May 27, 2016

Holly

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What other names is Holly known by?

Acebo, Agrifolio, Ailes de Chauve-Souris, Cardón, Christ's Thorn, Épine du Christ, Holm, Holme Chase, Holy Tree, Houx, Houx d'Amérique, Houx Commun, Hulm, Hulver Bush, Hulver Tree, Ilex aquifolium, Ilex opaca, Ilex vomitoria.

What is Holly?

Holly is a plant. There are many types (species) of holly. English holly, Oregon holly, and American holly are used as ornamental Christmas greens. The leaves of other holly species (especially Ilex opaca, Ilex vomitoria, and Ilex aquifolium) are used to make medicine. The berries are very poisonous and should not be swallowed.

Historically, Ilex opaca fruit tea was used as a heart stimulant by American Indians. Ilex vomitoria was used to cause vomiting, and Yaupon tea (mixed leaves of Ilex cassine, Ilex vomitoria, and Ilex dahoon) was used as a ceremonial "cleanser" in South America.

More recently, preparations of holly leaf have been used for coughs, digestive disorders, water retention, and yellowed skin (jaundice). Ilex aquifolium leaves are used for treating fevers that come and go, joint pain (rheumatism), swelling, water retention, and chest congestion. Ilex opaca leaves are used to empty and cleanse the bowels, stimulate the heart, and increase urine flow. Other holly species are used for treating heart disease, dizziness, and high blood pressure.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Coughs.
  • Digestive disorders.
  • Joint pain (rheumatism).
  • Water retention.
  • Heart disease.
  • Dizziness.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of holly for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


Therapeutic Research Faculty copyright

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