Broom, Spanish

Medical Herbs Catalogue


Broom, Spanish

Botanical Name: Spartium junceum (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Leguminosae
Habitat: The Spanish Broom is a small shrub, indigenous in the south of Europe and cultivated as an ornamental plant. The flowers are large, yellow and of an agreeable scent. It is identified with the Spartium of the ancients, which is reputed to have been very violent in action and was said by Gerard and other herbalists 'to cause to vomit with great violence, even as white Hellebor.'

Medicinal Action and Uses: The Spanish Broom in its medicinal properties closely resembles the common Broom, but is from five to six times more active. The symptoms produced by overdoses are vomiting and purging, with renal irritation. The seeds have been used to a considerable extent in dropsy, in the form of a tincture. The flowers yield a yellow dye.

The dried flowers of Spanish Broom are readily differentiated, those of the true Broom having a small bell-shaped calyx with two unequal lobes, the upper of which is bi-dentate and the lower minutely tridentate, while in Spartium junceum, the calyx is deeply cleft to the base on one side only.

By macerating the twigs a good fibre is obtained, which is made into thread in Languedoc, and its cord and a coarse sort of cloth in Dalmatia.

The name Spartium is from the Greek word denoting 'cardage,' in allusion to the use of the plant.

Coronilla scorpioides (Koch) has been used medicinally as substitute for Broom.

Coronilla is the herbage of various species of the genus of that name, natives of Europe and some naturalized in North America.

The drug, at least that from Coronilla scorpioides (Koch), contains the glucoside Coronillin, a yellow powder. The action and uses of the drug are very similar to those of Broom.

The leaflets are said to produce a dye like indigo by proper fermentation, and are also reported as a laxative.

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