Butcher’s broom is a low evergreen shrub, native to Eurasia. It is a monocotyledon that rarely gets higher than three feet. It is a multi-stemmed plant with a stiff and spiny leaf-like structure. On microscopic and histologic views, they are not true leaves but cladodes that perform the same photosynthetic operations as leaves. However, the true leaves it has are non-photosynthetic papery scales that appear at the bases of the cladodes.
Butcher’s broom is the only species of its genus that grows self-fertile flowers that transform into red spherical fleshy fruits. Historically, the butcher’s broom was harvested and used to make brooms due to its stiff and flat branches for cleaning the butcher’s block, thus the name.
Medicinally, butcher’s broom is hailed as an alternative medicine for the treatment of hemorrhoids. It also ameliorates the maladies associated with poor blood circulation, such as chronic venous insufficiency, by stimulating blood flow. It also helps support the treatment of diabetic retinopathy (vision impairment due to diabetes), lymphedema (swelling of arms), orthostatic hypotension (dropping of blood pressure upon standing up from a sitting position), fluid retention, constipation, varicose veins, leg cramps, gallstones, and atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries).