Butcher’s Broom – ESCOP Herbal Monograph

Rusci rhizoma
Butcher’s Broom
Ruscus aculeatus L.
Published 2017

Price: €20
Format: PDF; Instant Download







The herbal monograph selects and summarises scientific studies and textbooks regarding efficacy, dosage and safety to support the therapeutic uses of butcher’s broom.

This herbal drug by definition consists of the dried, whole or fragmented underground parts of Ruscus aculeatus L.

Studies with its main characteristic constituents steroidal saponins are included.

The therapeutic indications are  supportive therapy for symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency, such as painful, tired and heavy legs, tingling and swelling and supportive therapy for symptoms of haemorrhoids, such as itching and burning.

Administration of butcher’s broom  addresses posology; its duration of use; contra-indications; special warnings; special precautions for use; interactions with other medicinal products; other forms of interaction; in pregnancy and lactation; its effects on ability to drive; undesirable effects; overdose.

In vitro and in vivo experiments with butcher’s broom demonstrate its vasoconstrictive and vasoprotective effects. Pharmacological studies in humans concern effects on venous function.

Controlled clinical studies with butcher’s broom demonstrated its therapeutic use in patients with chronic venous insufficiency and varicosis as well as in patients suffering from haemorrhoids.

Pharmacokinetics of orally administered Butcher’s broom extract and saponins were assessed in animals and humans.

Preclinical safety data were assessed in toxicity studies.

Safety data were assessed in human studies.

The selection of literature cited in the monograph is aimed at bringing together relevant information about the possible physiological roles of butcher’s broom and its major constituents. Examples are given below.


  • Ruscus aculeatus L.
  • Rusci rhizoma
  • Butcher’s broom
  • Chronic venous insufficiency;  Haemorrhoids;


– Bouskela E, Cyrino FZGA, Marcelon G. Inhibitory effect of the Ruscus extract and of the flavonoid hesperidine methylchalcone on increased microvascular permeability induced by various agents in the hamster cheek pouch. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 1993;22:225-30. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00005344-199308000-00009

– Hadžifejzović N, Kukić-Marković J, Petrović S, Soković M, Glamočlija J, Stojkovič D, Nahrstedt A. Bioactivity of the extracts and compounds of Ruscus aculeatus L. and Ruscus hypoglossum L. Industrial Crops and Products 2013;49:407-11. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2013.05.036

– Maffei Facino R, Carini M, Stefani R, Aldini G, Saibene L. Anti-elastase and anti-hyaluronidase activities of saponins and sapogenins from Hedera helix, Aesculus hippocastanum and Ruscus aculeatus: factors contributing to their efficacy in the treatment of venous insufficiency. Arch Pharm (Weinheim) 1995;328:720- 4. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ardp.19953281006

– Abascal K, Yarnall E. Botanical treatments for hemorroïds. Alternative and complementary therapies 2005;285-289. http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/act.2005.11.285


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