Principal Proposed Uses
So named because its branches were a traditional source of broom straw used by butchers, this Mediterranean evergreen bush has a long history of traditional use in the treatment of urinary conditions. More recently, it has been studied as a treatment for vein-related conditions.
What Is Butcher's Broom Used for Today?
Butcher's broom has been approved by Germany's Commission E as supportive therapy for chronic venous insufficiency . Venous insufficiency, a condition closely related to varicose veins, involves pain, swelling and fatigue in the calves. Commission E also recommends butcher’s broom for the treatment of hemorrhoids .
This recommendation was in place before any meaningful studies had been performed evaluating butcher’s broom for either of these purposes. However, several studies performed subsequently now provide preliminary supporting evidence for its use in chronic venous insufficiency.
No substantial studies have evaluated butcher’s broom for hemorrhoids, but because hemorrhoids are similar to varicose veins, it is a reasonable supposition that butcher’s broom might be helpful.
Various treatments used for venous insufficiency have also shown promise for treating arm swelling (lymphedema) following surgery for breast cancer . One study suggests that butcher's broom may be helpful for this condition as well.
What is the Scientific Evidence for Butcher’s Broom?
A typical dose of butcher's broom is 36.0 to 37.5 mg twice daily of a methanol extract concentrated at a level of 15-20:1. This should supply about 7-11 mg ruscogenin (also called ruscogenine) daily.
For hemorrhoids, butcher's broom is sometimes applied as an ointment or in the form of a suppository.
In clinical trials, use of butcher's broom has not been associated with any serious adverse effects. However, comprehensive safety studies have not been reported. Maximum safe doses in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with liver or kidney disease have not been established.
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 07/2012 -
- Update Date: 07/25/2012 -