow Woodland Anemone, Buttercup Anemone, Anémone Fausse Renoncule

The species is listed as being irritant by Pammel (1911).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Anemone rivularis Turcz. var flore-minore Maxim.
(syn. Anemone barbulata Turcz.)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Anemone sylvestris L.
Snowdrop Windflower

The species is listed as being irritant by Pammel (1911).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Anemone trifolia L. ssp albida Ulbr.
(syns Anemone albida Mariz, Anemonoides albida Holub)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Anemone vitifolia Buch.-Ham. ex DC.
Grapeleaf Anemone, Japanese Anemone, Herbstanemone

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Aquilegia alpina L.
Alpine Columbine, Ancolie des Alpes

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Aquilegia atrata Koch
Dark Columbine, Dunkle Akelei, Schwarze Akelei

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Aquilegia canadensis L.
Red Columbine, Canadian Columbine, Ancolie du Canada

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Aquilegia chrysantha A. Gray
Golden Columbine

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Aquilegia formosa Fischer ex DC.
Western Columbine, Sitka Columbine, Crimson Columbine

In the traditional medicine of the native peoples of British Columbia and neighbouring areas, the chewed leaves are spit on sores, and the pulp scraped from the roots is smeared on sores. Also, a decoction of the whole plant is used to wash the hair and scalp (Turner 1984).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Aquilegia glandulosa Fisch. ex Link
Altai Columbine, Siberian Columbine

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Aquilegia oxysepala Trautv. & C. Meyer

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Aquilegia vulgaris L.
Columbine, Ancolie Commune, Aiglantine

The species is listed as being irritant by Pammel (1911). Schwartz et al. (1957) included columbines in general (Aquilegia spp.) in a list of plants that might irritate the skin of florists, gardeners, and field labourers.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Asteropyrum peltatum J.R. Drumm. & Hutch.
(syn. Isopyrum peltatum Franch.)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Caltha leptosepala DC.
White Marsh Marigold

In the traditional medicine of the native peoples of British Columbia and neighbouring areas, the chewed leaves are spit on wounds, or crushed and placed on as a poultice to reduce pain and inflammation (Turner 1984).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Caltha palustris L.
Marsh Marigold, Kingcup, Mollyblobs, Caltha des Marais, Sarbouillotte

Pammel (1911) noted that the plant yields an acrid oil identical with that from Ranunculus. Schwartz et al. (1957) included this species in a list of plants that might irritate the skin of florists, gardeners, and field labourers. According to Behl et al. (1966), the juice is acrid and vesicant; and sniffing the bruised stems induces sneezing.

Prosser White (1934) referred to a case of skin irritation in a girl who dressed her knee with a marsh marigold instead of marsh mallows.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Ceratocephala falcata Pers.
(syn. Ranunculus falcatus L.)
Bur Buttercup, Curveseed Butterwort, Sichel-Hornköpfchen

The plant name was originally published as Ceratocephalus falcatus, but plant nomenclature rules now hold that this is not the correct form to use. Nevertheless, many authors continue to refer to the plant using this name.

Chopra & Badhwar (1940) described Ranunculus falcatus as vesicant. Behl et al. (1966) noted that Ranunculus falcatus is used in the same way as Ranunculus arvensis L. (see below).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis L.

The genus comprises about 323 species found mainly in northern temperate regions, with a few occurring in southern temperate regions, Oceania, and on mountains in tropical regions of Africa (Mabberley 2008).

All the species of the genus are acrid and irritant (White 1887).

Pammel (1911), citing various earlier authors, listed a number of species as acrid, irritant, or vesicant including:

Clematis aethusiaefolia Turcz.
Clematis guadeloupae Pers.
(syn. Clematis caripensis Kunth)
Clematis lanuginosa Lindl.
(syn. Clematis florida Thunb. var lanuginosa Kuntze) 

Others are considered in the monographs below.

Lloyd in White (1887) stated that "in working Clematis for anemonin, our hands were blistered several times".

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis aristata R. Br. ex Ker-Gawler
Old Man's Beard, Goat's Beard, Mountain Clematis

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis aristata R. Br. ex Ker-Gawler var occidentalis F. Muell. ex Benth.
(syns Clematis aristata R. Br. ex Ker-Gawler var pubescens Domin, Clematis pubescens Hügel ex Endl.)
Common Clematis

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis armandii Franch.
Armand's Clematis

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis x bonstedtii hort.

This hybrid derives from Clematis heracleifolia DC. x Clematis stans Siebold & Zucc. Several named cultivars are available from nurseries.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis brachiata Thunb.
(syns Clematis glaucescens C. Presl, Clematis orientalis L. ssp brachiata H. Perrier, Clematis thunbergii Steudel, Clematis triloba Thunb.)
Bridal Wreath, Traveller's Joy

If the stem is bruised and sniffed, sneezing is induced on account of the pungency of the plant. When chewed, the leaf produces a burning sensation in the mouth (Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk 1962).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis buchananiana DC.

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis chinensis Osbeck var chinensis
(syn. Clematis sinensis Lour.)

Referring to Clematis sinensis Fresen., a name of no botanical standing, Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk (1962) recorded that in the Congo, the leaf is used as a counter irritant. They also recorded that the root, prepared as a poultice, has been used for "drawing" septic lesions.



