The squill has multifarious uses in wide range of conditions as it is a diuretic, emetic, stimulant for the heart as well as an expectorant herb. Squill is considered to be a good diuretic especially when there is water retention in the body. As the ingredients found in squill do not permit excessive water to be accumulated in the body it can be used as a latent replacement for foxglove to heal worsening heart conditions. When used in reduced amount squill acts as an excellent expectorant. And when it is applied in high dosages, squill acts as an emetic and leads to vomiting. Apart from being a vital herbal remedy, squill is also used in homeopathic medicines. Squill is a strong and effective expectorant, a medicine that stimulates the production of phlegm, and is widely used to cure unrelieved bronchitis, particularly when there is low sputum production leading to an irritating dry cough. Usage of squill aids in the secretion of a liquefied mucus that smoothens the progress of expectoration. At the same time, the mucilage substance makes the bronchiole passages simpler and calms them down and in this way helps the stimulation of the glycosides. Many herbal physicians also use squill to heal bronchial asthma as well as whooping cough. Squill also has a motivating action on the heart and hence has been used by physicians to cure heart failure and help in water retention when there is concern about the heart.
While squill grows naturally in the Canary Islands, Spain and South Africa, the bulb is commercially cultivated along the coasts in the Mediterranean region. The white variety of quill bulb is dug out of the ground during the late summer. Since the red variety of the squill bulb contains toxic elements, it is not of much medicinal value.
Squill contains cardiac glycosides (0.15 - 2.4% bufadienolides, including scillaren A), flavonoids, anthocyanidins, and mucilage. The cardiac glycosides are strongly diuretic and relatively quick-acting. They do not have the same cumulative effect as those in foxglove.
The ingredients of the white variety of the squill bulb can be taken in the form of infusion as well as tincture. Infusion: When the substance is taken as an infusion the ideal dosage needs to be quite small. It can be taken in the form of only 0.06 - 0.2 grams of the bulb. As this is a very little measure, it is advisable to prepare half a liter (one pint) of the mixture at a time by pouring half a liter (one pint) of boiling water onto 1/2 - 1 teaspoonful of the bulb. Keep the mixture in the vessel for 10-15 minutes and then store the liquid in a refrigerator and drink one cup of the infusion thrice daily. Tincture: The tincture of squill bulb can be taken 1/2 - 1ml of the tincture thrice daily.
Soon after flowering, the bulbs of squill are collected.
For bronchitis squill can be used with coltsfoot and white horehound, for whooping cough with sundew herb.