Sea onion with white flowers and reddish stem
Sea onion
[Urginea (Scilla) maritima.]

Sea onion: a heart-healthy plant

Sea onion used to be a great and important medicinal plant. Especially for the treatment of dropsy it was one of the first choice plants. Its active ingredients are quite similar to those of foxglove, hence a related use today. The type of dropsy for which it was used was probably mostly heart-related. In earlier times, it was also a commonly used rat poison.

Sea onion facts

Did you know that...

... it was discovered as a cardiac drug only in the 20th century, before that it was mainly used as a diuretic?
... the bulb of the plant can weigh up to 3 kg and usually sits mostly above ground?
... the onion scales are used as a medicinal raw material?

What is sea onion?

Sea onion is a perennial herbaceous plant with leaves growing up to 60cm high. It is mainly native to the Mediterranean region. In the meantime, however, it has also firmly arrived in our latitudes as a cultivated plant. Remarkable is its extraordinarily large bulb. It grows mostly above ground and can weigh up to 3 kg. From the bulb scales are extracted the heart-active ingredients that make the plant interesting. Its flower sits on a stem that grows up to a meter long and again reaches up to 30cm in length. The flower shines in a wonderful white, is grape-shaped and forms from many smaller, five-petaled inflorescences.

General and medicinal properties of Urginea (Scilla) maritima

The basic knowledge


Scilla is diuretic. Due to its potent ingredients, it stimulates the performance of the heart and helps to reduce heart-related edema. The legs thus become slimmer again and the water is excreted.

Heart invigorating

Scilla is heart strengthening. It strengthens the heart, makes it beat stronger and less often. Thus, the work of the heart becomes more efficient and gentle on the heart muscle.

Vein relieving

Scilla relieves the veins. Due to its improvement of cardiac output, blood pressure in the veins decreases. This relieves the vein walls and reduces the risk of damage to the veins due to less stress.

Urginea (Scilla) maritima: Ingredients

The ingredients of the sea onion vary a little according to the color and thus type of onion. The white type is preferred in medicine and contains:
  • Scillaren A
  • Proscillaridin
  • Flavonoids
  • Glucoscillaren A
  • Anthocyanins

Sea onion: effect for body and mind

Sea onion is classically used by its ingredients for the treatment of heart issues. Therefore, all symptoms for which it is used should be causally related to the heart. The glycosides it contains have a draining effect, lowering the heart rate, increasing the strength of the heart and thus relieving it overall. Their draining effect is simply due to the effect of increasing cardiac output and the effect that the hydrostatic pressure in the blood vessels decreases and the kidneys filter insufficiently due to reduced blood flow. Thus, the sea onion basically supports the performance of the heart and thus also stabilizes the entire blood circulation of the body. In its effect, it is very similar to foxglove, but the therapeutic breadth is somewhat greater, the effect somewhat weaker, and the enrichment effect is not as high compared to digitalistoxin.

Properties of Urginea (Scilla) maritima

  • Draining
  • Heart invigorating
  • Heart rate lowering
  • Promotes blood circulation
  • Venous pressure lowering
  • Circulation stimulating

Fields of application in naturopathy

[Urginea (Scilla) maritima.]
Sea onion is a very heart-specific medicine, which is why all symptoms that respond to therapy with scilla originate here.

Sea onion for bronchitis

Some bronchitis, especially chronic types, are caused by existing cardiac insufficiencies. In this case, the patient suffers from left-sided heart failure, which results in insufficient blood being pumped into the body and congestion in the lungs. This becomes mucous due to the stagnant blood and leads to chronic bronchitis. If the heart is supported so that it can do its work as usual, the symptom disappears again.

Urginea (Scilla) maritima for heart disease

Heart disease can be weaknesses in which the heart muscle simply no longer performs as it should. It pumps too infrequently, too weakly and thus transports too little blood through the body. Sea onion stimulates the heart muscle with its active ingredients and makes it efficient again. It can do its job regularly again and the symptoms disappear.

Sea onion for colds

Sea onion can also be helpful for colds. By influencing the circulation of the blood, it can help to reduce the swelling of the mucous membranes. This allows the patient to breathe better again and the general condition improves rapidly.

Urginea (Scilla) maritima for nausea & vomiting

In the context of massive heart problems and increasing heart weaknesses, both symptoms can develop. This is due to the little moved blood that can also congest in the abdominal cavity. Since Scilla directly corrects this heart weakness and strengthens the heart muscle, the congestion phenomena and the associated nausea will quickly disappear.

Notes on the use of Urginea (Scilla) maritima

Scilla is used as a homeopathic or spagyric single or complex remedy in naturopathy for heart-related congestion phenomena. The cardiac output is the cause of the symptoms. Use of the parent drug is uncommon. Cardiology uses synthetic active ingredients of the sea onion. Basically, it is rather a remedy for the treatment of chronic diseases over a longer period of time, when taken regularly.

Sea onion during pregnancy & lactation

In pregnancy, sea onion can be used as a homeopathic or spagyric remedy to reduce cardiac insufficiency with edema formation. Medications should be guided by experienced therapists.

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Use healing power of Urginea (Scilla) maritima!

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Flower of sea bulb in front of hilly landscape


Sea onion

Botanical name

Urginea (Scilla) maritima

Plant family


Other designations

Medicinal onion


August till October

Harvest time






Flower color


Flower shape


Leaf color

green, gray-green

Leaf shape

broad lanceolate

Sheet properties

up to 100cm long

Soil type


Soil moisture

dry to moderately dry



Lime compatibility

lime tolerant

Nutrient requirements

moderately nutritious



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