Clematis crispa L.
(syn. Viorna crispa Small)
Swamp Leather Flower, Blue Jasmine, Curled Virgin's Bower

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis dioica L.
Wild Clematis, Virgin's Bower, Cabellos de Angel

According to Allen (1943), the crushed leaves will blister the skin, and proximity to the plant can cause dermatitis in susceptible individuals.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis fawcettii F. Muell.
(syn. Clematis microphylla DC. var fawcettii Bailey)
Northern Clematis, Stream Clematis

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis flammula L.
Fragrant Clematis, Fragrant Virgin's Bower, Sweet-Scented Virgin's Bower, Clématite Brûlante, Clématite Flamme

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis florida Thunb. var florida
(syn. Clematis japonica Houtt. var simsii Makino)
Asian Virgin's Bower

Pammel (1911) listed Clematis florida as being irritant.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis fremontii S. Watson
(syn. Viorna fremontii A.A. Heller)
Fremont's Leather Flower

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis gentianoides DC.
Bushy Clematis, Field Clematis

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis glycinoides DC.
Forest Clematis, Headache Vine, Traveller's Joy

This Australian species produces vesication on prolonged contact with the skin and is irritant to the nasal passages if inhaled (Hurst 1942, Everist 1972).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis gouriana Roxb. ex DC.
Gourian Clematis

The juice of freshly crushed leaves and stems has a vesicant action (Pammel 1911, Chopra & Badhwar 1940, Nadkarni 1976, Behl et al. 1966).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis grandiflora DC.

The juice of the plant is irritant (Dalziel 1937) and the leaves are used as a vesicant in West Africa (Irvine 1961).



Clematis graveolens Lindl.

Chopra & Badhwar (1940) described the plant as blistering.



Clematis heynei M.A. Rau in B.D. Sharma, Balakr., R.R. Rao & P.K. Hajra
(syn. Clematis triloba Heyne)

The juice of freshly crushed leaves and stems of Clematis triloba Heyne has vesicant properties (Chopra & Badhwar 1940, Behl et al. 1966).



Clematis hirsuta Guillemin & Perrottet
(syn. Clematis incisodentata A. Rich.)

Irvine (1961) noted that the leaves have a blistering effect and that the juice is more or less vesicant. He noted also that in West African traditional medicine, the juice is applied externally to skin diseases. Applications of the powdered roots and leaves are also used.

The root, prepared as a poultice, has been used in Tanganyika [now Tanzania] for "drawing" septic lesions (Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk 1962).



Clematis hirsutissima Pursh
Hairy Clematis

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis integrifolia L.
Solitary Clematis, Bushy Blue Bell Clematis

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis javana DC.
(syn. Clematis taiwaniana Hayata)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis jubata Bisch.

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis ligusticifolia Nutt.
(syn. Clematis brevifolia Howell)
Western White Clematis

Some authorities consider Clematis ligusticifolia to be a synonym of Clematis virginiana L.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis loureiroana DC. var loureiroana
(syns Clematis smilacifolia Wall. var subpeltata Kuntze, Clematis subpeltata Wall.)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis mauritiana Lam.
Liane Arabique

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis microphylla DC.
Small-Leaved Clematis

Gardner & Bennetts (1956) included this species in a list of plants known or suspected of causing dermatitis, probably from Cleland (1931) who noted that the natives of the Encounter Bay region of Australia are said to have known of the capacity of this plant to produce inflammation of the skin. Poultices of the crushed leaves were used by European settlers as counter-irritants for rheumatic joints. Applied for too long (e.g. seven instead of three minutes), such poultices may cause irritation leading to blistering after 12 hours (Cleland & Lee 1963).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis microphylla DC. var leptophylla F. Muell. ex Benth.

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis montana Buch.-Ham. ex DC.
Anemone Clematis

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis napaulensis DC.
(syn. Clematis cirrhosa L. var napaulensis Kuntze)

The juice of freshly crushed leaves and stems of this species has vesicant properties (Chopra & Badhwar 1940, Nadkarni 1976, Behl et al. 1966).



Clematis occidentalis DC.
(syns Atragene occidentalis Hornem., Clematis verticillaris DC.)
Western Blue Virgin's Bower, Purple Clematis

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis orientalis L.
Oriental Virgin's Bower, Chinese Clematis

The juice of freshly crushed leaves and stems of this species has vesicant properties (Chopra & Badhwar 1940, Behl et al. 1966).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis orientalis L. ssp wightiana Kuntze
(syn. Clematis wightiana Wall.)
Traveller's Joy

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis paniculata J. Gmelin
(syns Clematis indivisa Willd., Clematis integrifolia G. Forst.)
Bush Clematis, Puawhananga, Puawananga

Brooker & Cooper (1961) recorded that in traditional New Zealand medicine, the leaves are applied to produce blisters as a counter irritant.



Clematis recta L.
Upright Virgin's Bower, Erect Clematis, Ground Virgin's Bower, Clématite Droite

Some authors refer incorrectly to "Clematis erecta", a name of no botanical standing. Thus, Piffard (1881), referring to Clematis erecta, noted that application of the crude drug to intact healthy skin may produce vesicles and ulcers. He noted also that local application has proven useful in the treatment of cancerous ulcers.

The plant has been used as a vesicant (Turnbull 1838).

