Ranunculus ficaria. N.O. Ranunculaceae.
Synonym ► Lesser Celandine, Little Celandine (not to be confused with Chelidonium majus , q.v.).
Habitat ► Moist places, both open and shady.
Features ► Flower stem grows up to six inches (slightly longer than leaf stalk) with two or three leaves, and ending in a single bright yellow, buttercup-like flower, of usually eight petals and three sepals. Numerous leaves from the root on long stalks, glossy, heart-shaped, whitish-green blotches, notched margins. Root characteristically bunched into white, fleshy, club-shaped or oblong-rounded knots.
Part used ► Herb. Action ► Astringent.
Used almost entirely (as the common name denotes) in the treatment of piles. The ounce to pint boiling water infusion is taken consistently in wineglass doses, and an ointment is made by macerating the herb in boiling lard for twenty-four hours. Probably the best of all known remedies for this complaint, the combination with Witch Hazel is found to be particularly effective.