Holly contains in its leaves and fruits in the alkaloids toxic, including the ilicine . Consumption of fruit may cause vomiting and digestive disorders, even if the quantity is more important neurological disorders. It is important to ensure that young children are tempted to eat these fruits often found in homes during the holiday season.
However, this plant was once used in folk medicine, both externally for its resolving power (in the form of a poultice of crushed fresh leaves) or internally for its febrifuge power (in the form of leaf decoction or maceration in wine ). In parts of Europe, such as Alsace, white alcohol is produced from fermented and distilled fruit.