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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Nutrition Basics

Box Holly, Knee Holly

(Ruscus Aculeatus)

"For Informational Use Only"
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  • Butchers Broom Description
  • Butchers Broom Uses, Health Benefits & Scientific Evidence
  • Butchers Broom Dosage Information
  • Butchers Broom Safety, Cautions & Interactions
  • Butchers Broom Supplements & Products

  • butchers broom plant


    Butcher's Broom (Ruscus aculeatus) is also known as Butchers Broom, Box Holly and Knee Holly, Jew's Myrtle, Kneeholm, Pettigree, Sweet Broom, Rusci Aculeati, Rusci Aculeati Rhizoma.

    Butcher's Broom is a low, shrubby, evergreen plant of the lily family. It is native to the Mediterranean, Southern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Butchers Broom is a fairly common evergreen bush that grows up to three feet high. The leaves are small and laced with brown membranes and the root, which is the medicinal part, is fleshy. This herb has a few small greenish flowers that when matured turn into, red cherry-sized berries. This herb has spread to many parts of the world: Great Britain, United States and Western Asia.

    For hundreds of years, butchers used the branches as broom straw, but it also has a long history of medicinal use for treating urinary conditions. In the first century, Dioscorides prescribed Butcher's Broom as a laxative and diuretic and seventeenth-century apothecary-astrologer Nicholas Culpeper claimed that a decoction of the root be drunk and a poultice of the berries and leaves applied to promote the healing of broken bones. In the 1950s, French investigators found that an alcoholic extract of this herb’s rhizome produced vasoconstriction (blood vessel narrowing) in tests.

    Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius L.) is a common roadside plant in the Pacific Northwest and Spanish Broom or Gorse (Spartium junceum L.), which grows in California, are both yellow-flowered leguminous shrubs that have been used in folk medicine, but neither is the so-called Butcher's Broom that is discussed in this section.

    butchers broom flower and berry


    At one time its stems were used to protect curing meats from rodents and to make brooms for butcher's stalls. Germany’s Commission E (1991) approved the use of Butcher’s Broom as supportive therapy for hemorrhoids (for the itching and burning) and for the discomforts of venous insufficiency (pain and heaviness, as well as cramps in the legs, itching and swelling). Venous insufficiency is a condition closely related to varicose veins, due to its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to constrict small veins.

    Butcher’s Broom has also been used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, circulatory disorders, edema, swollen ankles, Meniere’s disease (vertigo accompanied by ringing in the ears and deafness), obesity, Raynauds disease (skin discoloration because an abnormal spasm of the blood vessels causes a diminished blood supply), thrombophlebitis (inflammation of a vein caused by or associated with the formation of a blood clot), and vertigo. It is also good for treating bladder and kidney problems. 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 have been shown to benefit patients with diabetes, by lowering cholesterol levels and improving glucose tolerance.

    Butcher’s Broom had been in decline as a medicinal herb until the 1950's. It was at this time that researchers discovered that an extract of the root contained two compounds, ruscogenin and neuorscogenin, these compounds constrict the veins and this improves the blood flow and increases the strength and tone of those veins.

    butchers broom root, cut and sifted


    Butcher's Broom (Ruscus aculeatus) is a traditional treatment for skin problems and hemorrhoids. It helps prevent and reduce varicose veins. Butcher's Broom comes in various forms and is an ingredient in many products.

    Constituents: Ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, calcium, chromium, chrysophanic acid, magnesium, manganese, niacin, riboflavin, ruscogenin, rutin, selenium, tin, zinc.
    Parts Used: The washed and dried root, chopped.
    Typical Preparations: Tea or extract. To make a tea from chopped root, place 1 teaspoon of the herb in a cup of boiling water and allow to steep in a closed teapot for 10 minutes. The teapot should not be heated. Strain before drinking.

    Butcher’s Broom comes in various forms and is an ingredient in many products. For treating hemorrhoids, Butcher's Broom can be applied in the form of an ointment or as a suppository.

