Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Ranunculus bulbosus

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Ranunculus bulbosus


bulbosus refers to the bulb-like swelling at the base of the stem


Traditional name

Used parts

Allen Enc.:Tincture of the whole plant.


Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Polycarpicae (Magnoliidae); Ranunculales; Ranunculaceae - Buttercup Family


Original proving

Ranunculus bulbosus was proved by Franz and some effects of its external application have been observed and results of inhaling the fumes while preparing the plant or when it has been burned.
Pharmacopea:History and authority: Proved and introduced in 1821 by Franz.  Archiv,  Vol. II, 165; Allen:  Encyclop Mat. Med.  Vol. VIII, 257; Hering:  Guiding Symptoms,  IX, 1.

Description of the substance

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 stemthat 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.

Calyx  inferior, of five, rarely fewer, egg - shaped, concave, somewhat coloured, deciduous sepals, not lengthened at the base.  Corolla,  of five, rarely eight or ten, blunt polished petals, each with a nectariferous scale on the inside, at the base.  Filaments  numerous, not half the length of the petals.  Anthers  roundish, linear, or heart - shaped, terminal upright of two cells, bursting at the outer edges.  Germens  superior, numerous, collected into a head.  Styles  none.  Stigmas  small, reflexed.  Pericarps  or  canopsides (seeds  of Linn. and Smith) numerous, egg - shaped, somewhat compressed either smooth, striated, tuberculated, or prickly, each tipped with a point or hook, arranged in a globose or cylindrical head.  Seed  erect, one in each pericarp.
Leaves  divided pairing, ternate, three cleft, cut.  Pericarps  smooth. Perennial.  Stem  many flowered.  Calyx  reflexed.  Seeds  compressed, smooth.  Root  bulbous.

The Ranunculus bulbosus is a perennial plant, flowering in May and June, "when the meadows are enamelled with its shining yellow blossoms in the greatest profusion." The  root  is a round, solid bulb, about an inch in diameter, increasing by offsets from the top, and sending out from its base many long stout fibres.  Stems  several, erect, a foot high branched, leafy, round, hairy, many flowered, destitute of trailing shoots or runners.  Leaves  stalked, variously cut, more or less hairy.  Flowers  terminal, solitary, on angular furrowed stalks, rough with erect bristly hairs.  Petals  of a deep shining yellow.  Nectary  covered by a notched, scale.  Fruit  globose.  Seeds  orbicular greatly compressed, bordered, smooth, and even tipped with a short blunt beak. This is one of the most acrid and even caustic species.
The genus Ranunculus is distributed all over Europe, Asia, and America. The Ranunculus bulbosus is very common in Europe, as well as in North America, in meadows and pastures, flowering throughout the summer. Abundant in New England.

Bulbous Crowfoot is an immigrant from Europe, now pretty thoroughly established along the Atlantic coast, in some places being an actual pest in meadows and pastures; it has not extended far inward, but seems decidedly prone so to do. It blossoms northward from May to July.
This species, being one of the more acrid of the genus, and of frequent occurrence in the East, has been used, like R. sceleratus, as a local irritant where vesication seemed necessary; its use was often prolonged to ulceration, from which severe cases of gangrene sometimes resulted. (The general uses of Ranunculi will be found under sceleratus, 3, where special mention made of the various species.)
This was the officinal species of the U. S. Ph., now dismissed.

According to Krapf ( Exp. de Nonnull. Ranun. Ven. Qual. ) this acrid principle of the Ranunculus is neither acid nor alkaline, and very volatile; hence it is that the Ranunculus loses almost its entire virtue by boiling, drying, etc.
The acridity of the leaves and stems of the Ranunculus bul bosus is various during the period of fructification. The leaves near the root, as well as the other leaves, are much less acrid the paler and drier they are; the stem is less acrid in proportion as it is more woody; so that during the period of fructification the acridity and viture of the plant reside in the root and blossom, or rather in the germ. The fibres of the root, are acrid previous to the period of fructification, but afterwards they lose all their power.

Genere (Ranunculus) di piante della fam. Ranuncolacee con ca. 250 specie diffuse prevalentemente nelle regioni temperate e fredde dell'emisfero settentrionale. Sono erbe annue o perenni, terrestri o palustri, con fiori a 3 o a 5 petali, 5 sepali e numerosi stami.
Il Ranunculus asiaticus viene coltivato in numerose varietà a fiori semplici, solitari, rossi, o a fiori doppi di vario colore. Una cinquantina di specie con fiori gialli o bianchi vive spontanea anche in Italia, nei campi e nei prati. Fra queste le più comuni sono il r. dei prati (Ranunculus acer), il r. dei fossi (Ranunculus repens), il r. di montagna (Ranunculus pyrenaeus) e il favagello (Ranunculus ficaria). Negli acquitrini vive inoltre il Ranunculus aquatilis, a fiori bianchi, mentre sulle Alpi, al limite delle nevi perenni, cresce il r. dei ghiacciai (Ranunculus glacialis).
Tutti i r. contengono sostanze tossiche, per cui riescono dannose agli animali pascolanti. Per il r. di montagna, v. botton d'oro.