Medicinal Action and Uses of Butcher's broom.
- Butcher's broom,Ruscus aculeatus: Botanical Info.
- Ruscus aculeatus Overview and Plant Description.
- Phytochemical and Constituents:Butcher's broom.
- History and Lore:Butcher's broom.
- Ruscus aculeatus Part Used Medicinally.
- Medicinal Action and Uses of Butcher's broom.
- Ruscus aculeatus and Circulatory System.
- Butcher's broom current conditions.
- Administrations and Suggestions:Ruscus aculeatus.
- Research Update:Butcher's Broom or Ruscus aculeatus.
Medicinal Action and Uses of Butcher's broom.:
Butcher's broom has been used in folk medicine as far back as the first century A.D. In the past, it was used as a laxative and as a treatment for gout, jaundice, kidney stones, and broken bones. It was also used as a diuretic to reduce swelling in the hands and feet, and to reduce inflammation due to arthritis. At one time, the plant was eaten as a vegetable in the United States. The seeds have been roasted and used as a coffee substitute.
Few of these uses survive today. Modern herbalists primarily use butcher's broom as supportive therapy for poor circulation, hemorrhoids, varicose vein syndrome, and other manifestations of leaky vein walls and poor venous blood return to the heart. For these conditions, it is taken internally. Although butcher's broom will not cure these conditions, it is used to relieve symptoms such as leg cramps, pain, heaviness in the legs, swelling of the legs and feet, and it can strengthen vein walls. Butcher's broom is also used externally as an ointment or suppository to treat itching and burning associated with hemorrhoids.
Butcher's broom had been in decline as a medicinal herb until the 1950s. Then researchers discovered that an extract of the root contained two compounds, ruscogenin and neuorscogenin, that could constrict the veins in dogs and other laboratory animals. This improves blood flow and increases the strength and tone of those veins.
Interest in butcher's broom increased. The herb was included in many popular formulations for treating poor leg circulation in Europe (and less so in the United States). A few controlled human studies were conducted. People showed some of the same reactions to the drug as laboratory animals, but the improvements in blood flow were slight, and little was known about the safety of the drug. As a result, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) felt the study data was not conclusive enough to approve butcher's broom as a drug. However, the German Federal Health Agency's Commission E (established in 1978 to independently review and evaluate scientific literature and case studies on herb and plant medications) has approved butcher's broom for use in alleviating the discomforts associated with chronic venous insufficiency.
There is less scientific data about treating hemorrhoids with butcher's broom. Although there are compounds in butcher's broom that constrict blood vessels and reduce inflammation, it isn't clear whether these compounds are effective in ointments and suppositories applied externally to hemorrhoids. Recent research done in Palestine also suggests that extracts of R. aculeatus have a mild and selective antifungal property. Although initial studies look promising, more controlled research needs to be done on people to conclusively define the role of butcher's broom in healing.
Diuretic and cathartic:Broom tops are used in the form of decoction and infusion, often with squill and ammonium and potassium acetate, as a feeble diuretic, generally in dropsical complaints of cardiac origin. The action is due to the Scoparin contained, whose action on the renal mucous membrane is similar to that of Buchu and Uva-Ursi.
The infusion is made from 1 OZ. of the dried tops to a pint of boiling water, taken in wineglassful doses frequently. When acute renal inflammation is present, it should not be given.
Broom Juice, in large doses, is apt to disturb the stomach and bowels and is therefore more often used as an adjuvant to other diuretics than alone.
A compound decoction of Broom is recommended in herbal medicine as of much benefit in bladder and kidney affections, as well as in chronic dropsy. To make this, 1 OZ. Broomtops and 1/2 oz. of Dandelion Roots are boiled in one pint of water down to half a pint, adding towards the last, 1/2 oz. of bruised Juniper berries. When cold, the decoction is strained and a small quantity of cayenne added. A wineglassful is taken three or four times a day.
The statements of different investigators, both clinical and pharmacological, concerning the effects of the Sparteine in preparations of Broom, have elicited absolutely opposing views on the effect upon the nerves and circulatory system. It is found to produce a transient rise in arterial pressure, followed by a longer period of decreased vascular tension. Small doses slow the heart for a short period of time and then hasten its rate and at the same time increase the volume of the pulse. Those who advocate its employment claim that it is a useful heart tonic and regulator in chronic valvular disease. It has no cumulative action, like Digitalis.
In large doses, Sparteine causes vomiting and purging weakens the heart, depresses the nerve cells and lowers the blood pressure and has a strong resemblance to the action of Conine (Hemlock) on the heart. In extreme cases, death is caused by impairing the activity of the respiratory organs. Shepherds have long been aware of the narcotic properties of Broom, due to Sparteine, having noticed that sheep after eating it become at first excited and then stupefied, but the intoxicating effects soon pass off.
