Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Ranunculus sceleratus

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Ranunculus sceleratus Linn.


Etymology – Ranunculus comes from the Latin Rana = frog, due to the marshy environment of the genus. The Latin Sceleratus = criminal, pernicious, comes from Linnaeus because of the habit of beggars using the juice to raise blisters to excite sympathy.


Traditional name

Used parts

Part used: Whole plant excluding root.

Homeopathic preparation.

(a) Mother Tincture Q

Drug strength 1/10

Ranunculus Sceleratus moist magma containing

solids 100 g plant moisture 400 ml 500 g

Strong Alcohol 635 ml

To make one thousand milliliters of the Mother Tincture.

Potencies; 2x to contain one part Mother Tincture, three parts Purified Water, six parts Strong Alcohol; 3x and higher with Dispensing Alcohol. (Pharmacopea)

The fresh herb, gathered when in fruit, but still green and untouched by frost, is chopped and pounded to a pulp and weighed. Then two parts by weight of alcohol are taken, the pulp thoroughly mixed with one - sixth part of it, and the rest of the alcohol added. After having stirred the whole well, it is poured into a well - stoppered bottle, and allowed to stand eight days in a dark, cool place. The tincture is then separated by straining and filtering. Thus prepared it has a clear reddish - orange color by transmitted light; an acrid odor and taste; and an acid reaction. (Millspaugh's Medicinal Plants)


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


Original proving

Douglass:First proven by Dr. Franz, Germany.
Vermeulen: Proved by Schreter and by Schier.
Pharmacopea:History and authority: Proved and introduced by Dr. Schreter,  Archiv  Hom; Allen:  Encyclop. Mat. Med.  Vol VIII, 270. Hering: Guiding Symptoms, Vol. IX.

Description of the substance

Ranunculus sceleratus Linn.-This plant differs much in appearance from those previously
described (other ranunculeae), and belongs to a separate section of the genus. The flowers are small and inconspicuous, and the fruit-heads are cylindrical. The stem is erect, smooth, succulent and
hollow. The leaves are all three-parted, or three-lobed, with few-toothed lobes. This plant grows
in wet situations, and is found also in Europe. It is probably the most acrid of our native species,
and is called Cursed Crowfoot.

Botanical description.
An erect, glabrous, much branched annual, upto 70 cm in height. Leaves alternate, petiolate, simple, usually 3 - partite, segments cuneate and again variously lobed or notched; cauline leaves sessile. Flowers bracteate, bisexual, numerous, in cymose inflorescence, sepals 5 and petaloid; petals 5, obovate, nectary present at the base of each petal; stamens many, polyandrous; receptacle hairy. Achenes many in an oblong head, small, rather turgid, not margined, obtuse or apiculate.

Microscopical: Stem : Transverse section is circular in out line with a thin cuticle covering the epidermis followed by multicellular cortex having air - cavities. Distinct hypodermis and cambium absent. Vascular bundles conjoint, collateral and closed and present in peripheral region consisting of smaller and larger bundles arranged alternately and surrounded by sclerenchyma. Pith is large with central hollow region. Leaf: dorsiventral covered with small, unicellular, thin - walled, glandular hairs. Stomata anomocytic. (Pharmacopea)

This smooth perennial herb grows to a height of about 1 foot. Stem erect, glabrous, thick, succulent, hollow, and branching; juice acrid and blistering. Leaves thickish, the upper sessile or nearly so, the lobes oblong - linear and nearly entire; stem - leaves 3 - lobed, rounded; root - leaves 3 - parted, but not to the base, the lobes obtusely cut and toothed; petioles of the lower leaves long, and sheathing at their dilated bases. Flowers small, pale - yellow; sepals reflexed; petals scarcely exceeding the sepals. Fruit an oblong, cylindrical head; carpels numerous, barely mucronate.

Ranunculus . This large genus contains, in North America, 53 species and 33 varieties, characterized as follows: Root annual or perennial. Leaves mostly radical, those of the stems alternate and situated at the base of the branches, variously lobed, cut, or dissected, seldom entire. Inflorescence solitary or sometimes corymbed; flowers yellow, rarely white. Sepals 5, rarely only 3, not appendaged, deciduous, and imbricated in the bud. Petals 5, or often more, flat, with a little pit, pore, gland, or nectariferous scale at the base inside. Stamens numerous; filaments filiform. Style short, subulate. Fruit a cylindrical or rounded head, composed of numerous carpels; achenia mostly flattened and pointed by the remains of the style; seeds solitary, erect, rarely suspended. (Millspaugh's Medicinal Plants)

An erect glabrous much branched annual, upto 70 c.m in height. Leaves alternate, petiolate upper ones, simple crenate lower ones. Stem hollow, furrowed & glabrous. Flowers bracteate, bisexual, numerous in cymose inflorescence. (Desai's Magnificent Plants)

The root is annual. The plant itself is of a pale, shining, yellowishgreen colour, juicy and very glabrous except the flower-stalks and upper part of the stem, which are occasionally hairy. The flowers are numerous, small and of a palish yellow.

This species is easily distinguished by its broad, shining, lower leaves, which are on long stalks, the blades palmate, and cut into three divisions, which are notched and toothed. The stem is thick, hollow, furrowed and bears small sessile leaves, divided into three narrow parts, hardly toothed at all. The small, pale yellow flowers, about 1/4 inch across, are succeeded by smooth, oblong seed-heads.



The Celery-leaved Crowfoot is widely spread throughout Britain, growing in watery places and muddy ditches, flowering during July and August.(

The Cursed Crowfoot is indigenous to Europe and North America; with us it appears as if introduced. It grows in marshy tracts and wet ditches, and blossoms from June to August. (Millspaugh's Medicinal Plants)

Found in wet patches in India, Asia, Europe and United States.

Widespread buttercup species growing in watery places and muddy ditches, easily distinguished by its broad, shining, lower leaves. Prefers rich soils. The numerous flowers are small and of a palish yellow. Buttercups contain a substance [probably ranunculine] which disturbs or even prohibits growth, particularly of clovers. On pastures therefore can be observed that with the increase of buttercups the clovers will disappear more and more.
It is one of the most virulent of native plants: bruised and applied to the skin, it raises a blister and creates a sore by no means easy to heal. Even the distilled water is intensely acrimonious, and as it cools, deposits crystals which are insoluble, and have the curious property of being inflammable.