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Butcher's broom (also called Jew's Myrtle, Knee Holly, Kneeholm, Pettigree, Sweet Broom) is part of the lily family. Both the root and stem of the plant are used in herbal preparations.
Butchers broom has been used to improve circulation, relieve constipation and to relieve water-retention discomfort. It is reported that butcher's broom can tighten veins and strengthen capillary walls. It is rich in flavonoids such as rutin and enhances blood flow to the brain, legs and hands.
Butchers broom has been reported to be effective in treating a variety of conditions including: ? Chronic venous insufficiency ? Atherosclerosis ? Haemorrhoids ? Varicose veins
The primary contituents of butcher's broom include steroidal saponins which are believed to be responsible for the herb?s medicinal effects.
Butcher's broom is used to alleviate constipation and excess water-retention. It may ease the swelling and pain of arthritis and rheumatism, and works particularly well for people who are on their feet most of the day, such as doctors, salespersons, and teachers.
This herb may also lessen cramps, swelling, and other symptoms associated with chronic venous insufficiency, a condition that occurs when valves in the veins that carry blood back to the heart are weak or damaged. This insufficiency allows blood to collect in the veins, which may cause varicose veins, spider veins, sores, and even blood clots in the legs. A butcher's broom derivative is used in European hospitals to prevent blood clots after surgery.
Butcher's broom has been used as a mild diuretic and laxative, though other drugs are now considered more effective. Scientists are investigating butcher's broom for the treatment of orthostatic hypotension (a drop in blood pressure after standing). Advanced age, certain drugs, and medical conditions such as diabetes and Parkinson's disease are often associated with orthostatic hypotension.
Ointments and suppositories including butcher's broom are typically used for haemorrhoids. Encapsulated butcher's broom extracts, often combined with vitamin C or flavonoids, can be used for systemic venous insufficiency.
No significant side-effects have been found for butcher's broom. Nausea and queasiness may result in rare cases. Butcher's broom is not recommended for those with high blood pressure.