Bush made up of an underground rhizome which
produces up to 1 m
high orthotropic, erect, rigid, dark green, persistent and very ramified
branches covered with appendages in shape of lanceolate leaves with rigid and sharp
tip, although what they really are is crushed branches; true leaves are tiny,
small, membranous scales that are found in the axillary buds of crushed branches.
The most important part of this bush is the rhizome, which corresponds to the
underground zone. It is knotty, yellow colored, of about 10 cm and with a compact and
fibrous structure. The leaves are small, lanceolate, membranous and
non-photosynthetic cataphylls. In their axillary buds, short, flattened, ovate
or lanceolate branches up to 5 x 2.5
cm that end in a thorn develop. Dioecious, trimeric, hermaphrodite, actinomorphic flowers
are inserted into the top on the central nerve of phylloclades, slightly below
its midpoint (above, on the right). They are male or female, depending on the
plant with a perigone of 6 tepals in two whorls. The plant is dioecious, with male slips (their
flowers have barely differentiated gynoecium) and female ones (flowers with
rudimentary androecium) which are separated. The fruit is a globose, spherical
and bright red coloured berry with a diameter of up to 15 mm, with one or two seeds which
ripen in winter. It belongs to the family of Liliaceaes.
It is a plant coming from the Mediterranean
zone, Europe and Africa and is usually found in France,
central and southern Europe, but at altitudes below 700 m, Southwest Asia and North Africa. It appears in undergrowth evergreen and mixed
forest, dark and damp places and especially in limestone terrain, forming part
of the thicket that accompanies cork oaks and their degradation to strawberry
trees, and heather.
It blooms from May to July and the fruits ripen
between autumn and winter. The thick root, which is usually harvested in autumn
has medicinal properties. This root has not smell, but it has a sweet taste
which is initially overly sweet and then perceived as slightly bitter. In winter, the female flowers produce bright, red, rounded berries which are
used in some places as Christmas ornament for their showy red berries and the strength
and brightness of their false leaves.
Rhizome and roots.
> Prevention and
treatment of chronic venous insufficiency: varicose veins, hemorrhoids, hemorrhoidal
anitis. It is recommended to use it both internal and external at
the same time.
of phlebitis and thrombophlebitis, post-phlebitis recovery.
> Capillary fragility,
> Edemas of the lower
limbs, pain and sensation of heaviness in the legs, venous problems of the
lower limbs due to the use of oral contraceptive.
> Urinary disorders:
cystitis, urethritis, oliguria, kidney stones.
accompanied by water retention.
> Metritis (inflammation of uterus), adnexitis (inflammation of
the ovaries and fallopian tubes), dysmenorrhea
(painful period), abundant menstruation and premenstrual syndrome.
> Hyperazotemia (large
amount of nitrogenous substances in the blood), hyperuricemia, gout and
> A study shows that
it can be useful for the prevention of diabetic retinopathy.
> A study suggests
that the butcher’s broom could be useful for the inflammation of the harms
(lymphedema) followed by the surgery of breast cancer.
> Some authors
consider that due to its venotropic properties the plant may be useful in the
treatment of chronic orthostatic hypotension. Unlike many other drug treatments
for this condition Ruscus aculeatus doesn’t cause supine hypertension.
> Aftershave or aftersun.