Living beneath the water, sponge is a marine animal that has been around for thousands of years – yet it was only in the 14th century when its medicinal properties were first recognised. Initially it was used to treat goitre – a condition that is caused by a low iodine content leading to enlargement of the thyroid gland. Some five centuries later scientists concluded it was a rich source of both iodine and bromine.
The sponge is unable to move by itself, but instead it can propel water through the canals in its own body. These canals are able to soak up nutrients as the water is moved through its body using its feather-like, tiny swellings to move the substance. To access its highly beneficial healing properties, the sponge is collected from the waters – most typically in the areas close to Greece and Syria – thoroughly cleaned and then dried out by toasting it in a metal drum. It can then be crushed to powder and blended into remedies.
Spongia tosta (the sponge’s botanical name) is a common homeopathic treatment that is most commonly used to treat respiratory conditions. Homeopaths may also prescribe it for anxiety and exhaustion. Its therapeutic qualities for treating respiratory ailments mean it’s frequently used to help croup, coughs and a sore throat – and it’s routinely given to children who need a homeopathic remedy.
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Sponge Whole – Botanical name: Spongia tosta
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