This species provides the crude drug Clematis, formerly official in the US Dispensatory. The leaves and flowers have an acrid, burning taste. When bruised in a mortar they irritate the eyes and throat, giving rise to a flow of tears and to coughing, and applied to the skin they produce inflammation and vesication; hence their old name of Flammula Jovis. The acridity is greatly diminished by drying (Remington et al. 1918).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis serratifolia Rehder
(syns Clematis orientalis L. var wilfordii Maxim., Clematis wilfordii Komarov)
Yellow Clematis

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis tangutica Korsh.
(syn. Clematis orientalis L. var tangutica Maxim.)
Golden Clematis

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis terniflora DC.
(syns Clematis paniculata Thunb., Clematis maximowicziana Franch. & P.A.L. Savat.)
Sweet Autumn Clematis, Yam-Leaf Clematis

Stuart (1911), who identified Clematis paniculata as the source of the Chinese crude drug Hsien Jen Tsao, was probably referring to this species. He noted that in Chinese traditional medicine, a decoction of this plant has been used to wash scrofulous ulcers in children, and the expressed juice has been used in the treatment of corneal opacities.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis villosa DC. ssp stanleyi Kuntze
(syns Clematis stanleyi Hook., Clematopsis scabiosifolia Hutch. ssp stanleyi Brummitt, Clematopsis stanleyi Hutch.)
Bush Clematis

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis virginiana L.
Virgin's Bower, Ladies' Bower, Devil's Darning Needles, Wild Clematis

Schwartz et al. (1957) included this species in a list of plants that might irritate the skin of florists, gardeners, and field labourers. Weber (1930, 1937) was most probably referring to this species when he included Clematis virginica L. (a name of no botanical standing) in lists of irritating plants of the United States.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis vitalba L.
Traveller's Joy, Old Man's Beard, Hedge Vine, Evergreen Clematis, Herbe aux Gueux, Clématite Vigne-Blanche

Pammel (1911) listed this species as irritant. Piffard (1881) also noted that application of the plant material to the skin may produce redness, vesication and ulcers.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Clematis viticella L.
Italian Clematis, Italian Leather Flower

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Consolida ajacis Schur
(syns Consolida ambigua P.W. Ball & Heywood, Delphinium ajacis L., Delphinium ambiguum L.)
Larkspur, Doubtful Knight's-Spur, Rocket Larkspur

Pammel (1911) listed Delphinium ajacis L. as being irritant. Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk (1962) assert that the powdered seeds have been used since antiquity for destruction of body parasites. A fluid extract prepared from the plant, which is used as a parasiticide in India, produced local irritation (Chopra et al. 1958). Both leaf and seed have been recorded as producing dermatitis (Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk 1962, Behl et al. 1966).

Schwartz et al. (1957) included Delphinium ajacia [sic] in a list of plants that might irritate the skin of florists, gardeners, and field labourers.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Consolida regalis Gray
(syn. Delphinium consolida L.)
Royal Knight's-Spur, Royal Larkspur, Forking Larkspur, Field Larkspur, Gewöhnlicher Feldrittersporn, Dauphinelle des Champs, Dauphinelle Royale

The seeds were at one time official in the US Pharmacopoeia as Semen Consolidae Regalis. A tincture prepared from the seeds has been recommended for destroying lice in the hair Wren (1988).

An extract prepared from Delphinium consolida was vesicant (Van Hasselt & Henkel 1862) and a specific element in the seeds produces in tincture great burning and inflammation of the skin (Oesterlen 1856).

Schwartz et al. (1957) included Delphinium consolida in a list of plants that might irritate the skin of florists, gardeners, and field labourers.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Coptis chinensis Franch. var chinensis
(syn. Coptis teeta Wall. var chinensis Finet & Gagnepain)
Chinese Goldthread, Golden Thread

The crude drug Huang Lian, otherwise known as Rhizoma Coptidis, is derived from the rhizome of this plant.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Coptis japonica Makino
(syns Coptis anemonaefolia Siebold & Zucc., Coptis orientalis Maxim., Thalictrum japonicum Thunb.)
Japanese Goldthread

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Coptis teeta Wall.
(syn. Coptis teetoides C.Y. Cheng)
Indian Goldthread, Tita

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Delphinium brunonianum Royle
Musk Larkspur

According to Chopra et al. (1958), the leaves and seeds are irritant.



Delphinium caeruleum Jacquem. ex Cambess.

According to Chopra et al. (1958), the leaves and seeds are irritant.



Delphinium carolinianum Walter ssp carolinianum
(syn. Delphinium azureum Michaux)
Carolina Larkspur

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Delphinium elatum L.
(syn. Delphinium alpinum Waldst. & Kit.)
Candle Larkspur

According to Chopra et al. (1958), the leaves and seeds can produce dermatitis.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Delphinium exaltatum Aiton
Tall Larkspur

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Delphinium geyeri Greene
Geyer's Larkspur

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Delphinium glaucum S. Watson
Sierra Larkspur

In the traditional medicine of the native peoples of British Columbia and neighbouring areas, a decoction of the root is used as a wash to get rid of lice, fleas, and other insects (Turner 1984).



Delphinium recurvatum Greene
Byron Larkspur

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Delphinium staphisagria L.
Stavesacre, Licebane

The seeds of this plant was formerly official is various pharmacopoeias, providing Delphinium, otherwise known as Staphisagria. Preparations of the seeds (Unguentum Staphisagriae; Lotio Staphisagriae) have a long history of use in the treatment of scabies and for killing head and body lice (Jamieson 1908, Wren 1988) but have largely fallen out of use in Western medicine with the development of less toxic acaricides and insecticides.

An alcoholic solution from the seeds was applied to the heads of several children as a pediculicide. One child developed acute dermatitis of the face and hands three days after the application (White 1887).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Delphinium uncinatum Hook. f. & Thomson

Pammel (1911) listed this species as being irritant.



