Crowfoot, Celery-Leaved

Medical Herbs Catalogue


Crowfoot, Celery-Leaved

Botanical Name: Ranunculus sceleratus (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Ranunculaceae
Synonym: Marsh Crowfoot.
Part Used: Whole plant.
Habitat: The Celery-leaved Crowfoot is widely spread throughout Britain, growing in watery places and muddy ditches, flowering during July and August.

Description: 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.

Medicinal Action and Uses: 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. When chewed, it inflames the tongue and produces violent effects. Even the distilled water is intensely acrimonious, and as it cools, deposits crystals which are insoluble, and have the curious property of being inflammable. Yet if the plant be boiled and the water thrown away, it is said to be not unwholesome, the peasants of Wallachia eating it thus as a vegetable. When made into a tincture, given in small diluted doses, it proves curative of stitch in the side and neuralgic pains between the ribs.