The Forager's Path - School of Botanical Studies

Ranunculaceae for Herbalists

The Ranunculaceae family, also known as the Buttercup family, is not as common as some other families on the Colorado Plateau but is an especially interesting family. The herbal medicine from these plants tends to be strong; either a strong taste (acrid) or a strong action so a lower dose is often called for. These are powerful medicines and important additions to our materia medica in the right situation. Use with care and do your homework.

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Pulsatilla is an outstanding low dose nervine, one of the best for the Vata mind

These are medicinal:
Goldenseal
Black Cohosh
Baneberry (Actaea rubra) has similar therapeutics to Black Cohosh
Pulsatilla (Anemone)
Clematis

These are toxic – don’t use for herbal medicine
Aconite – also known as Monkshood, it is especially toxic and should be avoided by the Community Herbalist

Columbine – it is not used in herbal medicine. I include it here since it is common in the wetter environments at higher elevations around Flagstaff and San Juan County, Colorado. The flower is stunning in its beauty and is especially photogenic.

This family has no edible plants.

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