Health Benefits of Butcher’s Broom
Butcher’s broom plant is native to Europe, West Asia and North Africa. It has stiff, spiky leaves, green-white flowers and red berries. The plant can get as tall as three feet. This medicinal plant got its name after being used as a broom for sweeping up until the 20th century. Both the root and aerial parts of the herb are used for medicinal purposes. This plant is most known to treat hemorrhoids and varicose veins, but has additional healing properties as well. Butcher’s broom is safe to use and can be taken as a capsule or tablet. There are also creams made from butcher’s broom.
Butcher’s broom can constrict (or tighten) dilated blood vessels that cause hemorrhoids, helping to reduce burning and itching. Ruscogenins, the active constituents in this herb work as a vasoconstrictor and has anti-inflammatory properties, which can narrow blood vessels and strengthen veins.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Lymphedema and Syphilis
Butcher’s broom is used to treat CTS, syphilis and lymphedema. The herb extract reduces swelling in the upper arm after radiation treatment, particularly in tissues with thin layers of fat. Butcher’s broom is able to alleviate pain and provide relief from swollen lymph glands due to syphilis. The plant extract also reduces the swelling of the wrist that results from carpal tunnel syndrome.
Orthostatic (or postural) hypotension and swollen ankles are problems that affect several people, including the older generation and those who battle chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. Orthostatic hypotension is when a person’s blood pressure drops as they switch from a sitting position to a standing position; the person may experience dizziness or even faint. Butcher’s broom extract improves vein tone, limits venous capacity, reduces how much blood can pool in the legs, protects both the lining and muscle of the blood capillaries and improves circulation. Unlike medications used to treat postural hypotension, butcher’s broom doesn’t cause elevated blood pressure when the person is sitting down.
Varicose Veins (Vein-Related Conditions)
Butcher’s broom is an effective venous tonic. The root extract will contract the vein walls, lowering how much fluid is lost and not allowing blood to pool in the legs. It can also reverse fluid retention in the lower legs. Butcher’s broom is taken to treat varicose veins in the legs and is used by women during pregnancy along with support stockings. Wearing support stockings in addition to using butcher’s broom was shown to reduce the amount of blood directed to them by as much as 90 percent and it reduced the spread of varicose veins by almost half. The ruscogenin in butcher’s broom performs this action. Butcher’s broom also has some positive effect on the arteries.
Butcher’s broom can be used as both a laxative and a treatment for bladder infections. It is an excellent cleanser for blood vessels. It helps in proper blood circulation, regulates the blood viscosity and cholesterol level. Urine retention is also reduced using butcher’s broom and this helps in treating bladder infections and kidney problems.
While rare, butcher’s broom can cause gastrointestinal upset, such as diarrhea. Lymphocellular colitis is also a possible side effect. High doses cause additional side effects that include vomiting, a weakened heart, low blood pressure and reduced nerve strength. Side effects have not been reported when the correct dosage is taken.