European holly Tree Uses
Tree Healing Therapy
Botanical name llex aquifolium /Family Aquifoliaceae
Holly is an evergreen shrub or tree that is native to western and central Europe, north-west Africa and south-west Asia. It grows at a slow rate, and has smooth grey bark and greenish twigs, leaves with three to five sharp spines on each side, sweetly scented, minute white flowers and shiny red drupes (fruit).
History, mystery and spiritual healing For Christians, prickly holly is symbolic of Jesus' crown of thorns, and holly berries with drops of the blood shed for mankind's salvation. Holly has long and varying associations with Christmas. The holly bush classically brightened the dark days of Yule, centuries before the introduction of the fir Christmas tree. Indeed, the Romans considered the plant to belong to the god Saturn, who was celebrated at the 'Feast of Sol lnvictus' on 25 December.
Cuileann (holly) was also the most sacred tree to the Celtic Druids and conjoined with the gigantic Holly King of Celtic mythology, who ruled from the summer solstice until the winter solstice, ending in a great celebration.
healing Holly leaf contains active components such as tannin, bitter principle, ursolic and ilexic acids, and has a mildly diuretic effect; it alleviates fever and stimulates sweating. Holly leaves are dried and used as teas for fevers, bladder problems and bronchitis. Leaf infusions are used against the common cold, flu, rheumatism and arthritis, and the juice of the fresh leaf is helpful in jaundice treatment.
Recently Chinese research has revealed that the root of I. pubescens had a successful result (on animals) for the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of its component 'purified saponin faction'. In coronary cases, trials have shown that at least 90 per cent of sufferers were relieved of agonizing chest pain or it was much reduced.
South American holly (I. paraguariensis) is made into yerba mate tea, which is the reinvigorating national drink in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. It contains stimulants including caffeine, and is made by steeping dried holly leaves in boiling water. A transient energy-booster, mate quickens the nervous system, temporarily raising mental potency, and is slightly analgesic. It assists fatigue, headaches, migraine, neuralgic and rheumatic pain, and is used to alleviate ancillary melancholy.
No contraindications with drugs have yet been identified, but the use of holly during pregnancy and when lactating should be avoided. Ingestion of the berries can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, stupor, dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Side-effects may occur from drinking yerba mate and it should not be taken during pregnancy or when breastfeeding. Consult your healthcare provider if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, alcohol dependence or liver disease, or before giving it to young children