Botanical Name: Ruscus aculeatus
- English: Butcher's Broom
- Also, known as: Jew’s Myrtle, Knee Holly, Kneeholy, Sweet Broom, Pettigree, Kneeholm, Balai du Boucher, Box Holly, Fragon, Fragon Épineux, Fragon Faux Houx, Fragon Piquant, Houx Frelon, Jew's Myrtle, Knee Holly, Kneeholly, Kneeholm, Kneeholy, Oxymyrsine pungens, Petit Houx, Pettigree, Stickmyrten, Sweet Broom, Rusci Aculeati, Rusci Aculeati Rhizoma, Rusco, Ruscus aculeatus, Ruscus dumosus, Ruscus flexuosus, Ruscus laxus, Ruscus parasiticus, Ruscus ponticus.
Habitat: Native to western Europe, Mediterranean region
Parts Used: Root
Ruscus aculeatus is an herb commonly referred to as Butcher's Broom due to its hard roots and being traditionally applied to clean the cutting boards of butchers. The matured branches used to be bound into bundles and sold to butchers for sweeping their blocks.
Ruscus aculeatus also called as knee holly is a low, evergreen sub-shrub plant which occurs not infrequently in the forest and waste and bushy places, and is native to Europe and Mediterranean region. The name Knee Holly appears to have been given it from its rising to about the height of a man’s knee and from its having, like the true Holly, prickly leaves, which are also evergreen.
It's tough, green, erect, striated stems, which are destitute of bark, send out from the upper part many short branches, plentifully furnished with very rigid leaves, which are really a mere expansion of the stem, and terminate each in a single sharp spine It typically grows to 2-3' tall and as wide. Actual leaves of this shrub are microscopic. The ovate, thick, spiny-tipped, glossy dark green, leaf-like structures look like leaves but are in fact flattened leaf-like shoots called cladophylls on which the flowers and fruits are borne. The small greenish-white flowers are solitary, growing from the centre of the leaves and blossom in the early spring. Six-tippled, star-shaped, greenish white flowers bloom singly or in pairs on the upper sides of the cladophylls in spring.
The young shoots of Butcher’s Broom have often been eaten like those of the Asparagus, a plant to which it is closely allied. It is frequently made into besoms in Italy. One of the names given the plant, ‘Jew’s Myrtle,’ points to its use for service during the Feast of Tabernacles.
How to use:
Decoctions are suitable for roots, barks, large seeds & berries, and other dense material. The simple way to make decoction is, in a saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of dried herbs to 1 cup of water. Bring the water to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30-60 minutes. Strain and squeeze out as much as liquid as possible and enjoy!
- You can sweeten your herbal decoctions with bit of honey, natural fruit juice, stevia leaves powder and or licorice root powder.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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