Sea Holly.

Botanical name: 

Sea holly Eryngium maritimum. (This Plant is also called Sea Eringo.)

Also see Hool, 1922: Sea Holly.

Natural Order—Umbelliferae. Linnean System, Class 5, Pentandria; Order 2nd, Digynia.

The root is very long and thin, cylindrical and round, with a brownish bark outside, and whitish inside. The root-leaves are roundish, plaited and thorny. The stem grows from 12 to 18 inches high, round and branched. The heads of flowers are stalked, and the petals are bright blue. The whole plant is of a bluish-white, colour, and flowers from July to October. If is a perennial, and grows in nearly every county around our coast.

The therapeutic principles of Sea Holly are a resin and two alkaloids.

Medicinal Properties: Stimulant, Aromatic, Expectorant, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Nervine, Hepatic, mildly Astringent, Antacid.

This plant is valuable in obstructions of the liver and spleen, and is good for jaundice, dropsy, pains in the loins, colic, gravel, and bladder troubles. It is also very useful in coughs and in the debility accompanying advanced stages of consumption, as it promotes free expectoration and tones the system. It is a specific for rheumatism, impotence, paralysis, and chronic nervous complaints. In the olden times it was much more used than it is now, and was prepared in the form of candy.

Used singly, the decoction is made by boiling one ounce of the root for 15 minutes in one pint of water. When cool, strain, and take from two to four tablespoonfuls three times a day.

An efficient medicine for sluggishness of the liver, with uric acid accumulations, is prepared as follows:—

Sea Holly ... 1 oz.
Wild Carrot ... 1 oz.

Boil in 1½ pints of water down to one pint; strain, and take a wine-glassful four times a day. In cases of jaundice, take—

Sea Holly ... 1 oz.
Barberry Bark ... ½ oz.

Boil in one quart of new milk for 10 minutes. Strain, and take two wineglassfuls every three hours. Most obstinate cases have been known to yield to this remedy in from 7 to 14 days.

Health from British Wild Herbs was written by Richard Lawrence Hool, N.A.M.H., in 1918.