Delphinium vestitum Wall. ex Royle

According to Chopra et al. (1958), the leaves and seeds can produce dermatitis.



Helleborus abchasicus A. Braun
(syn. Helleborus orientalis Lam. var abchasicus Demoly)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Helleborus argutifolius Viv.
(syns Helleborus corsicus Willd., Helleborus lividus Aiton ssp corsicus Tutin)
Corsican Hellebore

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Helleborus bocconei Ten.
(syns Helleborus multifidus Vis. ssp bocconei B. Mathew)
Elleboro di Boccone

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Helleborus foetidus L.
Stinking Hellebore, Dungwort, Bear's Foot Hellebore, Bearpaw Hellebore, Setterwort, Hellébore Fétide

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Helleborus niger L.
Black Hellebore, Christmas Rose, Schwarze Nieswurzel, Hellébore Noir, Rose de Noël,

The common name hellebore has given rise to confusion since ancient times. Theophrastus (300 B.C.) observed that the white and black hellebores appear to have nothing in common except the name. White or false hellebore is Veratrum album L. (fam. Melanthiaceae).

The root of this plant was formerly official in various pharmacopoeias. It provides Radix Hellebori Nigri, otherwise known as Radix Melampodii or Hellebori Nigri Rhizoma.

The fresh root applied to the skin produces rubefaction and vesication (Piffard 1881). Schwartz et al. (1957) included this species in a list of plants that might irritate the skin of florists, gardeners, and field labourers.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Helleborus odorus Waldst. & Kit.
Fragrant Hellebore, Scented Hellebore, Wohlriechende Nieswurz

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Helleborus orientalis Lam.
Lenten Rose, False Rose, Oriental Hellebore

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Helleborus viridis L.
(syns Helleborus laxus Host, Helleborus odorus Waldst. & Kit. ssp laxus Merxm.)
Green Hellebore, Hellébore Vert

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Helleborus viridis L. ssp viridis
Green Hellebore, Hellébore Vert

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Hepatica nobilis Schreber var obtusa Steyermark
(syn. Anemone hepatica L.)
Roundlobe Hepatica, Liver Leaf

Schwartz et al. (1957) included the liver leaf in a list of plants that might irritate the skin of florists, gardeners, and field labourers.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Hydrastis canadensis L.
Golden Seal, Orangeroot, Yellow Root, Turmeric Root

Schwartz et al. (1957) included this species in a list of plants that might irritate the skin of florists, gardeners, and field labourers, probably only on the basis of its botanical classification in the Ranunculaceae.



Knowltonia capensis Huth
(syns Adonis capensis L., Knowltonia rigida Salisb.)

Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk (1962) noted that the early colonists of the Cape are reported as having used this plant as a cantharides substitute, and as a remedy for sciatica and rheumatism, probably by local application.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Knowltonia transvaalensis Szyszyl. var transvaalensis

Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk (1962) recorded that the fresh crushed leaf is strongly irritant and vesicant but loses this property when dried. They went on to explain that the leaf is not suitable for use in medicine as a blistering agent because the action is too drastic, too penetrating, and too slow in developing.



Knowltonia vesicatoria Sims ssp vesicatoria
(syn. Christophoriana vesicatoria Kuntze)
Blistering Knowltonia

The leaf is used as a vesicant; it is more effective when fresh. The root is also irritant, the sore resulting from its application healing only very slowly (Turnbull 1838, Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk 1962).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Myosurus minimus L.
Mouse Tail, Tiny Mousetail, Mäuse, Queue de Souris

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Nigella ciliaris DC.
Pinwheel Nigella, Ciliate Love-in-a-Mist, Fennel Flower

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Nigella damascena L.
(syn. Nigella coerulea Lam.)
Love-in-a-Mist, Cheveux de Vénus, Türkischer Schwarzkümmel, Nigelle de Damas

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Nigella sativa L.
(syns Nigella cretica Mill., Nigella indica Roxb. ex Flem., Nigella truncata Viv.)
Black Cumin, Black Seed, Black Caraway, Roman Coriander, Schwarzkümmel

The seeds of this plant are used in the traditional medicine of the Indian subcontinent, Arabian countries, and Europe for a variety of indications including dermatological conditions. A review of the pharmacology and toxicology is provided by Ali & Blunden (2003).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Pulsatilla Mill.
Pasque Flower, Bastard Anemone

In his description of the properties of pasque flowers, Gerarde (1636) wrote: "Passe floure doth extremely bite, and exulcerateth and eateth into the skinne if it be stamped and applied to any part of the body; … "



Pulsatilla alpina Delarbre
(syn. Anemone alpina L.)
Alpine Pasqueflower, Anémone des Alpes, Pulsatille des Alpes

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Pulsatilla alpina Delarbre ssp apiifolia Nyman
(syns Anemone apiifolia Scop., Preonanthus apiifolius V. Skalický, Pulsatilla alpina Delarbre ssp sulphurea Asch. & Graebner)
Sulfur Pasqueflower, Yellow Pasqueflower, Gelbe Alpenanemone, Pulsatille Souffrée

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Pulsatilla chinensis Regel
(syns Anemone chinensis Bunge, Anemone pulsatilla L. var chinensis Finet & Gagnepain)
Chinese Anemone, Chinesische Küchenschelle

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Pulsatilla patens Mill.
(syn. Anemone patens L.)
Eastern Pasqueflower, American Pulsatilla, Prairie Crocus

Weber (1930) included Anemone patens in a list of irritant plants. Schwartz et al. (1957) included Anemone patens in a list of plants that might irritate the skin of florists, gardeners, and field labourers.