    A decoction of the root is the usual form of administration, and it is still considered of use in jaundice and gravel.

    The decoction, sweetened with honey, is said to clear the chest of phlegm and relieve difficult breathing. One pint of boiling water to 1 ounce of the twigs, or 1/2 ounce of the bruised fresh root has also been recommended as an infusion, which may be taken as tea.

    A standard oral dosage should supply 5 to 10 mg of ruscogenin daily. 1/2 teaspoon of powder is about equal to one capsule. Powder can be consumed by sprinkling it over your food or mixing it with a syrup such as maple or chocolate. You could also mix it with orange juice. The citric acid in the orange juice will help to mask any unpleasant powder tastes. This herb is more effective when taken in conjunction with vitamin C.

    It is important to read product label directions before use.

    butchers broom berry, leaf and root plant parts


    Taken as directed, Butcher’s Broom is believed to be safe.

    Maximum safe doses for young children, pregnant or nursing women, and persons with liver or kidney disease have not been established. Rare cases of gastric disorders and nausea have occurred.


  • Butchers Broom Herbal Products




    Mountain Rose Herbs: Butchers Broom Root (Ruscus aculeatus), Certified Organic, Bulk Organic Herbs & Spices
    Mountain Rose Herbs: Butchers Broom Root Powder, Certified Organic, Bulk Organic Herbs & Spices
    Mountain Rose Herbs: Sitting Pretty Balm, 1 oz. or 2 oz.
    A soothing and effective herbal balm which exerts an astringent action on hemorrhoids and other varicosities. This balm supports healthy venous function when applied externally. Contains: Organic Yarrow flowers, St. John's Wort flowers, Butcher's Broom root, organic Slippery Elm bark, Witch Hazel leaf, organic Olive oil, Vitamin E oil, and Beeswax. Choose from 2 sizes


    Starwest Botanicals: Butchers Broom Root, Wildcrafted, Cut & Sifted, 4 oz.
    Starwest Botanicals: Butchers Broom Root, Organic, Cut & Sifted, 1 lb.
    Starwest Botanicals: Butchers Broom Root, Wildcrafted, Cut & Sifted, 1 lb.
    Starwest Botanicals: Butchers Broom Root Powder, Wildcrafted, 1 lb.


    HerbsPro: Butcher's Broom, Thompson Nutritional Products, 440 mg, 60 Caps (35539)
    HerbsPro: Butcher's Broom Root, Natures Way, 470 mg, 100 Caps (17757)
    HerbsPro: Butcher's Broom, Now Foods, 500 mg, 100 Caps (67840)
    HerbsPro: Butchers Broom, Source Naturals, 500 mg, 100 Tabs (6146)
    HerbsPro: Butchers Broom, Source Naturals, 500 mg, 250 Tabs (6147)
    HerbsPro: Butchers Broom, Solgar FP, 520 mg, 100 VCaps (36254)
    HerbsPro: Butcher's Broom Extract, Herb Pharm, 1 fl. oz. (2319)
    HerbsPro: Butcher's Broom Extract, Herb Pharm, 4 fl. oz. (32224)


    TakeHerb: Butcher's Broom Root, Natures Way, 470 mg, 100 Caps
    TakeHerb: Butcher's Broom Extract, Health Herbs, 2 fl. oz.


    Kalyx: Butchers Broom Root, Cut & Sifted, Certified Organic, Starwest Botanicals, 1 lb: C
    Kalyx: Butchers Broom Root Powder (Ruscus aculeatus), Starwest Botanicals, 1 lb: C
    Kalyx: Butchers Broom Root 4:1 Powdered Extract, Kalyx, 1 kg (2.2 lbs): EB
    Kalyx: Butchers Broom Root 5:1 Powdered Extract, Kalyx, 1 kg (2.2 lbs): EB
    Kalyx: Butchers Broom Root, Natures Way, 470 mg, 100 Capsules: HF


    Amazon: Butchers Broom Herbal Products

  • Nutrition Basics: Butchers Broom Herbal Information

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