Butcher's broom is a member of the lily family and it's closely related to asparagus. It's a short evergreen shrub that grows primarily in the Mediterranean region of Europe. Butchers used to scrub their chopping blocks with its leaves and twigs up until the 20th century - hence the name.
Herbalists use butcher's broom as a remedy for circulatory ailments and also as an anti-inflammatory agent for various vascular disorders. The herb contains steroidal saponin compounds that act as vasoconstrictors to reduce swelling. Butcher's Broom is often made into a bitter tea to get the blood flowing to the limbs. It is effective in preventing thrombosis or blood clotting after surgery. As a mild diuretic, it helps reduce swelling in the legs and can be used to treat varicose veins and phlebitis. It may also help relieve menstrual cramps.
As a topical salve, butcher's broom may ease swelling due to arthritis, rheumatism and hemorrhoids.
It's best not to take butcher's broom if you have high blood pressure nor if you're on anti-coagulation medicines. As always, confer with your health practitioner before taking this or any herbal remedy.