In the traditional medicine of the native peoples of British Columbia and neighbouring areas, the leaves are mashed and used as a poultice on sores, bruises, and boils for just a minute or so to draw out infection; severe blistering results if the leaves are left on for too long. The plant is also used as a poultice for horses, to heal cuts and stop bleeding (Turner 1984).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Pulsatilla patens Mill. ssp multifida Zämelis
(syns Anemone ludoviciana Nutt., Anemone patens L. var multifida Pritzel, Anemone patens L. var nuttalliana Gray, Anemone patens L. var wolfgangiana Trauvtr. & E.Mey. ex F. Kurtz, Pulsatilla patens Mill. var multifida S.H. Li & Y. Hui Huang, Pulsatilla patens Mill. var wolfgangiana Regel, Pulsatilla wolfgangiana Besser)
Cutleaf Anemone, Wild Crocus, Pasque Flower, Sand Flower, American Pulsatilla

Pammel (1911) asserted that the different parts of the plant (which he referred to as Anemone patens var wolfgangiana) are extremely acrid and when applied to the skin cause irritation and vesication. He went on to describe how the juice of the plant, when spattered on the hands of a botanist while pressing the plant, had caused severe blistering; and that the vapours evolving from the fresh juice had inflammed the eyes.

Aaron & Muttitt (1964) provided a detailed case report of bullous dermatitis which resulted from compresses of the leaves of what they believed to have been Anemone patens var wolfgangiana (wild crocus) applied to the knees for the self-treatment of arthritis. Patch tests to the plant applied for 20–60 minutes produced vesicular reactions in volunteers. The irritant reaction could be repeated in the laboratory using Anemone patens L. (see above). Hyperpigmentation appeared at the test sites. They also noted irritation of the conjunctiva and nasal mucosa from the vapour of the crushed stems and leaves.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Pulsatilla pratensis L.
(syn. Anemone pratensis L.)
Small Pasque Flower, Lesser Purple Pasque Flower, Small Meadow Anemone

The dried plant, collected soon after flowering, is the source of the crude drug Pulsatilla, which was formerly official in the US Pharmacopoeia. According to Felter & Lloyd (1898), the fresh plant is irritant when applied topically; and, if kept long in contact with the skin, may produce vesication.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Pulsatilla rubra Delarbre
(syn. Anemone rubra Lam.)
Red Pasque Flower, Rote Kuhschelle, Anémone Rouge

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Pulsatilla vulgaris Mill.
(syn. Anemone pulsatilla L.)
Purple Pasque Flower, Wind Flower, Prairie Anemone, Easter Flower, Anémone Pulsatille, Pulsatille Commune, Fleur de Pâques

The dried plant, collected soon after flowering, is an alternative source of the crude drug Pulsatilla, which was formerly official in the US Pharmacopoeia (see also Pulsatilla pratensis L. above).

Pammel (1911) referred to the irritancy of the plant. Schwartz et al. (1957) included this species in a list of plants that might irritate the skin of florists, gardeners, and field labourers.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus L.
Buttercup, Crowfoot

The genus comprises about 600 species of herbs found in temperate and cold regions, and on mountains in tropical regions. Many are cultivated as garden ornamentals and for cut flowers; others are weeds (Mabberley 2008).

Culpeper (1652) acknowledged in his monograph on crowfoot that there were many "sorts of this Herb" and that "the most common Crowfoot [is] in tast biting & sharp, biting & blistering the Tongue". He also noted that "an Oyntment of the Leavs or Flowers wil draw a Blister".

Schwartz et al. (1957) included buttercups in general (Ranunculus spp.) in a list of plants that might irritate the skin of florists, gardeners, and field labourers. Pammel (1911), citing various earlier authors, listed a number of species as acrid, irritant, or vesicant including:

Ranunculus alpestris L. — Alpine Buttercup, Renoncule Alpestre
Ranunculus asiaticus L. — Persian Buttercup, Persian Ranunculus
Ranunculus hispidus Michaux var nitidus T. Duncan — Bristly Buttercup, Creeping Crowfoot
(syn. Ranunculus septentrionalis Poiret)
Ranunculus hybridus Biria — Hybrid Buttercup, Bastard Hahnenfuß 

Others are considered in the monographs below.

Sniffing the bruised stems of buttercups induces sneezing (Behl et al. 1966). Buttercups and mustard plants (fam. Cruciferae) were suggested as the causative agents in a case of Oppenheim's meadow dermatitis described by Ullmo (1932); probably irritancy rather than photosensitivity was responsible. According to Woods (1962), blisters, often on and around the lips, in children who have been playing with buttercups, are not uncommon in country practice.

The irritant properties were formerly ascribed to a crystalline material named anemone camphor (or pulsatilla camphor), soluble in ether and chloroform and possessing an intensely irritant vapour (Felter & Lloyd 1898, Remington et al. 1918). Later authors identified anemonol, ranunculus oil, or oil of anemone as the acrid principle. Oil of anemone was ultimately identified as protoanemonin, the cyclic lactone of γ-hydroxyvinylacrylic acid (Kipping 1935). This lactone does not occur as such in the plant, but is released from a glycosidic precursor by enzyme action when the plant material is damaged. Hill & van Heyningen (1951) identified the precursor of protoanemonin as ranunculin. Protoanemonin, in turn, is unstable and rapidly dimerises to form anemonin, the absolute configuration of which was finally established by Moriarty et al. (1965). Thus, we may suppose that anemone camphor or pulsatilla camphor (see above) is anemonin contaminated with residual protoanemonin.