Butcher's broom (also called Jew's Myrtle, Knee Holly, Kneeholm, Pettigree, Sweet Broom) is a small-leafed bush cultivated in the Mediterranean and Europe. It is part of the lilly family, and is quite similar to your everday asparagus plant. Both the root and stem of the plant are used in herbal preparations. Butchers broom has been used to improve circulation, relieve constipation, and to relieve water retention discomfort. It is reported that butcher's broom can tighten the circulatory system's veins and strengthen the capillary walls. It is rich in flavonoids such as rutin and enhances blood flow to the brain, legs, and hands.
Butchers broom has been reported to be effective in treating a variety of conditions including:
Chronic venous insufficiency
The primary contituents of butcher's broom include steroidal saponins which are believed to be responsible for the herbs medicinal effects.
European herbal doctors have used butcher's broom for centuries to alleviate constipation and excess water retention. Butcher's broom may ease the swelling and pain of arthritis and rheumatism, and works particularly well for people who are on their feet most of the day, such as doctors, salespersons, and teachers.
This herb may also lessen cramps, 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. This insufficiency allows blood to collect in the veins, which may cause varicose veins, spider veins, sores, and even blood clots in the legs. Though not as common in the United States, a butcher's broom derivative is used in European hospitals to prevent blood clots post surgery.
Butcher's broom has been used as a mild diuretic and laxative, though other drugs are now considered more effective. Scientists are investigating butcher's broom for the treatment of orthostatic hypotension (a drop in blood pressure after standing). Advanced age, certain drugs, and medical conditions such as diabetes and Parkinson's disease are often associated with orthostatic hypotension.
Diaphoretic, diuretic, deobstruent and aperient. Was much recommended by Dioscorides and other ancient physicians as an aperient and diuretic in dropsy, urinary obstructions and nephritic cases.
A decoction of the root is the usual form of administration, and it is still considered of use in jaundice and gravel. One pint of boiling water to 1 OZ. of the twigs, or 1/2 oz. of the bruised fresh root has also been recommended as an infusion, which may be taken as tea.
In scrofulous tumours, advantage has been realized by administering the root in doses of a drachm every morning.
The decoction, sweetened with honey, is said to clear the chest of phlegm and relieve difficult breathing.
The boughs have been employed for flogging chilblains.
Traditional Usage: - Angiopathy- Anti-inflammatory- Capillary Strengthening- Chronic Orthostatic Hypotension- Chronic Venous Insufficiency- Diabetic Microangiopathy- Diabetic Retinopathy - Dislocated Joints- Edema- Fever- Gravel - Heart Health Maintenance- Hemorrhoids- Jaundice- Joint Dislocation- Leg Vein Health- Menstrual Problems- Microangiopathy- Phlebitis- Poor Circulation- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)- Retinopathy- Skin Disorders- Sprains- Urinary Tract Disorders- Varicose Veins- Vascular Disorders- Venous Insufficiency- Wrinkles
Actions: Anti-inflammatory, antiatherogenic, anticoagulant, antihypercholesterolemic, antimicrobial, antiphlebitis, antithrombotic, aperient, capillary protectant, circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic, diuretic, peripheral vasoconstrictor (does not increase blood pressure), steroidal saponins stimulate the release of norepinephrine causing vasoconstriction and thereby decrease capillary permeability
Indications: Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, circulatory disorders, edema, gangrene, gout, hemorrhoids, hypercholesterolemia, inflammation, jaundice, leg cramps, Meniere's disease, muscle injuries, painful menstruation, phlebitis, post operative thrombosis, Raynaud's syndrome, respiratory disorders, thrombosis, urinary tract obstruction, varicose veins, vertigo
Medicinal virtues: The decoction of the root made with wine removes obstructions, provokes urine, expels gravel and stone, relieves the strangury and helps women's courses. It is also useful for the yellow jaundice and headache. With honey or sugar added, it cleanseth the breast of phlegm and the chest of clammy humours gathered therein.
A poultice made of the berries and leaves is effectual in knitting and consolidating broken bones or parts out of joint. A common way of using it is to boil the root with Parsley, Fennel and Smallage in white wine and drink the decoction, adding a similar quantity of Grass root. The more of the root that is used, the stronger will the decoction be.
