Alternative & Integrative Medicine

ISSN: 2327-5162

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Bucher’s Broom and Selenium Improve Lipedema: A Retrospective Case Study


Nourollahi S, Mondry TE and Herbst KL

Background: Butcher’s broom plant extract has been reported to improve lymphatic flow and the trace mineral, selenium, has been shown to improve lymphedema. This retrospective case study examines the effectiveness of Butcher’s broom in conjunction with selenium to decrease limb volume of a patient with lipedema, a common fat distribution disorder with excess adipose tissue fluid. Methods: Selenium (400 mcg) was initiated 6 days prior to limb volume evaluation utilizing perometry. The patient underwent physical therapy that consisted of manual lymph drainage (MLD) with Histological Variable Manual Technique (HIVAMAT), and compression bandaging. Butcher’s broom (one gram daily) was added on day 95 of treatment in addition to selenium and both were continued through day 293 (end of study). Results: Total volume reduction over the study period for the left and right upper extremities and left and right lower extremities was 525 ml and 225 ml (p<0.05), and 1769 ml and 1614 ml (p<0.0001), respectively. The total percent volume reduction during the time period when MLD with HIVAMAT and compression bandaging were performed for the left and right legs was 70.6 and 79.0%, respectively. In the absence of compression bandaging, the left and right arms lost 21.2 and 10% of initial volumes, respectively at the 6 month follow-up visit. During the latter part of the study when the patient was performing a home maintenance program, at which time selenium and Butcher’s broom were continued, the left and right lower extremities decreased an additional 29.4 and 20.9% of initial volumes, respectively, despite a lack of exercise due to a foot injury during the last 46 days. Conclusion: Butcher’s broom and selenium may offer new tools in conjunction with physical therapy to improve swelling and pain associated with lipedema.


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