This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Ruscus C. B. Ruscus myrtifolius aculeatus Tourn. Bruscus oxymyrsine, myrtacantha, mya-cantha & scopa regia quibufdam. Ruscus aculeatus Linn. Butchers-broom or Kneeholly: a low woody plant, with oblong (tiff prickly leaves joined immediately to the slalks: from the middle ribs of the leaves, on the tipper side, issue small yellowish flowers succeeded by red berries: the root is pretty thick, knotty, furnished with long fibres matted together, of a pale brownish colour on the outside and white within. It grows wild in woods and on heaths, is perennial and evergreen, flowers in May, and ripens its berries in August.
(a) Home's Clinical cases and Experiments.
The root of butchers-broom has a sweetish taste, mixed with a slight bitterishness. It stands recommended as an aperient and diuretic, in urinary obstructions, nephritic cases, dropsies, etc. Riverius tells us of an hydropic person who was completely cured by using a decoction of butchers-broom for his only drink, and taking two purges of sena. The virtues of the root are extracted both by water and spirit, and on infpiffating the liquors, seem to remain entire behind: neither of the extracts is very strong in taste; the watery the least so.