Ranunculus arvensis, commonly known as corn buttercup, blister flower, devil-on-all-sides or crowfoot is a perennial, flowering plant belonging to the buttercup family.
The plant is thought to be native to Greenland and Alaska but has been naturalized in many parts of the world. This ability to spread and adapt to new environments have seen it considered an invasive weed in some regions.
Crowfoot thrives in meadows, wastelands, and lawns. It produces shiny, beautiful, golden yellow blossoms with five petals which make it an attractive addition in lawns and flower gardens. Just like other members of the buttercup family, crowfoot flowers symbolize humility and neatness. A bouquet of these flowers in your home brings in positive energy, joy, and sunshine due to their bright, yellow color.
Blister flower leaves grow on long petioles and are divided into three lobes. Its stem leaves are normally smaller compared to basal leaves and are arranged in an alternating pattern along the stem. The flowers are produced from April to July on stalks at the tip of the stems.
[Disclaimer: Ranunculus acris is known to have an acrid juice that can cause blistering when it comes into contact with the skin. In addition, the Right Flowers is not a medical site. Knowledge of and information about the therapeutic benefits and applications of flowers, while known through the ages, does not constitute medical advice. If you are having health issues, you should consult with a physician.]
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Crowfoot is rarely nibbled on by animals because of its acrid scent. The plant is also known to contain protoanemonin, a toxin that irritates the mouth and has the potential to cause ulcerations in the mouth. This explains the name “blister flower” which is derived from the blisters that occur in the gastrointestinal tract when cattle eat the plant.
In spite of its acrid smell, all parts of the plant are known to have antispasmodic, rubefacient and diaphoretic properties. Native Americans used to smash the flowers and leaves to make a poultice which they sniffed to treat headaches. They also applied the poultice to treat boils, chest pains, and abscesses.
Other health benefits of corn buttercup include:
Helps to alleviate shingles
Corn buttercup is known to be a great remedy for shingles, commonly known as herpes zoster. The topical application of the plant’s poultice manages the outbreak of blisters and reduce the itchiness and pain associated with the condition.
Good for your joints
If your joints are distressed by rheumatism and gout, you may want to consider turning to crowfoot for relief. When extracts from the plant are applied to the aching joints, they help in alleviating the pain and symptoms associated with these conditions.
Corn buttercup is great for easing the pain, spasms, and stiffness associated with fibromyalgia, also known as fibrositis.
While corn buttercup is still considered a weed, its many health benefits and beautiful flowers make it a handy plant to have in your backyard.