Butcher's Broom

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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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How does Butcher's Broom work?

The chemicals in butcher's broom might cause the blood vessels to narrow or constrict. Butcher's broom might improve blood circulation in the legs by preventing blood from "pooling" in the veins.

Are there safety concerns?

Butcher's broom is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth for up to 3 months.

It may cause stomach upset and nausea.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking butcher's broom if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Medications used for high blood pressure (Alpha-adrenergic antagonists)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Butcher's broom might speed up the nervous system, increase blood pressure, and make the heart beat fast. By increasing blood pressure, butcher's broom might decrease the effectiveness of some medications used for high blood pressure.

Some of these medications used for high blood pressure include doxazosin (Cardura), terazosin (Hytrin), yohimbine (Aphrodyne), and others.



Stimulant Medications (Alpha-adrenergic agonists)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Butcher's broom might speed up the nervous system, increase blood pressure, and make the heart beat fast. Stimulant medications can also speed up the nervous system, increase blood pressure, and make the heart beat fast. Taking butcher's broom with stimulant medications might cause too much stimulation. This might make the blood pressure go too high or the heart beat too fast.

Some of these stimulant medications include pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, others), ephedrine, phenylpropanolamine, and others.

Dosing considerations for Butcher's Broom.

The following dose has been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:
  • For relieving symptoms of poor circulation (chronic venous insufficiency): 150 mg of butcher's broom root extract, combined with 150 mg of hesperidin and 100 mg of ascorbic acid twice daily.
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Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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