February 2018

Squilla maritima (Syn. Scilla) and Scilla nervosa

In Homeopathy Squilla maritima (Synonyms: Scilla maritima, Red sea Onion, Ornithogalum maritima) is a well know remedy. From Phatak's Concise Materia medica: "Red sea onion affects the serous and mucous membranes of respiratory and digestive tract and acts also on kidneys, heart, and spleen". The combination of a dry, irritating cough, which often drives tears into the eyes is calling for this remedy, especially in children.

Taxonomic information:
Scillae are Monocts and inside the Cronquist system they belong to the order Liliales, family Hyacinthaceae.
APG: Monocots, Asparagales, Asparagaceae, subfamily Scilloideae.

Inside Reference Works, Scilla maritima is only Scilla I could find references about.

During my recent trip to South Africa, I was able to capture the beauty of another Scilla, her name is Scilla nervosa (White Scilla). This Scilla is very common to the Drakensbergs area in KwaZulu Natal. As far as I know, no homeopathic proving has been conducted with this plant yet. It's worth considering, as in traditional medicine (Zulus), Scilla nervosa was used for the treatment of rheumatic fever and dysentery.

Another Scilla in KwaZulu Natal is Scilla natalensis, the Large Blue Scilla. This plant was used in traditional medicine for treating lung disease in cattle (Source: Elsa Pooley, A field guide to Wildflowers KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Region, First edition, second impression published 2005). Another correlation to the first mentioned Scilla maritima.

Here you can find more images from the Hyacinthaceae.

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