Modern uses: A decoction of the dried root is still recommended in the treatment of jaundice, urinary stones and suppression of menstruation - 1 oz (28 g) of the root to 1and 1/2 Pt (852 ml) of water is used. The water is boiled down to 1 Pt (568 ml) and strained. The dose is two teaspoonfuls three times a day. A tea can be made from 1/2 Oz (14 g) of the fresh root or 1 oz (28 g) of the twigs to 1 pt (568 ml) of boiling water. Dose 2 fl oz (56 ml). This acts as a diuretic and diaphoretic.
Used as an infusion, decoction, extract and tincture. Butcher's Broom is a traditional treatment for skin problems and hemorrhoids. Its vasoconstrictive and anti-inflammatory properties can be attributed to steroidal molecules called ruscogenins and neoruscogenins. The 1997 Commission E on Phytotherapy and Herbal Substances of the German Federal Institute for Drugs recommends Butcher's broom for 'Supportive therapy for discomforts of chronic venous insufficiency, such as pain and heaviness, as well as cramps in the legs, itching, and swelling. Supportive therapy for complaints of hemorrhoids, such as itching and burning.' 'Side Effects: In rare cases, gastric disorders or nausea may occur.' 'Daily dosage: Raw extract, equivalent to 7 - 11 mg total ruscogenin (determined as the sum of neoruscogenin and ruscogenin obtained after fermentation or acid hydrolysis). Mode of Administration: Extracts and their preparations for internal use.' 'Actions: In animal experiments: Increase in venous tone; Electrolyte-like reaction on the cell wall of capillaries; Antiphlogistic; Diuretic.' Clinical trials have shown the effectiveness of Butcher's Broom in treating chronic phlebopathy of the lower limbs and those suffering from varicose veins. In these trials, an extract was used. An extract of Butcher's Broom combined with flavonoid derivatives has been shown to benefit patients with diabetes, by lowering cholesterol levels and improving glucose tolerance. Grieve's classic 'A Modern Herbal': 'The young shoots of Butcher's Broom have often been eaten like those of the Asparagus, a plant to which it is closely allied. The matured branches used to be bound into bundles and sold to butchers for sweeping their blocks, hence the name: Butcher's Broom. It is frequently made into besoms in Italy. One of the names given the plant, 'Jew's Myrtle,' points to its use for service during the Feast of Tabernacles.' 'Diaphoretic, diuretic, deobstruent and aperient. Was much recommended by Dioscorides and other ancient physicians as an aperient and diuretic in dropsy, urinary obstructions and nephritic cases.' 'A decoction of the root is the usual form of administration, and it is still considered of use in jaundice and gravel. One pint of boiling water to 1 oz. of the twigs, or ?oz. of the bruised fresh root has also been recommended as an infusion, which may be taken as tea.' 'In scrofulous tumours, advantage has been realized by administering the root in doses of a drachm every morning.' 'The decoction, sweetened with honey, is said to clear the chest of phlegm and relieve difficult breathing.' 'The boughs have been employed for flogging chilblains... more Butchers Broom Root
Cosmetic uses of Butcher's Broom:
There is evidence showing that butcher's broom extract can reduce edema and venous problems when taken orally.It may also have anti-inflammatory properties for skin, but there is little evidence of this.
Butcher’s broom acts mainly on microcirculation in the skin, decreasing capillary permeability due to the content of the flavonoid, rutin.Its therapeutic properties are used in skin care to increase circulation, reduce edema, reduce swelling and to act as an anti-inflammatory,all very useful when fighting cellulite,can be very useful in Anti-Cellulite products in cream forms.
This herb is mostly used for disorders of the venous system (veins and arteries) of the body, especially for fragility of the veins and for improving circulation. This has been proven in clinical investigations.It has also been used with good results in the treatment of varicose veins.
In 1950 the French researchers, H Lapin and C Sannié, isolated ruscogenin - a sapogenin in the plant, which is similar to the steroid saponin diogenin, that is found in the Mexican yam root (Dioscorea species).This active ingredient is found today in preparations for topical applications in hemorrhoid treatments.
Various clinical studies have been done to test the effectiveness of the herb in assisting circulation and the venous system, as well as the effect it has on the tone of the skin and the effect that it exerts as a topical application.
The herb contains 4 - 6% of a mixture of steroidal saponin compounds including approximately 0.12% ruscogenin, neoruscogenin, ruscin and ruscoside , fatty acids including tetracosanoic acid; flavonoids; sterols, including sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol, benzofuranes, including euparone and ruscodibenzofurane.
Ruscus Aculeatus Root Extract is commonly known as Butcherbroom Extract,it is a powder extract derived from Ruscus Aculeatus root,activates lymphatic drainage, reduces excess fluids (anti-inflammatory), alleviates fatty inclusions (cysts).
- 1.Butcher's Broom is so named because the mature branches were bundled and used as brooms by butchers to clean their cutting blocks.
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