Butcher's broom, or Ruscus aculeatus, is a dark green, evergreen shrub that is native to Western Europe and some northern parts of Africa.
Folk medicine has used butcher's broom as a herbal treatment for a wide range of symptoms caused by poor blood flow.
Butcher's broom is used to treat haemorrhoids, gallstones, "hardening of the arteries", and the pain, heaviness, leg swelling, leg cramps, varicose veins, itching, and swelling that come from poor blood circulation. Butcher's broom also serves as a laxative, a diuretic to make more urine, to reduce swelling, and to speed up the healing of broken bones.
What is Butcher's broom?
Butcher's broom is in the family Ruscaceae. It has flat, leaf-like branches (cladophylls), red berries, and greenish-white flowers in late winter and spring. The shoots can be eaten, just like asparagus.
The name of the bush comes from the fact that butchers used to pick it to make small brooms that were used to clean and sweep butchering blocks.
Health benefits of Butcher's broom:
1. Helps fight circulation problems like chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)
Butcher's broom helps the veins close so that blood can flow back to the heart. Studies show that the butcher's broom helps adults with CVI reduce tension and swelling in the area around their lower legs and ankles.
2. Helps to reduce swelling
Long-term inflammation can be bad for your health and make you more likely to get some diseases. Ruscogenin, which is found in butcher's broom, has anti-inflammatory effects and helps block inflammatory signals and markers, which could stop inflammation from doing damage.
3. Eases the symptoms of orthostatic low blood pressure
Orthostatic hypotension (OH) is a common problem in older people where the blood pressure drops quickly when a person stands up too quickly. It causes lightheadedness, dizziness, weakness, and nausea, all of which are caused by the normal reflexes getting weaker with age.
Butcher's broom helps tighten veins, which stops OH from happening.
4. Lessens the chance of getting haemorrhoids
Even though there isn't much evidence to back up this claim, butcher's broom is used in alternative medicine to treat haemorrhoids and other vascular problems because it helps reduce swelling and makes veins contract.