Health Guide

Butcher's broom

What is it?

Butcher's Broom is an herbal medicine that is used for chronic venous insufficiency, especially the pain, heaviness, cramps, and swelling of the legs. It is also used for premenstrual syndrome (PMS), speed healing of injuries, and for the itching and burning of hemorrhoids.

Other names for Butcher's Broom include: Ruscus aculeatus, Ruscus, Box Holly, Knee Holly, Pettigree, and Sweet Broom.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have kidney problems, high blood pressure, or prostatic hypertrophy
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much Butcher's Broom you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Butcher's Broom. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.


  • Before taking Butcher's Broom, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Use with caution if you have hypertension (high blood pressure) or BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy) (4)
  • Do not use Butcher's Broom if you have kidney problems (8)

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Nausea (upset stomach) and vomiting (throwing up) (5)


1. Werbach MR & Murray MT: Botanical influences on Illness: a sourcebook of clinical research. Third Line Press, Tarzana, CA; 1994.

2. Rudofsky G : Improving venous tone and capillary sealing. Effect of a combination of Ruscus extract and hesperidine methyl chalcone in healthy porbands in heat stress. Fortschr Med 1989; 107(19):52, 55-58.

3. Capelli R, Nicora M, Di Perri T: Use of extract of Ruscus aculeatus in venous disease in the lower limbs. Drug Exp Clin Res 1988; 14(4):277-283.

4. Fetrow C & Avila J: Professional's Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Springhouse Corporation, Springhouse, PA; 1999.

5. Blumenthal, Busse, Goldberg, et al: The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. The American Botanical Council, Austin, TX; 1998.

6. Moore M: Herbal Materia Medica, 5th ed. Southwest School of Botanical Medicine, Bisbee, AZ; 1995: 25.

7. Potterton D: Culpepper's Color Herbal. Sterling Publ Co, New York, NY; 1983: 35.

8. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R et al: American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL; 1997.

9. Bennani A, Biadillah MC, Cherkaoui A et al: Acute attack of hemorrhoids: efficacy of Cyclo 3 Forte(R) based on results in 124 cases reported by specialists. Phlebologie 1999; 52:89-93.

10. Redman DA: Ruscus aculeatus (butcher's broom) as a potential treatment for orthostatic hypotension, with a case report. J Alt Comp Med 2000; 6(6):539-549.


Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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