Butcher's Broom

By: Elna Botes van Schalkwyk

Butcher’s broom is generally used as an anti-inflammatory, aromatic, diaphoretic, diuretic, mildly laxative, and vasoconstrictive agent. It has been used to alleviate constipation, improve blood circulation, and to ameliorate water retention discomfort. This medicinal herb is believed to tighten the veins of the circulatory system and fortify the walls of capillary vessels.

The plant contains many steroidal saponins. These steroidal saponins are believed to be responsible for the medicinal effects of this herb. The active principle is ruscin (monodesmosidic spirostanoside type), ruscoside (bisdesmosidic furostanol glycoside type) with accompanying aglycones (neoruscogenin and ruscogenin). The high flavonoid contents such as rutin that ameliorates the flow of blood to the brain, hands, and legs. The utilization of this medicinal herb as a tonic was recorded in the manuscripts of ancient Greeks. However, only after 1950s, the medical properties of this herb have been spread to the West. In the 1970s, Europe affirmed the extending popularity of the herbal remedies in the modern medicine.

Now, the modern herbal medical practitioners commonly use the leaves of the plant as an anti-inflammatory agent and circulatory tonic for a variety of vascular disorders. A mildly bitter tea prepared using the herb is being consumed, which is believed to facilitate blood circulation to the limbs and it acts to reduce the phenomenon of blood clotting and post-surgical thrombosis. Because of its mild diuretic action, it acts as herbal remedy for reducing swelling of the legs, and it seems to be useful in the treatment of phlebitis and natural treatment for varicose veins.

Various people use butcher´s broom for the treatment and prevention of a variety of ailments such as atherosclerosis, chronic venous insufficiency and the suppositories made from this plant are often utilized in the herbal treatment of hemorrhoids.

When butcher´s broom is applied as a topical ointment, it seems to be effective in easing off the pains and swelling associated with arthritis and rheumatism.

The suppository prepared from butcher’s broom is used as an active component in several drug formulations and topical medications for various venous diseases and venous insufficiency.

PS: Please discuss with your doctor before taking any new herbs or supplements.