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Butcher's broom (Ruscus aculeatus) - herbal midodrine

Discussion in 'Problems Standing: Orthostatic Intolerance; POTS' started by ramakentesh, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. ramakentesh

    ramakentesh Senior Member

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    Hi
    just wondering if anyone here has experience with Ruscus aculeatus a plant that acts as a selective venous alpha 1 agonist via a similar but milder mechanism to midodrine?

    thanks
  2. ramakentesh

    ramakentesh Senior Member

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  3. adreno

    adreno 3% neanderthal

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    The authors are speculating that it's superior to midodrine, but it isn't really a head-to-head trial. Here's the abstract:

  4. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I've taken both it and midodrine. Midodrine had a very noticeable effect (though lots of side-effects for me) but I didn't notice anything from Butchers's Broom--the I may not have been taking a large enough dose.

    It would be interesting to try a large dose.

    Sushi
  5. adreno

    adreno 3% neanderthal

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    What dose did you take?
  6. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Interesting - I have OI but have been resisting the idea of trying midrodine, beta-blockers, etc. until I'd exhausted some other options (such as the methylation protocol). I've been concerned about some of the severe side-effects that some people get, and supine hypertension.

    Butcher's broom sounds interesting but I always feel sceptical about statements that herbal preparations are safe - they haven't always undergone the kind of clinical or safety trials that would provide evidence to back up the statement and there seems to be often a default belief that natural remedies must be safe simply because they're natural. (I'm not referring to the beliefs of anyone on this thread - no one here is saying anything like that!).

    I can't see the full paper - is there any data in it on safety? Particularly on safety of people with the different varieties of OI (which I'm assuming is what they mean by OH) such as low-flow POTS, high-flow POTS, and NMH?

    I'm also curious to know people's experience with this.
  7. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    "Butcher's broom

    A plant in the lily family, Butcher's broom (Ruscus aculeatus) is also known as box holly or knee holly. It contains ruscogenins, constituents believed to strengthen collagen in blood vessel walls and improve circulation. This is thought to tighten weak, stretched vessels such as those associated with varicose veins.

    Side effects of butcher's broom may include digestive complaints such as indigestion or nausea. People with high blood pressure or benign prostate hyperplasia should not take butcher's broom without first consulting a doctor. The safety of butcher's broom in pregnant or nursing women or children has not been established.

    Butcher's broom should not be taken with medication for high blood pressure, benign prostate hyperplasia, or MAO inhibitors unless under medical supervision."
  8. ramakentesh

    ramakentesh Senior Member

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    Since the paper was written before the delineation of POTS into low/normal/high flow but one of the research groups there will be no mention of this. There is information of the safety and efficacy through references to european reviews in the paper.

    Infact the paper specifically only talks about conditions of neurally mediated hypotension. However its action in vasoconstriction via alpha 1 receptors is similar to vasopressors commonly used in POTS although it also has an alpha 2 action similar to clonidine.
  9. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I've been looking at sources of butchers broom on the net (apparently the plant used to be used to make brooms for butchers!). There's a reviewer on US Amazon who has posted on lots of different butchers broom preparations to say that you need a standardardised product containing ruscogenin (here's the review of the favoured product - the reviewer claims to have no financial interest).

    Does anyone have any views on the respective formulations, what would be a reasonable dose, how long to expect before seeing an effect on OI, etc.? All the Amazon comments seem to be about its effectiveness for haemorrhoids! One guy said it literally saved his behind. :D

    Interesting that it's supposed to strengthen blood vessel walls. I have only recently stopped getting extensive burst blood vessels in my eyes when I sneeze hard, possibly because I've been taking Vit C for the past six months. It didn't occur to me that the same problem might underlie my OI.
  10. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    It says this on the dinet site (about dysautonomia):

    "Butcher's broom may lessen orthostatic hypotension in some patients (Redman, 2000). Studies show that butcher's broom does not cause supine hypertension and that it can alleviate the worsening of symptoms in hot environments. Butcher's broom is a vasoconstrictor that reduces capillary permeability. Butcher's broom has been used as a diuretic, so patient's need to be especially cautious about taking it. Butcher's broom should only be taken under a doctor's supervision. "

    The Redman study of course is the one we're discussing in this thread.
  11. SaraM

    SaraM Senior Member

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    Felt no difference after using Butcher's Broom for a month.
  12. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    Well I've ordered some, Nature's Way Butchers Broom root. Will experiment with dosage and monitor my bp and other symptoms. It would be nice to have a doctor's or naturopath's help but I don't have
    this level of care or expertise in the treatment of most of my symptoms, anymore than with the overall condition of ME.
  13. ramakentesh

    ramakentesh Senior Member

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    A few people say that they get absolutely nothing from it. I found it quite the opposite and was surprised by how well it work initially.
  14. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Hi ramakentesh - that's good that you had improvement for your OI. What product did you take, and what dose? Do you remember how long it took to get an effect? Did the effect continue?

    A few questions there!
  15. ramakentesh

    ramakentesh Senior Member

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    The effect was almost immediate but there was reasonably quick tolerance to the same dose within 10 days and I had to double the dose. It helped purely with the presyncope.
  16. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I was reading up on Butchers Broom and came across a paper warning against using it with alpha blockers and MAOIs. I use Pregabalin (Lyrica) and have started a thread to see if anyone can tell me whether it's actually an alpha blocker (please post there if you know!) but just thought I'd pass on the heads-up.
  17. ramakentesh

    ramakentesh Senior Member

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    Lyrica is not an alpha agonist. Not sure about MAOI but doubtful. Butchers doesnt seem to cross the blood brain barrier so works peripherally.
  18. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks, ramakentesh - I've ordered some butchers broom now, and will test it out (not quite sure when, because I need to get some other things stable first).
  19. ramakentesh

    ramakentesh Senior Member

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    I found it quite good. Surprised so few others have tried it here.
  20. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    In my one week experiment, so far, so not so helpful. Using it alone, without the morning dose of Midodrine, two capsules as noted on the bottle for a daily dose, did not help my low blood pressure. I could feel a slight effect from it. Maybe it is as if the Butchers Broom is turning a switch but in my case the switch no longer connects to the right place. I am getting ahead of my results, though. So I tried it with Midodrine, either one capsule or two or three. With the three, it was clear I was feeling anxious, which I almost never do--anxious in a sustained way. I could feel a slighter version of this with two capsules in addition to the Midodrine, and barely a touch of it--no problem--at one. So that is why I am indicating that there is a certain revving effect---but for me, this doesn't lead to a restoration of a good blood pressure when standing or walking. So, I am disappointed.

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