Butcher’s Broom is an evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean and Africa. Its scientific name is Ruscus aculeatus, but goes by other common names to include Box Holly and Sweet Broom. After at least 2000 years of use in herbal medicine it fell out of favor in the early 20th century until the 1950s when interest in its effect on the body’s veins resurfaced.
Germany’s Commission E, a German group studying herbal remedies, found that Butcher’s Broom is a viable supportive therapy for chronic venous insufficiency, a condition closely related to varicose veins for which it has also been used to treat. Commission E also recommended using it to treat hemorrhoids, another similar condition.
Butcher’s broom has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties and can help with treating arm swelling (lymphedema) following surgery for breast cancer and other procedures.
Often Butcher’s Broom is taken along with Gotu Kola, Horse Chestnut and Witch Hazel.