Butcher's broom is a small-leafed bush cultivated in the Mediterranean and Europe. It is part of the lilly family, and is quite similar to your everday asparagus plant. Both the root and stem of the plant are used.
The plant called the butcher's-broom refers to a short evergreen shrub - botanical name Ruscus aculeatus L., belonging to the plant family Liliaceae, this plant is fairly common in this country and is known by other common names - the box holly and the knee holly.
The sensational herbal plant, the butcher's broom which seems to be sweeping the country with its remarkable and famed herbal prowess at this time is a totally different herb. And while, the two brooms, Cystius scoparius and the Spartium junceum are both extensively used in herbal folk medicine, they are distinct species and must not be confused with the plant called the butcher's broom.
The herb itself is a transplanted species and was originally a native plant found around the entire Mediterranean region from the Azores all the way to Iran in the Persian Gulf. The traditional and historical use of the butcher's broom herb is also a long one and many cultures in areas where the plant grew native used it in a variety of herbal preparations. The use of the butcher's broom as a diuretic and laxative herb was suggested by the ancient Greek herbalist Dioscorides as early as the first century.
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