Located in parts of Europe and the Mediterranean lives a plant that looks, at first sight, as a disproportionate holly, but that offers great circulatory benefits. I am talking about the benefits of butcher’s broom , the small evergreen shrub historically used as a remedy for a lot of problems, including atherosclerosis, gallstones, varicose veins and hemorrhoids. Today, the butcher’s broom is widely known for the way it benefits the circulatory system, especially for those with orthostatic hypotension (a drop in blood pressure from sitting to standing) and chronic venous insufficiency.
What is the Butcher’s Broom?
The butcher’s broom (botanical name Ruscus aculeatus L. ) is a member of the liliaceae family. The plant also has much in common with the asparagus plant. Usually, young stems and roots are used to create supplements. In some cultures, sprouts are prepared and eaten in a manner similar to asparagus , although the taste is much more bitter. This plant is also known by a number of other names, including: box holly, pettigree, sweet broom, Jewish myrtle and knee holly. As I mentioned, the popular uses of this plant are many. In various ways, the butcher’s broom has been used as a laxative, diuretic and circulation stimulant. Although there are still no studies that support many of these benefits, many natural health professionals recommend the butcher’s broom to treat arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), swelling, Raynaud’s disease, gallstones, varicose veins and Hemorrhoids. Of these, most anecdotal reports find that the butcher’s broom could be effective for swelling and hemorrhoids. This is possibly due to the anti-inflammatory compounds found in the roots of the butcher’s broom, which specifically cause contraction of the veins.
Benefits of the Butcher’s Broom:
1. Effectively Treats Chronic Venous Insufficiency:
Sometimes called post-thrombotic syndrome and related to phlebitis and other causes, chronic venous insufficiency is a circulation problem in which the veins (usually in the legs, but sometimes in the arms) have valves that do not work and blood accumulates in the extremities and internal pressure to rise in the veins. Women (especially those who have been pregnant several times), middle-aged and older adults are at the highest risk of developing chronic venous insufficiency (IVC). Actually, this condition is quite common and possibly affects about 40 percent of the US population. UU. Risk factors for developing IVC include varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis (blood clots). While this condition rarely endangers life, it can be complicated to treat.
“Conventional medicine generally suggests a compression treatment, and patients do not seem to like it much because it is quite uncomfortable”.
However, the natural treatment for CVI includes the butcher’s broom and horse chestnut seed extract. Both have shown impressive results in all the studies where they are tested. Butchery is announced by many researchers as an effective natural treatment for chronic venous insufficiency, with minimal or no side effects. It is believed that the presence of saponins and compound esculin contribute to the procirculation benefits of the butcher’s broom, particularly those seen when treating IVC.
2. Minimizes the Symptoms of Orthostatic Hypotension:
Changes in blood pressure when standing are common in older adults and are the result of the body’s poor physiological response to postural changes in blood pressure. When you get up, the blood moves and accumulates in different places within your body as your circulatory system functions naturally, adjusting to the change in posture to keep the blood pressure constant. Orthostatic hypotension occurs when the body stops doing this correctly. Diagnosis of this condition often involves tilt tests at your doctor’s table. Orthostatic hypotension is often a side effect of medication or other underlying problems. The first line of defense, even according to conventional medicine, is to start eliminating prescriptions that may be causing this problem. Doctors sometimes prescribe getting more sodium in the diet and minimizing carbohydrate-rich foods to control the disease. There are also prescription medications to treat the condition.
A 2000 review of studies that included chronic orthostatic hypotension treatment found that pharmacological therapies used to treat orthostatic hypotension are only “marginally useful” and “disappointing.” On the other hand, supplementation with the butcher’s broom is safe, cheap and extremely promising in all related investigations. In fact, the review author notes that the butcher’s broom has two characteristics that no conventional drug treatment for this condition has. It does not cause supine hypertension (a common condition that occurs along with orthostatic hypotension in which blood pressure rises rapidly while lying on your back). And, it relieves symptoms even in warm environments. While these results should be reproduced on the broader scale of medical research, it seems that butcher’s broom could be a relatively safe and effective treatment method for people with chronic orthostatic hypotension.
Historical Facts of The Benefits of the Butcher’s Broom:
The butcher’s broom shrub grows about a meter high with flat, leafy branches, large red berries and a greenish-white flower from the end of winter until spring. It is found natively in the Mediterranean, Iran, the Azores and parts of Africa. How was that name made? Due to the rigidity of the branches, the butchers of Europe would join the branches to sweep and clean the cutting blocks. In folk medicine, the butcher’s broom has been a common part of European remedies for two millennia as a laxative and diuretic. Some cultures soaked the roots in wine or water and then drank it to eliminate stomach ache. It was used to treat kidney stones since the 1st century AD. The English herbalist Nicholas Culpepper prescribed a butcher’s broom to heal fractured bones, taken both orally and in poultice during rest.
Possible Side Effects and Precautions:
There are a couple of issues to consider if you choose to drink or eat a butcher’s broom. On the one hand, the butcher’s broom contains saponins. These compounds are something like a mystery, since they have incredible benefits on the one hand and potentially major inconveniences on the other. For example, saponins can interfere with digestion and cause problems when ingested (so they are on my list of antinutrients to avoid). However, these are some of the same compounds that benefit the circulatory system. That is why it is important to listen to your body: if you start taking a new supplement and experience significant digestion problems, it may be a sign that it is not for you. Of course, any new supplement regimen should be performed with the supervision of a trusted doctor / naturopath. At least one report has recorded an incident of a woman with diabetes who develops ketoacidosis, a life-threatening complication for diabetic patients, after using the butcher’s broom.
An important concern that many doctors have about the butcher’s broom is the amount of conditions used to treat without the support of adequate scientific research. In particular, hemorrhoids are an important medical concern and at least one review considers that the butcher’s broom could be used for this condition because it can cause wasted time without results and a potentially worse problem. Again, make sure you are under medical care from a qualified doctor / naturopath, and do not try to treat serious medical conditions at home without your address. In addition, it is possible that the butcher’s broom may interact with blood pressure medications and stimulant medications. So, if you are taking any of these, you should probably avoid the butcher’s broom.
How to Use the Butcher’s Broom?
There are several ways to get the benefits of the butcher’s broom. Many people take it as a supplement, which can be found in pills, oils and creams. As I mentioned before, some people eat butcher’s broom roots as they would with asparagus, although it smells and tastes much more spicy and bitter than asparagus.
Key Points of the Benefits of the Butcher’s Broom:
- Butcher’s broom is a plant used to create supplements found in parts of Europe and Africa.
- Traditionally, it has been used to treat a number of conditions, from gallstones to hemorrhoids.
- The two conditions that appear to be positively affected by the butcher’s broom are orthostatic hypotension and chronic venous insufficiency.
- Butcher’s broom can interact with blood pressure and stimulant medications, so don’t take them unless your doctor explicitly tells you to.