The Benefits of Butcher’s Broom: Sweeping Health Improvements

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Butcher’s Broom, or Ruscus aculeatus, may not be the most famous plant on the supplement shelf, but it’s definitely one deserving of attention. Traditionally used in herbal medicine for centuries, Butcher’s Broom supplements are now gaining recognition for their potential benefits, particularly in improving vascular health and alleviating conditions like varicose veins and hemorrhoids. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Butcher’s Broom, diving into the science-backed benefits of this remarkable plant, and exploring how it can contribute to your wellness journey.

What Is Butcher’s Broom?

Butcher’s Broom, scientifically known as Ruscus aculeatus, is a small evergreen shrub that grows in the Mediterranean region and parts of Africa. It has been used in traditional medicine for many years due to its potential health benefits.

The plant gets its name from its historical use by butchers, who used its stiff, spiny stems to sweep their cutting boards. It typically grows up to 1 meter tall and has flat, leaf-like branches called cladodes instead of true leaves.

Butcher’s Broom contains active compounds like ruscogenins, flavonoids, and steroidal saponins, which may contribute to its medicinal properties. Here are some of its traditional uses:

  • Circulatory Support: Butcher’s Broom is believed to help support healthy blood circulation and may reduce the appearance of varicose veins and spider veins. It is often used for conditions like venous insufficiency.
  • Diuretic Effects: The plant has diuretic properties, which means it may increase urine production and help with fluid retention and bloating. This can be beneficial for people with edema or certain kidney conditions.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Butcher’s Broom contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory effects, potentially reducing inflammation and swelling. It has been used topically for hemorrhoids and internally for inflammatory conditions.
  • Mild laxative: It has also been used as a mild laxative to relieve constipation.

Butcher’s Broom is available in various forms such as extracts, capsules, tablets, and topical preparations. It’s important to note that, like any herbal remedy, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional before using Butcher’s Broom, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications, to ensure safe and appropriate usage.

What are the Benefits of Butcher’s Broom?

  • Supports Healthy Blood Circulation: Butcher’s Broom may help promote proper blood circulation, potentially reducing the appearance of varicose veins and spider veins.
  • Assists with Venous Insufficiency: It is traditionally used for conditions like venous insufficiency, which refers to inadequate blood flow from the legs back to the heart.
  • Reduces Swelling and Inflammation: Butcher’s Broom contains compounds with anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce swelling and inflammation in various parts of the body.
  • Relieves Symptoms of Hemorrhoids: When applied topically, Butcher’s Broom has been used to alleviate discomfort and reduce swelling associated with hemorrhoids.
  • Acts as a Diuretic: It exhibits diuretic effects, increasing urine production and assisting in reducing fluid retention and bloating.
  • Supports Digestive Health: Butcher’s Broom has been traditionally used as a mild laxative, aiding in relieving occasional constipation.
  • Provides Antioxidant Support: It contains antioxidants that help neutralize harmful free radicals, which may contribute to overall health and well-being.
  • Potential Support for Menopausal Symptoms: Some studies suggest that Butcher’s Broom may help alleviate certain symptoms associated with menopause, such as hot flashes and water retention.
  • Supports Urinary Health: Due to its diuretic properties, Butcher’s Broom may support urinary health by promoting healthy urine flow and assisting in the removal of waste products from the body.
  • May Aid in Weight Management: As a diuretic, it may contribute to temporary weight loss by reducing fluid retention.
  • Promotes Skin Health: Butcher’s Broom has been used topically to support skin health and alleviate various skin conditions, such as itching and inflammation.

Is Butcher’s Broom Safe?

It’s important to note that Butcher’s Broom may have potential interactions with certain types of medications. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement, especially if you are taking other medications.

