2006 Ageless herbal newsletter
This month we will discuss a very effective herb, which has a fascinating history of
use also known as Box Holly or Jew’s Myrtle, classified as Ruscus Aculeatus.
Butcher’s broom is a small, clump-forming shrub with erect shoots, looking much like asparagus shoots, also known as cladophylls. Tiny green flowers appear in the late winter and spring on the cladophylls.
The history of butcher’s broom starts some two thousand years ago in Europe and has been used mainly as a laxative and diuretic agent. Other uses included treating urinary, gastrointestinal, and reproductive disorders.
Traditionally the roots were decocted in water or wine as a treatment for abdominal complaints and the Greek physician
Dioscorides reported its laxative effects as well as its use as a treatment for kidney stones.
Nicholas Culpepper, the seventeenth century herbalist, reported that the root decoction taken orally, or the topical application of a poultice made from the berries, assisted in the
knitting of fractured bones.
Today, it is used mainly for disorders involving the circulatory system – and primary to look after the health of veins and arteries, making it an excellent herb to use for varicose veins, as well as piles.
Mature branches of the plant were bound together and sold as brooms to
butchers, to clean their blocks, hence the name “Butcher’s Broom”. The dried branches are also bound together and attached to a stick, to be used as a besom or broom in Italy. It is also reported that the herb was used to preserve “hanged meat” from being eaten by mice (Parkinson).
The whole herb is used, but specifically the root or rhizome. The young shoots, which are very much like asparagus, can also be eaten.
A decoction of the root is used to internally treat problems, which vary from varicose veins to piles, also in other cases where the veins and capillaries can do with strengthening.
An infusion of butcher’s broom is also traditionally given as a mild laxative or diuretic and is used to treat jaundice, gout and kidney and bladder stones.
Butcher’s broom is often used in preparations to help ease hemorrhoids (piles), especially the swelling, pain and heaviness. One of the main constituents of the herb is
ruscogenine, which is a powerful vaso-constrictor, effectively strengthening and tightening veins.
This powerful action of boosting the veins and the capillaries makes it a very effective product to use in skin care, and for this reason it is used in our
Herbal Eye Gel to relieve puffiness and to remove waste material and excess external cellular fluids from the tissue surrounding the eyes.
It has excellent anti-edema and anti-inflammatory effects, due to the a-adrenergic stimulation of the blood capillaries. The application of Butcher’s Broom helps to stimulate circulation in the skin and also perks up the flow of lymphatic fluids, while still not irritating even ultra-sensitive skins.
The powerful stimulating properties of this herb will help not only with circulation, but also with waste removal from the skin, while strengthening the veins and capillaries.
Butcher’s broom extracts are also used in skin care preparations for varicose veins and cellulite, products that remove make-up, in treatments for cuperosis (cuperose) and products aimed at improving blood flow to weary legs.
Butcher’s broom is used in the following of our products:
Zinc is one of the trace elements that we should never be without, as all people require it for a healthy immune system and therefore is may be wise, when looking to
supplement your diet, to choose one that contains a
zinc supplement as well. It is very effective when used to fight
skin problems, such as acne and boils.
Cells require zinc for proper working and cell division, and zinc is also
needed by the tissue of the hair,
nails and skin to be in top form. Zinc is further used in the growth and maintenance of muscles, as well as normal growth and development.
It seems that zinc also helps to control the oil
glands, and is required for the synthesis of protein and collagen - which is important for
wound healing and to maintain a generally healthy skin.
A deficiency will result in an under-performing immune system, frequent infections, allergies, night blindness,
loss of smell and taste, loss of hair, white spots under finger
nails, skin problems, sleep disturbances, male problems etc.
Men with a zinc shortage may have a problem with
fertility, while women may experience irregular
periods. Children with too little zinc may have stunted growth and
Very small amounts of zinc are required and intake should be limited to under 100 mg per day, as a very large dosage may result in nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness and hallucinations and may also impact negatively on the immune system.
