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HOLLY

Other Names:

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.

HOLLY Overview
HOLLY Uses
HOLLY Side Effects
HOLLY Interactions
HOLLY Dosing
HOLLY Overview Information

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.

How does it work?

There isn’t enough information available to know how holly works.

HOLLY Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Insufficient Evidence 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.


HOLLY Side Effects & Safety

Holly BERRIES are poisonous and UNSAFE for use. Eating berries may be deadly.

There isn’t enough information available to know if holly LEAVES are safe for use. The leaves can cause side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and stomach and intestinal problems. Swallowing holly leaf spines may tear or puncture the inside of the mouth and other parts of the digestive tract.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Do not eat the berries. They can kill you. There isn’t enough information to know whether using the leaves as medicine during pregnancy or breast-feeding is safe. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: Eating holly berries can kill a child. Be sure to keep holly away from children.

Dehydration: In addition to being poisonous, holly berries can make dehydration worse because they cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Incorrect levels of chloride, calcium, magnesium, sodium, or potassium (electrolyte imbalance) in the body: In addition to being poisonous, holly berries can make an electrolyte imbalance worse because they cause vomiting and diarrhea.

HOLLY Interactions What is this?

We currently have no information for HOLLY Interactions

HOLLY Dosing

The appropriate dose of holly depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for holly. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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