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Butcher's Broom (Ruscus aculeatus)
Butcher?s broom was named thus because its branches were traditionally used by butchers as broom straws. During the mid-twentieth century, researchers discovered the active ingredient (ruscogenins) in the butcher?s broom root, rather than the plant itself. Today, the German Commission E has approved it for the treatment of Haemorrhoids and Varicose veins. Animal studies provide preliminary evidence of its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to induce vasoconstriction in small veins (1, 2).
Popularised when French scientists discovered its vasoconstrictive effects, butcher?s broom dates back to the time of Greek civilisation when it was used as a laxative and diuretic.
Part of the plant used: ROOT.
Oral dose supplying 50-100 mg of ruscogenins daily.
For Haemorrhoids, butcher?s broom can also be applied as an ointment or in the form of a suppository.
Butcher?s broom may be used for the following:
Butcher?s broom appears to be safe, rarely ever causing noticeable side effects. Detailed studies on its safety have not yet been conducted.
Young children, pregnant or nursing women, and patients with liver or kidney disease should take precautions when using butcher?s broom, as safety has not yet been established.
Certain sedatives, hypnotics, and beta-adrenergic blocking agents can inhibit the herb?s anti-inflammatory activity.
Cochicine and Ritodrine Hydrochloride may interact with butcher?s broom.
1. Bouskela E, et al. Effects of Ruscus extract on the internal diameter of arterioles and venules of the hamster cheek pouch microcirculation. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 22: 221-224, 1993.