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Butcher's Broom


What other names is Butcher's Broom known by?

Balai du Boucher, Box Holly, Fragon, Fragon Épineux, Fragon Faux Houx, Fragon Piquant, Houx Frelon, Jew's Myrtle, Kneeholm, Knee Holly, Petit Houx, Pettigree, Sweet Broom, Rusci Aculeati, Rusci Aculeati Rhizoma, Rusco, Ruscus aculeatus.

What is Butcher's Broom?

Butcher's broom is a plant. The root is used to make medicine.

Butcher's broom is used for hemorrhoids, gallstones, "hardening of the arteries" (atherosclerosis), and for symptoms of poor blood circulation such as pain, heaviness, leg cramps, leg swelling, varicose veins, itching, and swelling. Butcher's broom is also used as a laxative, as a diuretic to increase urine output, to reduce swelling, and to speed the healing of fractures.

In some cultures, the roots are eaten in much the same way as asparagus.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Circulatory problems (chronic venous insufficiency). Some research shows that taking butcher's broom by mouth, alone or in combination with vitamin C and hesperidin, seems to relieve the symptoms of poor circulation in the legs, such as pain, heaviness, cramps, itching, and swelling.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Vision problems caused by diabetes (diabetic retinopathy). Early research suggests that taking a specific product containing butcher's broom extract (Fagorutin-Ruscus, Fink GmbH) by mouth for 3 months does not improve vision in people with diabetic retinopathy.
  • Swelling of the arms (lymphedema). Early research suggests that taking a specific product (Cyclo 3 Fort) containing butcher's broom root extract, hesperidin methyl chalcone, and vitamin C by mouth for 90 days reduces swelling in the upper arm and forearm, and improves mobility and heaviness in women with swelling of the arm after breast cancer treatment.
  • Low blood pressure when getting up (orthostatic hypotension). Some research suggests that taking butcher's broom by mouth might relieve the syndrome of low blood pressure upon getting up.
  • Constipation.
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Broken bones.
  • Circulation diseases.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of butcher's broom for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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