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Butcher’s Broom

Common Name: butcher’s broom
Botanical Name: Ruscus aculeatus
Native Range: Northern Africa, Western Asia, Europe

A description of the use of butcher’s broom in Medicina Britannica by Thomas Short, 1746:

Butcher’s-Boom, or Knee-Holly Root, is very useful in stuffings and obstructions of the viscera, especially the liver, spleen, and urinary passages. Hence it is good in the jaundice, dropsy, and strangury; the second whereof, of a deplorable sort, has been cured in a month, by daily drinking a decoction of this alone, or with Flower-de-luce, and Fennel Roots in wine or water; it is thought as powerful as Comfrey in healing broken bones, or as Solomon’s Seal. Tho’ a decoction of the root has had such surprising effects in dropsies in a few weeks, yet proper purges were, and always should be given with it, as of Jalap Root and Ginger, or Jalap and Syrup of Buckthorn, twice a week. Powder of the root and of Dropwort, and Figwort, of each a Scruple, infused in a pint of white wine, and drank daily, is good in scrophulous tumours. A conserve of its berries is commended in a gonorrhea, taken from two drams to half an ounce, for some days; or Rose water four ounces, juice of Lemons one ounce, white of an egg, mix and drink every fourth day.

Last updated: 1/3/2020