Butcher's Broom Extract

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Description: Traditional Fluid Extract of the dried root of Butchers Broom, Ruscus aculeatus, in 45% ethanol and purified water.

History and Cultural Significance: Ruscus aculeatus is a bushy shrub, native to Southern Europe. The common name “butcher’s broom” came from Europe, where butchers would bundle the shrub into a broom to sweep and cleanse their cutting blocks, due to the stiffness of the material.3 (It was later discovered that the essential oil in the plant is antibacterial.) Europeans have been using the shrub as a laxative and diuretic for almost 2,000 years. In the first century CE, Greek physicians used butcher’s broom to treat kidney stones. In the 17th century, the English herbalist Nicholas Culpepper used butcher’s broom to help the healing of fractured bones. He recommended that patients take a decoction of the root (made by boiling the plant’s woody parts) orally along with spreading a poultice of the berries over the fracture.

Active Compounds: The root of butcher’s broom contains ruscogenen and neoruscogenin, which have been found to have anti-inflammatory characteristics and to cause contraction of veins. These properties have led to the modern uses of the plant as supportive care for chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), hemorrhoids, and varicose veins and even for the prevention of diabetic retinopathy.

Medicinal Use: The German Commission E approved the use of butcher’s broom rhizome extract for discomforts of CVI, such as pain and heaviness, as well as for related cramps in the legs, itching, and swelling, and for supportive therapy for complaints of hemorrhoids, such as itching and burning. Recommended Dose:  One mil (20 drops) by measure, three times a day.

Studies have shown that topical application of butcher's broom extract reduces swelling and inflammation of varicose veins. The extract may be taken orally or applied topically, as a single ingredient or blended with other herbal extracts with similar effects, such as horse chestnut and witch hazel.

For detailed evidence based information and complete list of references for the above information, please click here.

Ref: http://herbalgram.org/resources/herbalgram/issues/85/table-of-contents/herb-profile-butchers-broom/

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