[Ranunculin; Protoanemonin; Anemonin]

The presence of ranunculin in a plant or part of a plant can be taken to indicate that the plant material may well be irritant to the skin if specific conditions are met, namely exposure to fresh bruised material at an adequate concentration for an adequate period of time. Biological variation in the amount of ranunculin present and hence in the amount of protoanemonin released can be expected to occur between species and sub-species, between geographic locations, and at different stages during the growth of the plant.

Protoanemonin, in contact with the skin, produces subepidermal blistering. Like other subepidermal vesicants, protoanemonin is capable of inhibiting the acantholytic effect of cantharidin (Burbach 1963).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus abortivus L.
(syn. Ranunculus abortivus L. var eucyclus Fernald)
Little-Leaf Buttercup, Small-Flowered Crowfoot, Renoncule Abortive

According to Pammel (1911), the leaves of the plant have an acrid peppery taste and cause blistering.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus aconitifolius L.
Monkshood-Leaved Buttercup, White Buttercup, White Bachelor's Buttons, Fair Maids of France, Eisenhutblättriger Hahnenfuß, Renoncule à Feuilles d'Aconit

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus acris L.
Common Meadow Buttercup, Tall Buttercup, Tall Field Buttercup, Tall Crowfoot, Upright Meadow Crowfoot, Blister Plant, Scharfer Hahnenfuß, Renoncule Âcre

Some authors have referred to this species incorrectly as Ranunculus acer, a name of no botanical standing (Harper 1957).

White (1887), Piffard (1881), and Pammel (1911), noted that the sap is acrid and vesicant.

Wendlberger (1935) claimed to have successfully transferred hypersensitivity to Ranunculus acer from one individual to another, suggesting that allergic sensitisation can occur as well as irritancy.

Winters (1976) documented a case of severe urticaria in a dog following the ingestion of tall field buttercup.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus amphitrichus Colenso
(syn. Ranunculus rivularis Banks & Sol. ex DC.)
Swamp Buttercup, Water Buttercup, Waoriki, Raoriki

Brooker & Cooper (1961) noted that the expressed juice from Ranunculus rivularis has blistering properties.



Ranunculus aquatilis L.
White Water Crowfoot, Renoncule Aquatique

Pammel (1911) listed the plant as being irritant.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus arvensis L.
Corn Buttercup, Field Crowfoot, Acker Hahnenfuß, Renoncule des Champs

Pammel (1911) listed the plant as irritant; Chopra & Badhwar (1940) described the plant as vesicant. In India, beggars and malingerers often use this plant to disfigure themselves with blisters (Behl et al. 1966).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus auricomus L.
Greenland Buttercup, Golden-Haired Crowfoot, Renoncule à Têtes d'Or

Pammel (1911), citing various earlier authors, listed this species as being irritant.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus baudotii Godron
(syn. Ranunculus peltatus Schrank ssp baudotii Meikle ex C.D.K. Cook)
Brackish Water Buttercup, Brackish Water Crowfoot, Salz-Wasserhahnenfuß, Renoncule de Baudot

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus borealis Trautv.

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus breyninus Crantz
(syns Ranunculus hornschuchii Hoppe, Ranunculus oreophilus M. Bieb.)
Hochgebirgs Hahnenfuß, Vorland-Berg Hahnenfuß, Renoncule de Breyne, Renoncule de la Raxalpe, Renoncule Orophile

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus bulbosus L.
Bulbous Buttercup, St Anthony's Turnip, Knolliger Hahnenfuß, Renoncule Bulbeuse

The sap, leaves, flowers, buds, and roots are irritant (White 1887, Pammel 1911). Piffard (1881) noted that this and most other members of the Ranunculaceae are acrid and caustic. They are apt … to cause ulcerations difficult to heal. The caustic principle … is so volatile that in most cases it is destroyed by desiccation, infusion in water, and decoction.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus californicus Benth.
California Buttercup

Weber (1930, 1937) included this species in lists of irritating plants of the United States.



Ranunculus capensis Thunb.

According to Githens (1949), the plant material applied locally has been used in South Africa as a remedy for scabies.



Ranunculus carpaticus Herbich
Carpathian Buttercup

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus cassius Boiss.

According to Behl et al. (1966), this species is used in the same way as Ranunculus arvensis L. (see above).



Ranunculus chius DC.
Eastern Buttercup, Renoncule de Chio

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus circinatus Sibth.
Fan-Leaved Water Crowfoot, Spreizender Wasserhahnenfuß

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus cymbalaria Pursh
Alkali Buttercup, Seaside Buttercup, Seaside Crowfoot

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus distans Royle
(syns Ranunculus laetus Wall. ex Royle, Ranunculus pseudolaetus Tamura)

Chopra & Badhwar (1940) described Ranunculus laetus as vesicant.



Ranunculus ficaria L.
(syns Ficaria nudicaulis A. Kern., Ficaria ranunculoides Roth, Ficaria verna Hudson, Ficaria vulgaris J. St-Hil.)
Pilewort, Lesser Celandine, Small Celandine, Fig Buttercup, Renoncule Ficaire, Éclairette

This species provides the crude drug Herba Ficariae. Culpeper (1652) and Wren (1988) refer to its use in the treatment of haemorrhoids. It would seem that this use of the plant arose from the Doctrine of Signatures because of the resemblance of the tubers to haemorrhoids.

