Butcher's broom: A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information about butchers broom

Butchers Broom is a low evergreen shrub of the Asparagaceae family, with flat shoots known as cladodes that give the appearance of stiff, spine-tipped leaves. Small greenish flowers appear in spring, and are borne singly in the centre of the cladodes. The female flowers are followed by a red berry, and the seeds are bird-distributed, but the plant also spreads vegetatively by means of rhizomes.

common names & nomenclature
Butchers Broom is named this because butchers bundled the branches and used them for brooms in their shops.

Also known as:
butcher’s broom, jew’s myrtle, sweet broom, kneeholy, pettigree, knee holly, kneeholm

Butcher's Broom, the sweeping herb
Butcher's broom: Where in the World
habitat and range for butchers broom

Butcher’s Broom is found in Europe, Asia, and North Africa.

Butcher's broom: Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting butchers broom

Butcher’s Broom grows in woodlands and hedgerows, where it is tolerant of deep shade, and also on coastal cliffs. It is also widely planted in gardens.

Grows well in sandy or loamy soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils.

Sow the seed thinly in early spring in a cold frame in light shade. The seed germinates better if it is given a period of cold stratification. Germination can be rather slow, sometimes taking 12 months or more. Grow the seedlings in a shady spot of the greenhouse for their first growing season.

Transplant into individual pots in the following spring and grow them on for at least another year in the pots before planting them out in early summer. Be very sure to protect the seedlings from slugs. Plants can be divided in early spring—larger divisions can be planted directly into the garden. It's best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

Young shoots are harvested in the spring (for use in cooking), mature shoots harvested later and bunched together (for making brooms). Seeds can be collected and roasted. Harvest the rhizome in the fall.

Dry the rhizome completely and cut into small pieces to be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Butcher's broom: The Rest of the Story
butchers broom history, folklore, literature & more

butcher's broom for your blood vessels
Butcher's broom sounds like a violent herb, but in reality it's a very gentle one that can be used for several problems that have to do with your blood. It's a plant that resembles asparagus in its twig like nature. Its name actually came from it's use in butcher shops. The twigs were actually tied together and used literally as brooms.

In ancient Greece, butcher's broom was used to treat a wide variety of problems having to do with blood vessels such as varicose veins. It was also used by the Romans as well for circulatory problems. Now people continue to use it to treat those problems and more.

Butcher's broom can be used externally or taken internally. How you use it depends on what you're using it for. If you're suffering from varicose veins or have general problems with poor circulation in your legs, you'll want to use butcher's broom in the form of an ointment. Applied directly to the skin it can provide relief to your circulatory issues.

To treat hemorrhoids, you’ll want to use butcher's broom in the form of a suppository. You’ll want to insert the depository into the rectum before going to bed. It will provide you with relief for hours. It will also help to heal your problem and even allow you to avoid more invasive procedures.

Internally, you can take butcher's broom as a tonic. Usually, you just add a ½ ounce of the root to a cup of boiling water to make a tea. You can also make a tonic by boiling a few twigs in a large amount of water and allowing it to cool before drinking. Remove the twigs before you drink it, of course.

When you use butcher's broom as a tonic, you’ll find that it will help your circulation generally. If you have cold hands and feet and find your fingers and toes falling asleep a lot, butcher's broom can help to give you some general relief. However, if you’re concerned about a problem with your circulatory system, you’ll want to see a healthcare provider to make sure you don’t have a more serious issue.

Butcher's broom is an herb that can truly support your circulatory system. If you’re having problems with your blood vessels, butcher's broom can help to restore good health. You shouldn’t take butcher's broom if you have high blood pressure and if you’re currently taking medication such as blood thinners or blood pressure medication, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider before you use it.