Butchers Broom

Butcher's broom is little used in modern herbalism but, in view of its positive effect upon varicose veins and haemorrhoids, it could be due for a revival[254]. The root is aperient, deobstruent, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic and vasoconstrictor[4, 7, 238]. It has been taken internally in the past in the treatment of jaundice, gout, and kidney and bladder stones, at the present time it is used to treat venous insufficiency and haemorrhoids[238]. It should not be prescribed for patients with hypertension[238]. It is also applied externally in the treatment of haemorrhoids[238]. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[4]. The whole plant is also sometimes used[4]. This remedy should not be given to people with high blood pressure[254]. The plant contains saponin glycosides, including ruscogenin and neoruscogenin. These substances are anti-inflammatory and cause the contraction of blood vessels, especially veins[254]. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Ruscus aculeatus for haemorrhoids (piles) and venous conditions (see [302] for critics of commission E) [301].