Butcher’s Broom

Latin name: Ruscus aculeatus

What is Butcher’s Broom?
Butcher’s broom plants resemble holly bushes in appearance. They are native to the regions of the Mediterranean Sea and have spread throughout Europe, South America and the Southern United States. The roots and rhizomes of the plant are collected and dried for medicinal use. The herb gets its name from the time when the leaves of the plant were used as a scrubber to clean the cutting boards used by European butchers.

What are the health benefits of Butcher’s Broom?
Butcher’s broom contains chemicals that strengthen collagen and as a result, tighten blood vessels and help to improve the flexibility of blood vessel walls. Butcher’s broom helps alleviate chronic venous insufficiency, a condition that occurs when valves in the veins that carry blood back to the heart are weak or damaged. Thus, butcher’s broom is used to treat conditions such as bleeding hemorrhoids, varicose veins, spider veins, sores on the legs, cramps, as well as swelling and itching that is caused by damaged veins. Butcher’s broom is a mild diuretic, which promotes urination. Formulas that contain butcher’s broom often focus on reducing the swelling of premenstrual symptoms, sprains, and some heart conditions.

Butcher’s broom may be effective in reducing orthostatic hypertension—without raising blood pressure as some other drugs do. Orthostatic hypotension is when there is a drop in blood pressure upon standing up and dizziness, falling or fainting may result.

Are there any precautions for taking Butcher’s Broom?
Because it tightens blood vessels, those with high blood pressure or benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) should not take butcher’s broom without consulting their physician.

Where can I find Butcher’s Broom?
Butcher’s broom is usually sold in capsules containing other ingredients. It can be purchased at natural food stores, online and at herbal apothecaries. Dosage depends on the condition the herbs are treating.

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This entry was posted in Herbs, Natural Health Dictionary.