Ilex aquifolium Linn.

Reference work entry



Native to Europe; grown occasionally in gardens at hill stations.


English Holly, Common Holly.


Leaves—diaphoretic, febrifuge. Used in catarrh, pleurisy, intermittent fever, smallpox and rheumatism. Also in jaundice. Berries—violently emetic and purgative; employed in dropsy. Powdered berries are used as astringent to check bleeding. (Berries possess totally different qualities as compared to leaves.)

The plant contains ilicin (a bitter principle), ilexanthin, theobromine (only in the leaf) and caffeic acid. Alkaloid theobromine is used for asthma. In Greece, boiled leaves are used for treating enlarged prostate.

An extract of the plant caused a fatal drop in blood pressure in rats.

The ethanolic extract of the fruits yields cyanogenic glucosides.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

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