The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!

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Broom

Scientific Names

Butcher's Broom

  • Cytisus scoparius L.
  • Ruscus Aculeatus
  • Papiloniaceae
  • Pea family

Common Names

  • Broom flowers
  • Broom tops
  • Butcher’s broom
  • Common broom
  • Irish broom
  • Link
  • Scotch broom

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Parts Usually Used

Young flowering twigs, tops, and seeds
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Butcher's Broom

Description of Plant(s) and Culture

An attractive, evergreen shrub, it has bright green, almost leafless stems; erect green branches from which oval leaflets grow, with bright yellow pea-like flowers, much favored by butterflies, blooms in April to June. The height ranges from 3-10 feet and can be trimmed back after flowering for a more compact shape. Unlike gorse, with which it is sometimes confused, broom rarely sports any prickles. The fruit is a brownish-black, shaggy pod contains 12-18 seeds. Requires full sun, prefers poor soil with perfect drainage.

Another herb, called Butcher’s Broom (Ruscus acluteatus) is extremely popular among European women. They use it to treat discomfort and pain of restless leg syndrome, caused by poor circulation; that heavy leg feeling.
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Butcher's Broom

Where Found

A native of Europe, Asia, and Africa, broom has become naturalized in some parts of North America. Found on dry, gravely banks, heaths and hillsides, particularly in the rural areas of the western United States.
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Medicinal Properties

Tops: cathartic, diuretic
Seed: cathartic, emetic
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Biochemical Information

Alkaloids, hydroxylramine, 42% potash, and ruscogenins, tannin, bitter principle, and traces of an essential oil.
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Butcher's Broom

Legends, Myths and Stories

Broom is one of the nine fairy herbs, and a cologne prepared from its flowers is said to inspire affection.

The branches of this shrub produced crude but useful brooms, hence the name.

Scotch broom is used in beer makings and flavorings.
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Butcher's Broom

Uses

For circulatory disorders, gout, leg cramps, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, phlebitis, thrombosis, and jaundice . Good for kidney and bladder. Relieves inflammation. Excellent for dropsy, toothache, ague, acute constipation, swelling of the spleen.

Used with uva-ursi, cleavers, and dandelion makes an excellent remedy for cleansing the kidneys and bladder, and to increase the flow of urine. Makes a good ointment for lice or vermin. A cardiac depressant to quiet an overactive heart. A lymph tonic.

One of the legumes, it also increases available nitrogen in the soil, benefiting plants growing around it, and is a collector of calcium.
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Formulas or Dosages

The tops of young branches should be picked, and an infusion made using 3 tsp. to 3/4 pint of water. Dosage is a tbsp. night and morning.

Decoction: prepared from the root, boil 1 tsp flowering tops or seeds in 1 cup water. Dosage is a tbsp. night and morning. Or take 1 to 2 cups per day, a mouthful at at time.
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Warning

Large doses can cause vomiting, purging, weakening heart, lowered nerve strength and low blood pressure. Advanced stages of toxicity can cause complete respiratory collapse. It also speeds up the heartbeat. Large doses have been reported to cause fatal poisoning.

Broom contains alkaloids and hydroxytyramine, and should not be used except under proper medical supervision.
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Resource Links

LiveStrong.com: Butcher’s Broom & Hemorrhoids

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: Butchers Broom

U.S. National Library of Medicine: Scotch Broom

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Bibliography

Buy It! Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

Buy It! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

Buy It! Culpeper’s Complete Herbal & English Physician: Updated With 117 Modern Herbs, by Nicholas Culpeper, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1990, (reprint of 1814)

Buy It! Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible, by Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., Simon & Schuster/Fireside, Rockefeller Center 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020

Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

Herbal Gardening, compiled by The Robison York State Herb Garden, Cornell Plantations, Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley., Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, New York, 1994, first edition

Buy It!The Magic of Herbs, by David Conway, published by Jonathan Cape, Thirty Bedford Square, London, England. (Out of print)

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

Buy It! Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements, by James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C., Avery Publishing Group, Inc., Garden City Park, NY

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature’s Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

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