Ruscus aculeatus is a low-growing, evergreen shrub with prickly leaves. Native to the Mediterranean, northern Africa, and the Middle East, butcher’s broom derives its name from its historical use as a bundle to sweep and clean butcher’s blocks. However, its beneficial properties extend beyond that of a broom and into traditional European herbal practices. Butchers broom root is typically steeped as tea or extracted.
Butcher’s broom is a member of the lily (Liliaceae) family and also goes by the common name of box holly. Typical preparation of dried root includes tea or extract. To make a tea from chopped root, place 1 teaspoon of the herb in a cup of boiling water and steep in a closed teapot for 10 minutes. The teapot should not be heated. Strain before drinking.