Butcher's Broom Herb - Dosage and Useful Properties
Common Trade Names
Multi-ingredient preparations: Butcher's Broom Extract 4:1, Butcher's
Broom Root, Hemodren Simple, Ruscorectal
Capsules: 75 mg, 110 mg, 150 mg, 400 mg, 470 mg, 475 mg
Also available as liquid extract and tea.
Butcher's broom is extracted from the leaves, rhizomes, and roots of Ruscus aculeatus, a low-lying evergreen of the lily family. It is native to the Mediterranean region but also grows in southern United States.
The major active components of butcher's broom are the steroidal saponins ruscogenin and neoruscogenin. Coumarins, flavonoids, glycolic acid, sparteine, and tyramine have also been isolated.
In a study of dog veins, the saponins in butcher's broom produced vasoconstriction by directly activating post junctional alpha 1 and alpha 2 receptors .
Studies with animals have evaluated the effect of R. aculeatus on the diameter of arterioles and venules and the effect of local changes in temperature on venous responsiveness to R. aculeatus . Clinical trials suggest that a Ruscus preparation relieved symptoms of chronic phlebopathy of the legs . The extract of this plant possesses anti-inflammatory properties as well.
Butcher's broom is claimed to be helpful in treating arthritis, hemorrhoids, leg edema, peripheral vascular disease, and varicose veins. It has also been used as a diuretic and a laxative. Human clinical data to support these claims are limited.
For venous phlebopathy in the lower limbs, the dosage of butcher's broom tested in humans was 99 mg P.O. daily (in combination with ascorbic acid and hesperidin).
Contraindications And Precautions
Butcher's broom is contraindicated in pregnant or breast -feeding patients; effects are unknown. Use cautiously in patients with hypertension or BPH or those who are receiving alpha antagonist therapy.
Points of Interest
Butchers in Europe and the Mediterranean at one time used the leaves and twigs of this plant to scrub chopping blocks clean, hence the name butcher's broom,
Butcher's broom possesses vasoconstrictive properties, but clinical data about these effects are limited. One study suggests that butcher's broom is beneficial in patients with chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins. The study involved only 40 patients and R. aculeatus was used in combination with hesperidin and ascorbic acid.
Butcher's broom may be well tolerated, but additional studies are needed to evaluate its efficacy in treating venous disease and other vascular conditions. No clinical data support the use of butcher's broom for treating arthritis or hemorrhoids.
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