Bulbous buttercup (Ranunculus bulbosus) is named for the uniquely bulbous, white protrusion that is found at the base of the stem. The common name "blister plant" comes from the blistering that occurs in the mouth and intestinal tract when cattle eat the plant.
More than a century ago, bulbous buttercup was recommended by herbalists for resolving dermatologic, rheumatologic, gastrointestinal, and dental complaints. When rubbed on the skin, bulbous buttercup causes blistering, swelling, and topical ulcers, which were said to alleviate pain topically as well as subcutaneously. All parts of the acrid plants were used to induce vomiting and diarrhea upon ingestion. As a painkiller, the plant was stuffed into dental cavities and its infusions were rubbed on the gums of teething infants.
Bulbous buttercup contains acrid, harsh chemicals that cause uncomfortable and severe reactions wherever it comes into contact with the body. Because of this, bulbous buttercup is not a frequently used herbal plant today. All parts of the bulbous buttercup are now known to be poisonous. The active properties of bulbous buttercup are thought to be destroyed upon heating or drying. There are no available high-quality clinical trials evaluating the use of bulbous buttercup for medicinal purposes.
Anemonic acid, anemonin, bachelor's buttons, bachelor's cheese, blister flower, blister plant, blister weed, bouton d'or (French), bulbosus, bulbous crowfoot, burrwort, butter and cheese, buttercup, butter flower, butterrose, common buttercup, crazy weed, crazyweed, crowfoot, cuckoo-buds of yellow hue, cuckow buds of yellow hue, field buttercup, frogsfoot, giltcup, goldcup, goldknob, gowan, jaunet (French), kingcups, L-caffeoylglucose, meadow bloom, meadow buttercup, protoanemonin, Ranunculaceae (family), ranunculin, Ranunculus acris, Ranunculus bulbosus, St. Anthony's rape, St. Anthony's turnip, tall crowfoot, tall field buttercup, upright meadow crowfoot, yellow weed.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.