Butcher’s broom is an evergreen shrub with spines on the apex of the leaves. They usually flower in spring and they have red fruits. The seeds are dispersed by birds. It belongs to the family of Lilly. They have small stiff leaves and grow along the hedges and in woodlands in Europe and Mediterranean. They are also grown as common garden plant.
This herb is also known by other names like Jew’s myrtle, knee holy,
kneeholm, pettigree. They grow wildly and are also cultivated in Europe,
Asia and some African countries in north of Africa. In some countries
their species are protected as a part of conservation of wild varieties.
They grow in uncultivated land and also on the face of cliffs.
The plant is known for its medicinal properties. It is known to enhance blood circulation in the legs, brains, relive constipation, water retention. It is proved that it tightens the capillaries in the circulatory system and strengthens them.
The herb is used to address many problems like varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and in Europe it has been used over century to treat people suffering from constipation. It also shows anti –inflammatory properties and gives relief to people suffering from painful arthritis and rheumatism. The vascular effects butcher broom is made use as alternative therapy for post operative treatment to prevent blood clots. This is practiced more in European countries than in United States of America.
Further studies in Japan and in Europe have reported the presence of Steroid saponins which may be used in anti –venoms to treat snake bites. Further studies and research are done on its effect on slowing down leukemia, reducing cholesterol and hypotension.
Women are advised not to consume any drug with this herb as it could cause premature uterine contraction leading to miscarriage. People undergoing treatment for cardiac problems and are on blood thinning medicines are advised not to take butcher’s broom based drugs. Though there are no side effects on usage of butcher’s broom, people with above mentioned medical history are not advised to consume the herb.
Many European countries and Japan are studying and researching the effects of steroid saponins in various human related ailments. The plant holds within it many medicinal properties which could be cure to many serious diseases like leukemia, but as of now it is widely used as laxative and alternative therapy for swollen ankle and foot, and varicose veins.