Zinc combines well with copper, calcium, phosphorous, selenium, vitamin A, B6 and E. All these are necessary for a correct nutritional balance.
When more may be required
Men should always ensure enough zinc in their diets, since the
health of their prostate gland is linked to zinc. Zinc is also needed to
Zinc may also be helpful in fighting infection and inflammation of the prostate gland in older
men. If a woman is taking a birth control pill, or receiving hormone replacement therapy, extra zinc may be indicated.
All vegans and vegetarians should also consider their zinc
intake, as well as people suffering from psoriasis and women, while pregnant or lactating.
People consuming large amounts of alcohol may also be at risk of
lowered zinc levels.
Certain whole grains contain phytic acid, which binds to
zinc, making it un-absorbable. Zinc is also lost through excessive
sweating. Zinc is destroyed in the milling process and is also lost in cooking.
Other interesting points
Sucking zinc tablets may help with fighting a
cold, although some people experience nausea from sucking these tablets.
Great sources are found in meat, particularly animal muscle meat, poultry, fish and seafood, while grains, nuts, eggs, seeds and brewer's yeast also supply good quality zinc.
- Healing cream
- To assist in wound healing while soothing skin complaints – such as eczema and psoriasis, acne and piles and moisturizing and protecting the skin. This product has shown its effectiveness over a wide range of problems and judging from sales over more than a decade – it is the trusted healing cream to help with all mishaps, allergic reactions, irritated, burning, itchy and uncomfortable skin conditions.
- Face wash
- This face wash will properly clean your face and remove all impurities and environmental pollutants, without drying the skin. It contains eight herbal extracts to help promote a clear, vital and healthy complexion and a younger looking skin.
- Moisturizing day cream
- This day cream is formulated to help fight the signs of aging on various fronts. It helps to reduce free radical damage which, if left unchecked, leads to premature aging. The herbal extracts help to promote cell rejuvenation and regeneration and provide moisture and hydration to the skin.
- Nourishing night cream
- This nourishing night cream penetrates the skin extremely well and does not make the skin feel oily. It contains a host of herbal extracts to help in the fight against premature aging and has added vitamin E as well. Apart from the moisturizing effect and the anti-aging properties it also softens and smoothes the skin.
- Eye gel
- An effective refreshing eye gel to help reduce puffiness and dark rings around the eyes, while fighting wrinkles and lines. This is a very clever combination of herbal extracts and the base formula has its roots in a clinically proven formula.
- Mud face mask
- With this skin treatment product we combined a special selection of herbs in a base of thermal mud with oligoelements. This recommended weekly treatment will boost circulation to the skin, help to fight wrinkles and lines, improve firmness while at the same time improving suppleness and elasticity of the skin.
- Shampoo with rosemary extract + 7 other herbals
- Our shampoo is in a class of its own – and granted – it is far more expensive than cheap supermarket shampoos, but no other shampoo has the active ingredients we have in our shampoo. The rosemary will boost the health of the hair and scalp, while the other seven herbal extracts will help strengthen the hair and make it shine, increase the volume and make it manageable.
- Rosemary hair treatment conditioner
- We have found that this hair conditioner should really be used as a conditioning treatment. This then removes the need to condition the hair every time you wash – and can be used once a month. It is a superb hair tonic and helps in the control of sebum secretion of the scalp. Although not formulated for dandruff – the ingredients will assist with this as well, while supporting the health of the scalp.
- Hand and body lotion
- When formulating this hand and body lotion we created a rich nourishing, protecting and reviving lotion, which will not leave the skin oily or tacky, but will create a well moisturized, hydrated and supple skin. After applying this lotion it will quickly be absorbed by the skin, leaving it silky soft, smooth and well moisturized.
