The holly, scientific name Ilex aquifolium, is a plant of the Aquifogliacee family characterized by green and shiny leaves and beautiful red, but poisonous, berries. In the tradition, holly has been used as a good luck charm, to keep away demons or diseases, but also as an ornament and can also be found nowadays in many Christmas decorations and wreaths. In addition to this, the holly has also a use in herbal medicine, although nowadays very limited, thanks to its interesting diuretic, anti-rheumatic, tonic, anti-epileptic and febrifugal properties, it helps in cases of cough and against catarrh. You can take the holly as an infusion or as a glycerin macerate. Do not use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Before seeing the main uses, a recommendation, do not take the holly berries because they are poisonous and for any holly-based preparation avoid the do-it-yourself, ask always to herbalist’s and chemist’s shops.
Bring to boil a cup of water together with a tablespoon of dried plant leaves. Leave to simmer for a few minutes, then remove from heat, filter and drink against fever, arthritis and rheumatism. It is also possible to prepare a decoction of holly bark, used in case of epilepsy, bring to a boil a cup of water and a tablespoon of bark, let simmer for a few minutes then remove from the heat, filter and drink.
From the young sprig the glycerin macerate is obtained, useful in case of renal failure because it stimulates the functionality of the kidneys. You can take 50 drops per day in a glass of water.