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3  852 - Variegated Holly

With her beautifully polished, prickly leaves and red-blood berries, she has always been used by the Celtic and Germanic peoples of Northern Europe as a symbolic decoration for winter,

 they would decorated their homes her throughout the time of Yule; winter solstice, the time when darkness give way to life and the promise of spring.  Back in the days when the Romans rule this part of the world, they believed that holly would deflect lightning strikes and the evil intentions. They would send branches of holly to loved ones during the Saturnalia festival as well as at the winter solstice. 

 It is interesting that her extracts are traditional remedies for hypertension and dizziness. In Ireland a recent discovery found that extracts from the roots and bark of her sister, the English holly, comprise of chemicals that are contenders for skin cancer treatments, as well as for strengthening the protection against the detrimental effects of vaccines on our immune system. Christians adopted many of the Celtic and Roman traditions in the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth; the transcultural nature of the early Celtic Christians related her prickly leaves to represent the crown of thorns that Jesus wore at the crucifixion, along with her red berries, which represented the blood of Christ.