Butchers Broom herb for treating orthostatic hypotension

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A popular herbal remedy for treating varicose veins and venous insufficiency may prove to be a potential treatment for a very difficult to treat condition known as Orthostatic Hypotension.

What Is Orthostatic Hypotension?

Orthostatic hypotension also known as postural hypotension refers to a state in which an individual’s blood pressure significantly drops upon immediately standing or whilst in an upright position.

In medical terms, it is defined as a fall in systolic blood pressure of at least 20 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure of at least 10 mm Hg when a person assumes a standing position.

Orthostatic hypotension or intolerance as its commonly referred to in medical literature can often be the result of autonomic nervous system dysfunction or dysautonomia as its known.

“Adrenal Fatigue”, Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Dysfunction & Orthostatic Hypotension

The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is also typically dysfunctional in those with orthostatic intolerance.

When we stand up suddenly, gravity pulls blood away from the brain.  The adrenal glands should respond by releasing epinephrine(adrenaline), which constricts blood vessels, maintaining blood pressure when standing in an upright position.

However in those with hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysfunction, the adrenals are often slow to respond and thus an individual with weak adrenals often gets dizzy, light-headed, faint or in extreme cases orthostatic hypotension can even cause a stroke.

Those with hpa-axis dysregulation and “adrenal fatigue”, will most likely have encountered some level of orthostatic hypotension when they have got very dizzy and light-headed immediately upon standing.

Supporting the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and nourishing the adrenal glands should also be a major focus when treating orthostatic hypotension.  Nervine herbs such as Gotu kola, oat straw and skullcap, support proper nervous system function and are also helpful.

Butchers Broom(Ruscus aculeatus) & Circulatory Health

Butchers Broom(Ruscus aculeatus) has a long traditional history of treating circulatory problems such as varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency, and other circulatory related disorders.

There is actually scientific evidence which has validated that Butchers Broom is of benefit for individuals with varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency.

Butchers Broom has a number of circulatory related health benefits including venotonic properties(reduces venous capacity and pooling of blood in the legs and exerts protective effects on capillaries, the vascular endothelium, and smooth muscle), improves deep circulation, exerts vasoconstrictive action by stimulating noradrenaline release at the vascular wall and more.

Butchers Broom is also a rich source of flavonoids, which strengthens blood vessels, reduces capillary fragility, and helps maintain healthy circulation.

Butchers Broom For Treating Orthostatic Hypotension

Firstly the review study found that many of the current pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic agents for treating orthostatic hypotension, revealed that all of the drug therapies are disappointing and only marginally useful.

The review study with case report found – “Ruscus aculeatus(Butchers Broom), a phytotherapeutic agent containing ruscogenins and flavonoids, may prove useful for the treatment of orthostatic hypotension, if denervation is not so advanced that it has compromised receptor activity at the venous wall. 

Ruscus aculeatus is an alpha-adrenergic agonist that causes venous constriction by directly activating postjunctional alpha1- and alpha2-receptors, in turn stimulating the release of noradrenaline at the level of the vascular wall.”

Another major benefit that the study found, was that Butchers Broom does not cause supine hypertension, in the way many drug medications used to treat orthostatic hypotension typically do.

Butchers Broom also appeared to do something that no other therapy can offer, which was to alleviate the worsening effects of orthostatic hypotension in environmentally hot conditions.

The study concluded – “With proven phlebotherapeutic properties, including vasoconstrictive action and venotonic properties, Ruscus aculeatus shows great promise for ameliorating the symptoms of orthostatic hypotension and improving the quality of life for large groups in the population.  Butchers Broom clearly deserves to be the object of wider research and study as a treatment for orthostatic hypotension.”

The study also concluded that Butchers Broom was inexpensive, available over the counter botanical medicine, which was considered to be extremely safe for use.

References

1. Ruscus aculeatus (butcher’s broom) as a potential treatment for orthostatic hypotension, with a case report.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11152059
The information in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and should not be used to diagnose, cure or treat any disease, implied or otherwise.

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