Creeping Charlie

By | December 21, 2013

Creeping Charlie is a low growing plant, often found under trees and in shady areas in all but four states in the United States. Having many beneficial properties, this lowly plant can help stabilize soil plus provide a range of home remedies; the leaves have been used as a pot herb for centuries.

Edible Herb


Many herbs that can be eaten are mild and gentle when used as a home remedy and Ground Ivy, another name for Creeping Charlie, Glechoma hederac, is safe to use by all people, young and old alike. Tea made from the fresh or dried leaves is commonly used for minor colds, stuffy noses and congestion and for respiratory flu symptoms. The leaves can be gathered and dried for later use as both a home remedy and as a vitamin packed addition to soups, stews and vegetable dishes.

Spring Tonics

Ground Ivy is a staple for spring tonics and salads and the high Vitamin C content of this plant are beneficial to the kidney and urinary tracts. Tonics were once common in most households as the winter diet did not contain many fresh foods especially those high in Vitamin C. Additionally this plant improves the appetite which is also important after an illness, injury or childbirth. The first Europeans settlers brought this plant to the United States because it grew easily and quickly, provided food that was easily stored and prevented scurvy.


This plant is called Alehoof in many European countries where it is used in the making of beer and is used to help clarify home brews. Plants high in Vitamin C are often used to treat minor wounds and scratches and Creeping Charlie has been an herb that was used in the form of a decoction.


You can boil the leaves, strain the leaves out and use the water to wash scratches, scrapes and abrasions. You can eat the remaining leaves.

Intestinal Benefits

This herb has been used to:

  • reduce fevers
  • bloating
  • flatulence
  • colic

It also has a solidifying affect on the bowel system allowing it to be a very useful remedy for gastrointestinal flu.


Vitamins and other chemicals are quickly lost when a person is vomiting or has diarrhea. Brewing a cup of Alehoof tea with a spoonful of sweetener, a pinch of Lite salt and baking soda helps replace the essential electrolytes that are purged when a person is ill.

Safe for Children

The mild effects of Creeping Charlie allow it to be used for children, including when they have fevers and chest colds. In addition, the high Vitamin C content may help to keep them healthy. Children who eat a healthy diet that can include dried powdered Ground Ivy sprinkled over their food may be able to resist many of the common illnesses to which they are exposed.

Beneficial Weed

This plant is also known as Gil Over the Ground and is considered an invasive weed in lawns and is eradicated by both herbicides and by pulling it up by hand. The ability of this creeping plant allows it to spread quickly and stabilize soil preventing erosion. This plant prevents will remain rooted during minor flooding and heavy rains plus scientific study is proving the insecticidal properties of the leaves are effective against some species of potato bugs that is not a toxic chemical but interferes with the bugs ability to digest carbohydrates.

Regardless of what you call Glechoma hederac, Creeping Charlie, Alehoof, Gil Over the Ground or Ground Ivy, this plant has many benefits including providing a nutritious food, soil stabilization and as an alternative medical treatment for minor injuries and common complaints.