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Butcher's Broom
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Butcher's Broom Overview

Written by FoundHealth.

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 the Scientific Evidence for Butcher’s Broom?

Venous Insufficiency

A well-designed and reported double-blind trial evaluated the effectiveness of a standardized butcher’s broom extract in 166 women with chronic venous insufficiency. 1 For a period of 12 weeks, participants received either placebo or butcher’s broom (one tablet twice daily containing 36.0 to 37.5 mg of a methanol dry extract concentrated at 15-20:1). The results showed that leg swelling (the primary measurement used) decreased significantly in the butcher’s broom group as compared to the placebo group.

Similar results were seen in a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with 148 participants. 2 Another 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with 141 participants used a combination of butcher’s broom extract and the bioflavonoid trimethylhesperidin chalcone, and found benefits. 3 Marginal benefits were seen in a much smaller study using this combination. 4


In a double-blind study, 57 women with lymphedema received either placebo or butcher's broom combined with the modified citrus bioflavonoid trimethylhesperidin chalcone. 5 The results indicated that use of the combination therapy resulted in significantly less swelling.


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.


  1. Vanscheidt W, Jost V, Wolna P, et al. Efficacy and safety of a Butcher's broom preparation ( Ruscus aculeatus L. extract ) compared to placebo in patients suffering from chronic venous insufficiency. Arzneimittelforschung. 2002;52(4):243-250.
  2. Lucker P, Jost V, Wolna P, et al. Efficacy and safety of ruscus extract compared to placebo in patients suffering from chronic venous insufficiency [abstract]. Phytomedicine. 2000;7(suppl 2):P-155.
  3. Rudofsky G, Diehm C, Gruss JD, et al. Chronic venous insufficiency. Treatment with Ruscus extract and trimethylhesperidin chalcone [in German; English abstract]. MMW Munch Med Wochenschr. 1990;132:205–210.
  4. Weindorf N, Schultz-Ehrenburg U. Controlled study of increasing venous tone in primary varicose veins by oral administration of Ruscus aculeatus and trimethylhespiridinchalcone [in German; English abstract]. Z Hautkr. 1987;62:28–30,35–38.
  5. Cluzan RV, Alliot F, Ghabboun S, Pascot M. Treatment of secondary lymphedema of the upper limb with CYCLO 3 FORT. Lymphology. 29(1):29-35.


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