Herbs in History: Pine & Holly

Our journey into herbal history continues for a second year!


December 20, 2023

In an effort to preserve and share the fascinating histories of medicinal plants and herbs that have been used around the world for ages, the AHPA Foundation for Education and Research on Botanicals (AHPA-ERB Foundation) is honored to partner with Alain Touwaide, Ph.D., and Emanuela Appetiti of the Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions to launch the Herbs in History project in 2022.

We end our herbal history lessons for the year with a look at two festive botanicals: pine and holly. Preview the entries below and visit Herbs in History online to read more.

Pine (Pinus spp.)

More than a Christmas Tree

In these final days of the year, fir (Abies spp.) and spruce (Picea spp.) appear in windows of stores, shops, living rooms, and gardens as Christmas trees. And also in our imagination, remembering the excitement of childhood, Santa Claus' sleigh and reindeers, gifts under the tree, and family. Christmas trees could also bring back to memory the cough of the cold days of winter, and syrups or lozenges with a fresh resinous taste filling the throat, or even bronchitis and chest frictions with a warming oil and a resinous smell. | Read more...

Holly (Ilex aquifolium L.)


If there is a plant that best symbolizes the perennity of nature at the winter solstice that triggers dormancy of nature, it is holly (Ilex aquifolium L.), with its deep green and glossy leaves and its shiny-red berries that illuminate the dark wintery evenings. And it is also typical of these days of the year, in crowns at the door of the house, as a bunch hung to chandeliers, or in branches adorning tables and the Christmas and end-of-year dinners. | Read more...

About the Project

Herbs in History is made possible by funding from the AHPA-ERB Foundation, as part of the nonprofit foundation's mission promote education and research on medicinal, therapeutic, and health-promoting herbs. Tune in monthly for thoughtfully detailed historical accounts of herbs you know and love, and learn more about the origins of medicinal plants that have stood the test of time.




View Calendar >