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Lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria)

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Also listed as: Ranunculus ficaria
Related terms
Background
Evidencetable
Tradition
Dosing
Safety
Interactions
Attribution
Bibliography

Related Terms
  • Fig buttercup, pilewort, Ranunculaceae (family), Ranunculus ficaria, scurvywort, woodland buttercup.

Background
  • Lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria) is a perennial herbaceous meadow plant in the buttercup family that is found in Europe, Asia, Canada, and the northeastern and northwestern parts of the United States, where it is considered an invasive species. Lesser celandine is not to be confused with greater celandine (Chelidonium majus), a member of the Papaveraceae family.
  • According to herbal textbooks and tradition, lesser celandine has astringent properties and has been used to treat inflammatory conditions. Lesser celandine was once known as "pilewort" and has been used to treat hemorrhoids. It is also known as "scurvywort," because its leaves have been used as a source of vitamin C. Scurvy is a condition that results from vitamin C deficiency.
  • There is currently a lack of high-quality clinical trials available investigating lesser celandine for any medical condition.
  • It has been reported that all parts of the lesser celandine plant are poisonous.

Evidence Table

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. GRADE *
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Astringent, anti-inflammatory, dental hygiene (tooth cleaner), heartburn/poor appetite, hemorrhoids, liver and gallbladder tonic, scurvy, ulcers.

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose for lesser celandine in adults.

Children (under 18 years old)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose for lesser celandine in children.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Avoid in people with known allergy or hypersensitivity to lesser celandine or any of its constituents or members of the Ranunculaceae family.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • It has been reported that all parts of the lesser celandine plant are poisonous.
  • Lesser celandine may cause hepatitis or liver damage. Avoid in patients with poor liver function.
  • Avoid in people with known allergy or hypersensitivity to lesser celandine, any of its constituents, or members of the Ranunculaceae family.
  • Avoid in pregnant or breastfeeding women, due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Avoid in pregnant or breastfeeding women, due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

  • Lesser celandine may interact with drugs that may damage the liver.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Lesser celandine may interact with herbs and supplements that may damage the liver.

Attribution
  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Cooley NM, Holmes MG, Attridge TH. Growth and stomatal responses of temperate meadow species to enhanced levels of UV-A and UV-B+A radiation in the natural environment. J Photochem Photobiol B 2000;57(2-3):179-85.
  2. Strahl S, Ehret V, Dahm HH, et al. [Necrotizing hepatitis after taking herbal remedies]. Dtsch Med Wochenschr 1998;123(47):1410-4.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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