Pammel (1911) listed the plant as having irritant properties.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus flammula L.
Sciatic Weed, Lesser Spearwort, Greater Creeping Spearwort, Brennender Hahnenfuß, Renoncule Flammette

According to Piffard (1881), the plant causes reddening and vesication when applied to intact healthy skin. Prosser White (1934) referred to a case of a woman who developed inflammation and ulceration of the skin of the thigh after applying sciatic weed to the part. Pammel (1911) and Hurst (1942) also referred to the irritant properties of this plant.

Applied locally, the plant has proven useful in the treatment of corns and warts (Piffard 1881).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus fluitans Lam.
River Water Crowfoot, Flutender Wasserhahnenfuß, Renoncule Flottante

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus glaber Makino
(syn. Ranunculus ternatus Thunb. var glaber H. Boissieu)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus glaberrimus Hook.
Sagebrush Buttercup

In the traditional medicine of the native peoples of British Columbia and neighbouring areas, the crushed or mashed plant is applied as a poultice to blisters from burns, open running sores, abrasions that do not heal, etc. The treatment causes blistering and is extremely painful (Turner 1984).



Ranunculus glacialis L.
(syn. Oxygraphis vulgaris Freyn)
Glacier Buttercup, Glacier Crowfoot, Gletscherhahnenfuß, Renoncule des Glaciers

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus gouanii Willd.
Gouan's Buttercup, Renoncule de Gouan

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus gramineus L.
Grassy-Leaved Buttercup, Grasblättriger Hahnenfuß, Renoncule à Feuilles de Graminées

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus hederaceus L.
Ivy Buttercup, Ivy-Leaved Crowfoot, Efeublättriger Wasserhahnenfuß, Renoncule à Feuilles de Lierre

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus illyricus L.
Illyrian Buttercup, Illyrischer Hahnenfuß

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus inamoenus Greene
Graceful Buttercup

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus japonicus Thunb.

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus japonicus Thunb. var propinquus W.T. Wang
(syn. Ranunculus acris var stevenii Regel, Ranunculus stevenii Andrz.)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus lanuginosus L.
Woolly Buttercup, Wolliger Hahnenfuß, Renoncule Laineuse

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus lingua L.
Greater Spearwort, Großer Hahnenfuß, Renoncule Langue

Chopra & Badhwar (1940) described this species as vesicant.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus longicaulis C. Meyer var pseudohirculus I.A. Gubanov
(syn. Ranunculus pseudohirculus Schrenk)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus montanus Willd.
Mountain Buttercup, Echter Berghahnenfuß, Renoncule des Montagnes, Renoncule à Feuilles de Géranium

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus multifidus Forssk.

According to Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk (1962), the plant is acrid and burning when chewed, and produces a considerable degree of irritation of the parts to which it is applied. They noted also that a severe burning sensation develops in the eyes if the fresh plant material is minced with the eyes unprotected; and that the bruised leaf, applied locally, has been used as a remedy for scabies.

When eaten by sheep, the chief symptoms of poisoning are a profuse ropy salivation and trembling of the lips associated with acute ulcerative stomatitis (Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk 1962).



Ranunculus muricatus L.
Rough-Seeded Buttercup, Pricklefruit Buttercup, Stachelfrüchtiger Hahnenfuß, Renoncule Muriquée

This species is regarded as intensely acrid (Ewart & Tovey 1909).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus neapolitanus Ten.
Naples Buttercup

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus occidentalis Nutt. var occidentalis
Western Buttercup

In the traditional medicine of the native peoples of British Columbia and neighbouring areas, the achenes [= fruitlets with seed] are pulverised, moistened, and rubbed on the skin to cause blistering (Turner 1984).



Ranunculus ololeucos J. Lloyd
(syn. Ranunculus lusitanicus Freyn)
Reinweißer Wasserhahnenfuß, Renoncule Blanche, Renoncule du Portugal

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus oxyspermus Willd. ssp damascenus P. Davis
(syn. Ranunculus damascenus Boiss. & Gaill.)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus parnassifolius L.
Parnassus-Leaved Buttercup, Herzblatt Hahnenfuß, Renoncule à Feuilles de Parnassie

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus parviflorus L.
Small-Flowered Buttercup, Kleinblütiger Hahnenfuß, Renoncule à Petites Fleurs

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus pedatifidus Sm.
Surefoot Buttercup, Birdfoot Buttercup, Northern Buttercup

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus pensylvanicus L. f.
Great Spearwort, Pennsylvania Buttercup, Bristly Buttercup

Chopra & Badhwar (1940) described the plant as vesicant. According to Behl et al. (1966), this species is used in the same way as Ranunculus arvensis L. (see above).



Ranunculus petiolaris Kunth ex DC.
Latin-American Buttercup

The irritant action of the plant is similar to that of cantharidin but more delayed (Martínez 1969).



Ranunculus pinguis Hook. f.

