Ruscus aculeatus

Flora Palaestina Ethnobotany

Ruscus aculeatus L.


  • Butcher's Broom
  • Jew's Myrtle
  • Knee Holly
  • Piaranthus
  • `ajram عجرم
  • `urf ad-dik عرف الديك
  • mikneset el-jazzar مكنسة الجزار
  • safandar سفندر
  • etzbonit ha-khoresh
  • עֶצְבּוֹנִית הַחֹרֶשׁ


  • Mediterranean maquis and forest
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Medicinal Complaints / Uses

Ruscus aculeatus L.

System/State Traditional
Activity / Interpretation
Preparation/ Administration
Parts Used



Cook plant in water alone or + "sharashib el-dura" (stigamata of Zea maydis (see NOTES 1) & drink.

Aerial parts Z
Kidney & Urinary Tract

Kidney stones (Z, B) & Urinary obstruction (Z)

Anti-lithic, Deobstruent

1. Cook plant in water alone or + "sharashib el-dura" (stigamata of Zea maydis (see NOTES 1) & drink. (Z)
2. Decoct ground rhizomes & drink. (B)

Aerial parts Z

The authors of FLORAPALE, (Flora Palaestina Ethnobotanical) web site do not take responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of the plants described here. Always seek advice from a health professional before using a plant medicinally or for other purposes. See DISCLAIMER.


Stigmata maydis (corn silk) refers to stigmas of the female flowers of maize, (corn silk, Zea maydis).


Using the rhizome of Ruscus aculeatus has been associated rarely with gastric complaints including nausea, diarrhea & colits. Contains ruscogenins which may cause allergic skin reactions on local application of the plant due to sensitivity. Stimulates α-adrenergic system, therefore may potentially effect cardiovascular function & can also effect blood pressure in patients on treatment for hypertension. Berries are purgative. The plant is not suitable for children. Its safety in pregancy & lactation has not been established.