Butcher’s Broom (Ruscus aculeatus)

HR_ingredients_butchersbroom1.jpgLong before pharmacies existed and online doctor sites were dispensing free advice, humans were treating themselves with plants and herbs. One of those natural hemorrhoid treatment is Butcher’s Broom. Known to naturopaths and botanists as Ruscus Aculeatus, a member of the Asparagaceae family, Butcher’s Broom has been proven to increase blood flow, relieve constipation, and decrease hemorrhoidal swelling.

More specifically, the roots of Ruscus Aculeatus are what are used to create the Butcher’s Broom supplement. This shrub, grown in Europe and Asia, got its name from the tradition of bundling its shoots and branches around a stick in order to make a broom that was sold to butchers in England. The young shoots of Butcher’s Broom are often eaten like asparagus while the roots are dried and compounded into a medicinal.

Researchers have clinically demonstrated that Butcher’s Broom is great natural cure for hemorrhoids enhances blood flow throughout the body, particularly in the brain, legs, and hands. It is thought that the chemicals in the plant cause blood vessels and capillaries to constrict, reducing blood pooling and “smoothing” the circulatory processes. One German clinical trial, resulting in that country’s regulatory acceptance of Butcher’s Broom as a viable supplement, showed statistically significant results in reducing the size and pain associated with hemorrhoids. Today, an extract of Ruscus Aculeatus, marketed as Butcher’s Broom, is a common natural treatment taken in tea or pill form, for hemorrhoids.

Ruscus Aculeatus, also known to some as Knee Holly, Jew’s Myrtle, and Sweet Broom, is a fruit-bearing shrub that is often used as a decorative planting because it stays green throughout most of the year. The root of the Butcher’s Broom plant is often harvested in autumn. With a slightly sweet flavor, the root can be boiled and consumed as a tea or is dried and pulverized to create a powder. However it’s ingested, holistic practitioners tout the plant’s diuretic and aperient powers. Whether used to relieve constipation, improve circulation, or reduce hemorrhoidal swelling, Butcher’s Broom has been shown to provide a myriad of benefits.

Another use for Butcher’s Broom, besides its most popular hemorrhoid-shrinking abilities, is for the treatment of leg cramps, varicose veins, atherosclerosis, and other circulatory problems of the lower extremities. Again, researchers have concluded that components of the plant’s chemistry are acting on tissue in a contractile manner, improving smoothness and permeability of the blood pathways. That chemistry, researchers surmise, seems to interact with adrenergic receptors in cellular walls that stimulate an adrenal or “fight or flight” response. This is the same response that causes pupils to dilate, heart rate to increase, and the diversion of blood flow from organs to muscle.

As an over-the-counter treatment for hemorrhoids, varicose veins, water retention, constipation, and postural hypotension, Butcher’s Broom has been proven to be safe and effective. Holistic and naturopathic practitioners have recommended it for decades and consumers have reported great results.