Native Americans valued the holly for its power. Sprigs of holly were pinned on the clothing of warriors to bring them safely home from battle. The spines symbolized fierceness, the wood toughness and the leathery evergreen leaves courage and everlasting life.
The Indians of Pennsylvania preserved and traded holly berries to tribes who lived where holly did not grow. Mnay made buttons or decorated their clothing with the dried red berries.
The Indians made a tea of holly leaves to cure measals. The Cherokees treated jaundice with the juice of hollies and prescribed holly tea for side pains.
English herbalist, Culpepper, recommended eating holly's "tender reipe berries to expel wind, cure colic and to purge the body of waste.
In Victorian England, chimney sweeps used holly branches to scrape soot from the flues.
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