Some potential medication interactions could include:

  • Anticoagulants/Antiplatelet Drugs: Butcher’s Broom may interact with medications such as warfarin, aspirin, clopidogrel, or heparin, which are used to prevent blood clotting. The interaction may increase the risk of bleeding. Severity: Moderate to High.
  • Antihypertensive Medications: Butcher’s Broom may interact with medications used to treat high blood pressure, such as beta-blockers or calcium channel blockers. It may enhance the effects of these medications, leading to a greater reduction in blood pressure. Severity: Moderate.
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs): Butcher’s Broom may interact with MAOIs, which are medications used to treat depression. The combination may increase the risk of high blood pressure. Severity: Moderate.
  • Diuretics: Butcher’s Broom exhibits diuretic properties, and combining it with diuretic medications may increase the effects of both, potentially leading to excessive fluid loss and electrolyte imbalances. Severity: Moderate.
  • Medications for Erectile Dysfunction: Butcher’s Broom may interact with medications used to treat erectile dysfunction, such as sildenafil (Viagra) or tadalafil (Cialis). The combination may increase the risk of low blood pressure. Severity: Moderate.
  • Cytochrome P450 Substrates: Butcher’s Broom may affect the activity of certain enzymes in the liver that metabolize drugs, potentially altering their effectiveness. It may interact with medications such as statins, antidepressants, or antifungal drugs. Severity: Low to Moderate.

Medication Interactions

  • Blood-Thinning Supplements: Butcher’s Broom may have a blood-thinning effect. Therefore, combining it with supplements that also have blood-thinning properties, such as fish oil, garlic extract, ginkgo biloba, or turmeric/curcumin, may increase the risk of bleeding. It is advisable to exercise caution and consult with a healthcare professional before combining these supplements.
  • Blood Pressure-Lowering Supplements: Butcher’s Broom may have an impact on blood pressure. Combining it with supplements that have similar effects, such as coenzyme Q10, hawthorn, or L-arginine, may potentially enhance the blood pressure-lowering effects. It is important to monitor blood pressure levels and consult with a healthcare professional to avoid excessive reductions.
  • Diuretic Supplements: Butcher’s Broom exhibits diuretic properties. Combining it with diuretic supplements, such as dandelion root, horsetail, or juniper berry, may increase the diuretic effects and potentially lead to excessive fluid loss and electrolyte imbalances. Adequate hydration and monitoring of electrolyte levels are recommended.
  • Supplements Metabolized by the Liver: Butcher’s Broom may affect the activity of certain enzymes in the liver that metabolize drugs and supplements. Combining it with supplements that are metabolized by the liver, such as St. John’s wort, milk thistle, or grapefruit juice, may potentially alter their effectiveness. Close monitoring and consultation with a healthcare professional are advised.

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Butcher’s Broom Root by Nature’s Way

Butchers Broom is related to asparagus, with young tender shoots that can be eaten.

The name Butchers Broom comes from its historical use as a broom in European butcher shops. Take 2 capsules daily, preferably with food.

Amount Per 2 Capsule Serving:
Butchers Broom … 940mg (root) 


To Sum It Up

Butcher’s Broom, or Ruscus Aculeatus, is a potent herbal supplement with a range of health benefits, particularly for circulatory health. Its bioactive compounds can help manage conditions such as varicose veins and hemorrhoids by strengthening and tightening blood vessels. Furthermore, Butcher’s Broom may also have anti-inflammatory properties, making it a versatile addition to a health-conscious lifestyle.

However, while this natural supplement offers numerous benefits, it’s important to consider potential interactions with medications and other nutritional supplements. For instance, Butcher’s Broom could potentially interact with blood pressure medications, stimulant drugs, and blood-thinning medications. As such, it’s critical to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, including Butcher’s Broom.

Overall, Butcher’s Broom holds promise as a natural supplement for supporting circulatory health. But like any other health regimen, it should be incorporated wisely and safely to ensure optimal benefits. With proper guidance and understanding, it can become a valuable part of your journey towards holistic wellness.


This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice

Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.


About the Author

Stephanie Figon, MS, RDN, LD

Creator of Supplement Sciences and NutriScape.NET. As a dietitian since 1992, Steph has had experiences in consulting, 15 years in clinical, and has operated a private practice nutrition counseling office for since 2011. Log in to comment and save this article on your board or send your comments to reviews@supplement-sciences.com

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