Butcher’s broom (botanical name Ruscus aculeatus L.), also known by several other names, including box holly, pettigree, sweet broom, Jew’s myrtle and knee holly, is a member of the lily family. The plant has a lot in common with the asparagus plant. Typically, the young stems and roots are used to create supplements. In some cultures, the shoots are prepared and eaten similarly to asparagus, although the flavour is much more bitter.
In various forms, butcher’s broom has been used as a laxative, diuretic and circulation booster. Although there are no studies yet to back many of these benefits, butcher’s broom is still recommended by many natural health practitioners to treat arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), swelling, Raynaud’s disease, gallstones, varicose veins and haemorrhoids. This is possibly due to the anti-inflammatory compounds found in butcher’s broom roots, which specifically cause contraction of veins.
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