Part Used: Dried rhizome
Butcher's Broom (Ruscus aculeatus) is a low evergreen Eurasian shrub of the lily family, with flat shoots that give the appearance of stiff, spine-tipped leaves. It has Aperient; Deobstruent; Depurative; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; and Vasoconstrictor properties. Its root is aperient, deobstruent, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic and vasoconstrictor. It has been taken internally in the past in the treatment of jaundice, gout, and kidney and bladder stones, at the present time it is used to treat venous insufficiency and haemorrhoids. It is also applied externally in the treatment of haemorrhoids. The herb contains saponin glycosides, including ruscogenin and neoruscogenin. These substances are anti-inflammatory and cause the contraction of blood vessels, especially veins.
Both oral and topical Butcher's Broom may also lessen cramps, itching, swelling, and other symptoms associated with chronic venous insufficiency, a condition that occurs when valves in the veins that carry blood back to the heart are weak or damaged. The blood that may collect in the veins of the legs can lead to varicose veins, spider veins, or sores on the legs. Chronic venous insufficiency can have more serious effects, which may include blood clots in the legs. Although other anti-clotting drugs are more common in the United States, a preparation derived from Butcherís Broom is used in European hospitals to prevent blood clots after surgery. It has also been used as a mild diuretic, a chemical that promotes the loss of urine from the body. Because it helps to keep fluids from leaking out of blood vessels into surrounding tissue, more body fluid is filtered through the kidneys and eliminated in urine. This effect may lessen swelling. Currently, other drugs are more effective for relieving serious swelling, but products that include Butcherís Broom are popular in European countries for the relief of less serious swelling associated with premenstrual syndrome, sprains, and some heart conditions. It is also being investigated for the treatment of orthostatic hypotension, which is a drop in blood pressure after standing up. Dizziness, falling, or fainting may result. Advanced age, certain drugs, and medical conditions such as diabetes and Parkinsonís disease are often associated with orthostatic hypotension. Butcherís Broom may reduce orthostatic hypertension without raising blood pressure as some other treatments do.
Plants for a Future. http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Ruscus+aculeatus
Drug Digest. http://www.drugdigest.org/DD/DVH/HerbsWho/0,3923,4087%7CRuscus+aculeatus,00.html