Ruscus aculeatus or butcher's broom
Counteracts water retention, edema in the lower limbs and cellulite, useful in case of chronic venous insufficiency and hemorrhoids.
The butcher's broom, scientific name Ruscus aculeatus, is a shrub of the Asparagaceae family, the same as the agave and, as the name suggests, asparagus. The butcher's broom, thanks to its beautiful red berries, is very popular as a Christmas ornament. But its applications certainly do not stop there… in fact, the butcher's broom is a remedy used to combat swollen legs and lymphatic stasis. But let's understand better.
Butcher's broom, properties
The roots of the butcher's broom are an anti-inflammatory remedy, thanks to the presence of a substance called ruscogenin, but they are also venotonic and useful in case of haemorrhoids (Ivanova et al, Biotechnol Biotechnol Equip, 2015 - Hung Jen Lu et al, BMC Complement Altern Med, 2014). In fact, the butcher's broom is a source of flavonoids, which are antioxidant substances capable of fortifying blood vessels, thus reducing capillary fragility and maintaining healthy circulation. Not only that, butcher's broom acts as a tonic of blood vessels and reduces their dilation in order to promote venous return and counteract stagnation and localized edema in the legs (Redman et al, J Altern Complement Med, 2000). Butcher's broom has succeeded in reducing the sensation of tension and swelling of the legs and ankles in people with chronic venous insufficiency (Vanscheidt et al, Arzneimittelforschung, 2002).
Butcher's broom, applications
The butcher's broom, as explained in the previous paragraph, finds application in case of venous insufficiency, edema of the lower limbs, capillary fragility, cellulite, water retention but also hemorrhoids. You can make a herbal tea from butcher's broom roots, they can be found in herbalist’s, chemist’s shops or online. Add a teaspoon of butcher's broom to a cup of water. Boil for 5 minutes, then filter and drink. Alternatively, you can take the mother tincture, 40 drops one to three times a day in a little water. The treatment is followed for three-month cycles, then a one-month break is taken and then you can continue (Natural Medicine From A to Z, Bruno Brigo).
Butcher's broom, warnings
The butcher's broom has proved to be generally safe, in excessive doses it can cause nausea. However, care should be taken in case of diabetes, in fact, it is reported in the literature a case of a person with diabetes who, following the intake of butcher's broom, developed diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a complication of diabetes (Sadarmin et al, J Emerg Med, 2013). Do not take during pregnancy and in small children since there are no studies on the safety of the remedy in these cases. Finally, ask your doctor for advice before starting butcher's broom treatment if you have high blood pressure or are taking medication to avoid interactions.