In the olden times, butchers in Europe use the leaves of a certain shrub to clean
their chopping blocks from grease and oils. The leaves and other parts of the plant
are used to drive away ants from their stocks and wares. Thus, the name butcher’s
broom was born to refer to this plant which is also known today as knee holly, box
holly, Jew’s myrtle, petigree or sweet broom.
The knee holly originated in England as this plant is usually knee – length in height.
It is not a member of the holly family though. Instead it is a member of the lily
Aside from the interesting origins of its names, butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus)
is a known medicinal herb that is used in treating varicose veins and hemorrhoids.
It is a known anti – inflammatory and vein – contracting agent that is also used
in the treatment of varicose veins.
How Does Butcher’s Broom Work?
Although it has not been confirmed via a thorough study that butcher’s broom is effective
in treating hemorrhoids, extracts from butcher’s broom are known to contain anti-inflammatory
and anti – contracting agents that help shrink the swollen tissues and veins that
is characteristic of hemorrhoid. The active compound responsible for this effect
is called ruscogen.
How To Use Butcher’s Broom For Hemorrhoids?
The roots and the leaves of the butcher’s broom can be used medicinally. The leaves
can be made into a tea.
A teaspoon of the herb steeped in hot water for several minutes should be easy enough
for you to prepare. The tea is naturally bitter to the taste so you can sweeten it
with sugar, or honey if you want a more natural concoction.
It is recommended that a cup of tea a day should be taken for a period of one month
to address problems associated with hemorrhoids. The tea can also be used topically
and applied directly to the affected area.
• For teas, Dr. James Duke of the Green Pharmacy recommends 5 teaspoons of root powder
steeped in a cup of boiling water to be taken twice daily. If you use this decoction
for topical application, mixing it with tincture of alcohol is recommended.
• Other sources recommend making a one pint tea from 2 tablespoons of root powder
and storing this in a closed container. The patient is to drink 3 tablespoons of
the concentrate six times in a day.
Both the leaves and the roots can be made a cream or poultice that can also be applied
generously over the affected area. Pads dipped in butcher’s broom tea can also be
an alternative form of treatment.
Butcher’s broom supplements come in capsule or tea form. Examples of butcher’s broom
products are Cyclo 3 Fort®, Phlebodril® and Fabroven®. Recommended dosage for butcher’s
broom extract that contain 10% saponin is 150 mg per day.
The fact that it is derived from herb does not mean that it is safe to use without
precautions. If you have a high blood pressure, benign prostatice hyperplasia (BPH),
or pregnant or nursing, you should not be taking butcher’s broom extracts in whatever
form without consulting and getting the go signal by your physician.