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scotch broom

Cytisus scoparius

Part Used: Dried flowering top (no seed pod)

Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius) is an invasive flowering shrub that grows commonly throughout the Puget Sound region, native to southern Europe and northern Africa. Both the flower and herb of Scotch Broom have been used medicinally. There is very little available scientific evidence about the efficacy or safety of this plant, and most conclusions come from knowledge of its constituents, or from traditional use. There is particular concern about the potential toxicity of Scotch Broom due to the presence of small amounts of the toxic alkaloids sparteine and isosparteine, which are found in both the flowers and herb (above-ground parts). Sparteine has known effects on the electrical conductivity of heart muscle and can potentially cause dangerous heart rhythms or interact with cardiac drugs. It is also known to cause uterine contractions, and should be avoided during pregnancy. It has been used as remedies for cardioactive diuretic, hypertensive, peripheral vasoconstrictor, and astringent.

Scothc Broom is a valuable remedy where there is a weak heart and low blood pressure. Since it is also a diuretic and produces peripheral constriction of the blood vessels while increasing the efficiency of each stroke of the heart, it can be used where water retention occurs due to heart weakness. It is also used in cases of over-profuse menstruation.

References:
Medline Plus. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-scotchbroom.html
Holistic Online. http://www.holisticonline.com/Herbal-Med/_Herbs/h106.htm

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