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus platanifolius L.
(syn. Hecatonia platanifolia Schur)
Large White Buttercup, Platanenblättriger Hahnenfuß, Renoncule à Feuilles de Platane

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus polyanthemos L.
Many-Flowered Buttercup, Vielblütiger Hain Hahnenfuß

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus polyanthemos L. ssp nemorosus Schübler & G.M. von Martens
(syns Ranunculus breyninus auct., Ranunculus nemorosus DC., Ranunculus serpens Schrank ssp nemorosus López González, Ranunculus tuberosus Lapeyr.)
Wood Buttercup, Hain Hahnenfuß, Wald Hahnenfuß, Renoncule des Bois, Renoncule Tubéreuse

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus pyrenaeus L.
Pyrenean Buttercup, Pyrenean Crowfoot, Pyrenäen Hahnenfuß, Renoncule des Pyrénées

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus recurvatus Poiret
Blisterwort, Hooked Buttercup, Hooked Crowfoot, Renoncule Recourbée

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus repens L.
Creeping Buttercup, Kriechender Hahnenfuß, Renoncule Rampante

According to White (1887) inflammation of the skin of the palms can result from pulling the plant by hand.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus sardous Crantz
(syn. Ranunculus hirsutus Curtis)
Hairy Buttercup, Sardischer Hahnenfuß, Rauher Hahnenfuß, Renoncule des Marais, Renoncule Sardonie

Kipping (1935) extracted protoanemonin from a steam distillate obtained from Ranunculus hirsutus when confirming the structure of this exceedingly irritant and lachrymatory oily substance.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus sceleratus L.
(syn. Hecatonia scelerata Fourr.)
Cursed Crowfoot, Celery-Leaved Buttercup, Celery-Leaved Crowfoot, Ditch Crowfoot, Marsh Crowfoot, Gifthahnenfuß, Renoncule à Feuilles de Céleri

Numerous authors (White 1887, Pammel 1911, Weber 1930, Weber 1937, Chopra & Badhwar 1940, Shelmire 1940) have recorded that the fresh plant is intensely irritant and can produce violent blistering, particularly of the lips and tongue, but also of the skin. Piffard (1881) noted that if the plant be bruised and laid upon any part of the body, it will in a few hours raise a blister. He noted also that the juice causes vesicles and obstinate ulcers.

Hill & van Heyningen (1951) isolated ranunculin, the precursor of the irritant lactone protoanemonin, from this species. The presence of 5-hydroxytryptamine in the leaves has been reported by Bhargava et al. (1965) but the contribution, if any, of this substance to the skin reaction elicited by the damaged plant material remains to be determined.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus seguieri Villars
Sequier's Buttercup, Seguiers Hahnenfuß, Renoncule de Séguier

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus serbicus Vis.

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus sieboldii Miq.
(syns Ranunculus japonicus Langsd., Ranunculus langsdorffii Sprengel)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus sulphureus Sol. ex C.J. Phipps
(syns Ranunculus altaicus Laxm. ssp sulphureus Kadota, Ranunculus nivalis L. var sulphureus Wahlenb.)
Sulphur Buttercup, Renoncule Soufrée

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus ternatus Thunb.
(syn. Ranunculus zuccarinii Miq.)
Three-Flowered Buttercup

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus thora L.
Kidney-Leaved Crowfoot, Thore's Buttercup, Schildblättriger Hahnenfuß, Renoncule Thora, Renoncule Vénéneuse

Pammel (1911) included this species in lists of irritant buttercups.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus uncinatus D. Don
Woodland Buttercup

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ranunculus velutinus Ten.

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Thalictrum L.

These herbs, of which there are 120–200 species, are found distributed in northern temperate regions, New Guinea, tropical America, and tropical and southern Africa (Mabberley 2008).

Schwartz et al. (1957) included meadow rues in general (Thalictrum spp.) in a list of plants that might irritate the skin of florists, gardeners, and field labourers. It is possible that these plants have been assumed to be irritant because of their relationship to buttercups (Ranunculus L. spp.) or because of confusion with the common rue (Ruta graveolens L., fam. Rutaceae).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Thalictrum aquilegiifolium L.
Columbine-Leaved Meadow Rue, French Meadow Rue, Greater Meadow Rue, Akeleiblättrige Wiesenraute, Colombine Panachée

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Thalictrum flavum L.
Yellow Meadow Rue, Common Meadow Rue, Gelbe Wiesenraute, Pigamon des Rives

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Thalictrum foliolosum DC.
Meadow Rue

According to Behl et al. (1966), this species is irritant.



Thalictrum javanicum Blume

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Thalictrum minus L.
Lesser Meadow Rue, Small Meadow Rue, Kleine Wiesenraute, Petit Pigamon

According to Behl et al. (1966), this species is irritant.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Thalictrum occidentale Gray
Western Meadow Rue

The native peoples of British Columbia and neighbouring areas chew the dried fruits then rub them on the hair and body as a perfume. A "smudge" [= burning to release non-material essences] prepared from the plant is used as an insect repellant. The root is used to prepare a poultice for open wounds (Turner 1984).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Thalictrum thalictroides Eames & Boivin
(syns Anemone thalictroides L., Anemonella thalictroides Spach)
Rue Anemone

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Trautvetteria caroliniensis Vail
(syns Hydrastis carolinensis Walter, Trautvetteria grandis Nutt.)
Carolina Bugbane, Carolina Tassel-Rue, False Bugbane

In the traditional medicine of the native peoples of British Columbia and neighbouring areas, the roots are pounded with a little water and applied as a poultice to boils. This treatment is said to promote suppuration but causes intense burning (Turner 1984).



Trollius L.

The genus comprises 31 species of herbs, which occur naturally in northern temperate regions (Mabberley 2008).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Trollius europaeus L.
Globeflower, Trollblume, Trolle d'Europe

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Trollius laxus Salisbury
American Globeflower, Spreading Globeflower

[Information available but not yet included in database]


References

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Richard J. Schmidt [Valid HTML 4.01!]



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