Skip to main content

Frequently (and not so frequently) Asked Questions

Simple keyword search (one or two words only)

 


BRIEF: Could you give me some more information about Spartium Junceum?


QUESTION:
Somewhere I read that Mexican Chamanes used Spartium Junceum (spanish broom) for high blood pressure but I have never found that book again and I do not know the toxicity of that plant. I have a plant of Spanish Broom in my garden. My father has high blood pressure and he use traditional medication. He wants to know about using Spanish broom for himself because he once tried mother tinture of spanish broom and it really was effective. I searched the toxicity of the plant on the internet and did not find very good information. I found opposite information about the medical use and its toxicity. I would like to know if the mother tinture of flowers made with half litre of drinking alcohol and 100 gr of dry flowers of the spanish broom, taken in 15 drops 2 times a day, can be toxic. The effects in high blood pressure are amazing, and better than traditional drugs, because it regulates and mantains a similar pressure all day long, and help as a diuretic and heart tonic, problems that appear with traditional medication for high blood pressure, on my father.

ANSWER:

Spartium Junceum, spanish broom, has been used for at least two thousand years as a diuretic and to strengthen the heartbeat and to reduce total body fluids. Advocates of its use believe that the quinolizidine alkaloid sparteine temporarily raises renal aterial blood pressure enough to increase kidney filtration and thereby act as a diuretic, which then lowers blood pressure below what it was at the start for an extended period. I am not a physician, but your father should discuss this with one before trying to use this old drug. A physician might be able to tell him if the the hazard of increasing the strength of the heart's contraction is worth the benefit of lower blood pressure that follows. One reason this old drug has been replaced by newer ones, is that an individual's response can be unpredictable. About 1 patient in 11 lacks the enzyme needed to efficiently break down and clear sparteine from the body. For these people, repeated dosing with spanish broom can be very dangerous. There is a test for this condition that involves taking a tiny dose and looking for the proper carabolites in the urine, but obviously, this must be run by a medical laboratory.