Butcher’s broom, Ruscus aculeatus, was used by the Scottish clan Forbes. They wore it in their bonnets to arouse the heroism of their chieftains. In Gaelic it was called bealadh. Historically Butchers Broom was made into brooms and used by butchers. It isn’t used for that now but it does have some properties that may help venous circulation.
The medicinal use of Butcher’s broom goes back to ancient times. Butcher’s broom was used by Discorides. It is mentioned in the earliest herbals. It was used in Europe for the last 2,000 years. Some of the things they used butcher’s broom for were abdominal problems, as a laxative and as a diuretic. It was also used for kidney stones and fractured bones.
The herbalist Mrs. M. Grieve in her famous book, A Modern Herbal, describes the plant as being tough and erect, with rigid leaves. It has small greenish-white flowers. This herb is an evergreen which means it stays green all year round. The rhizome and the aerial shoots are the parts that are used.
In modern times butcher’s broom is primarily used for venous disorders, namely varicose veins and hemorrhoids. In a case report by Deborah A. Redman, Ph.D, herbal treatment reduces capacity for pooling of blood in the legs and has a protective effect.
I personally use this herb for my varicose veins and find it does help to reduce the swelling, itching and soreness. This herb does not cure these things, but it does help. Butcher’s broom is available in capsules and as an extract. Butcher’s broom is also available as a tea, both loose and in tea bags.
Butcher’s broom is readily available at most places that sell herbs and is inexpensive. If you want to use it be sure to consult your healthcare provider first.
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Deborah A. Redman. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. September 2007, 6(6): 539-549.https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2000.6.539