- Stretch mark gel
- Although nothing can remove already formed stretch marks (only surgery can do that) – thousands of satisfied clients confirm that this gel improves the appearance of old stretch marks. The gel will help in PREVENTING stretch marks (a 92% success rate) and is used with great success by expectant mothers and body builders who may form marks when bulking-up. The formula of this gel is based on clinical studies done in France, to which we added other herbal extracts.
- Cellulite gel
- Fighting cellulite is easy with this herbal cellulite gel. It contains a patented extract of Bayberry (Myriceline) and nine other plant extracts and essential oils. The gel will help to get rid of cellulite (which has been clinically proven) and will also help to prevent cellulite from forming. So now it is easy to get your soft body contours back again.
- Apple cider vinegar (liquid) with Centella asiatica
- The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are combined with the therapeutic properties of Centella asiatica. This old folk remedy is still used with great effect by thousands of people daily.
- Digest capsules
- If your digestive system is under-par and you struggle with constipation or you simply need to boost the health of your digestive system then this capsule is for you. Fenugreek is a general digestive tonic and psyllium is a magical bulking agent that will help proper bowel movements, without using a laxative.
- Detox capsules
- Our modern day lifestyle exposes us to many unwanted additive and our diet also places stress on the body. To help the body get rid of toxins and waste materials naturally we combined fennel, basil, celery and parsley to help the body remove these toxins. It peps-up your metabolism and helps the bladder, kidneys and liver to do their work more effectively.
- Urinary and bladder health capsules
- Using an all natural approach, our capsules will help the discomfort and burning urine sensation of urinary tract infection and help clear up foul smelling urine. We combined cranberry, dandelion, uva ursi and vitamin C in a single capsule to effectively fight bladder infections and to stop the burning sensation when urinating.
- Tri- Mushroom blend capsules
- If you need an immune system boost then have a look at our combination of maitake, reishi and shiitake mushrooms. These mushrooms have showed to be a great help in boosting the immune system – and form a good nutritional supplement support for HIV/Aids patients and people receiving chemotherapy. Any person with even a slightly compromised immune system may benefit from this supplement.
- Olive leaf extract capsules
- This natural detoxifier helps with a variety of ailments and people with chronic fatigue syndrome, infections, glandular fever (Epstein Barr), and even candida and herpes have found it of value. Olive leaf extract helps to fight bacteria, viruses, retroviruses, and protozoa and yeast strains. Apart from fighting all of these problems it also helps to improve kidney function and fights free radicals.
- Sexual supplement (previously known as Vuka Nkuzi)
- Men normally don’t admit when they have a declining libido although it is a most common problem. We combine in this supplement seven different natural ingredients to boost sexual health – without any side effects often experienced with such medication. After more than a decade, and thousands of regular Vuka Nkuzi clients we still offer this well priced supplement to boost the libido.
- Jojoba oil
- This liquid golden ester not only moisturizes and penetrates the skin but also helps to fight wrinkles and lines while promoting a clear and unblemished skin. Jojoba does not clog the pores but helps to restore skin elasticity and smoothness. It will leave the skin supple and velvety soft without any oiliness and can be used neat on the skin.
- Lavender oil
- This is the most popular essential oil and with good reason. Lavender oil is a superb product to use on burns, insect bites, sunburn, wounds and other skin complaints and irritations. Lavender oil is one of the few essential oils that can be used neat (not diluted) on the skin, and is great to help with regeneration and rejuvenation of skin cells. Emotionally it has a calming and soothing effect and is an exceptionally pleasant smelling oil.
- Tea tree oil
- Once used, you will always have a bottle of tea tree essential oil handy. It deals effectively with bacteria, fungi and viruses. Our oil surpasses the “Australian Standard” by having less than 15% 1,8 cineole and more than 30% of Terpinen-4-ol. This powerful essential oil is effective in various ways to fight infections and skin problems.
- Almond oil
- This light and deeply moisturizing oil has a softening effect on the skin and can be used on the face and body. Almond oil has excellent emollient properties and helps to balance water and moisture loss in the skin. It can be used neat on the skin and also makes an excellent massage base.