For many years ivy medicinal uses have revolved around its ability to alleviate respiratory problems. The English or Common ivy, a climbing vine, is used to prepare a range of therapeutic remedies. Not to be confused with ground ivy or American ivy which doesn’t possess the same medicinal value, the leaf of the herb is the portion of the plant used to produce medicaments. The berry of the ivy plant is toxic if ingested by humans.
Upper Respiratory Treatment
Ivy is used extensively in Europe to combat asthma, other chronic respiratory ailments and symptoms of the common cold such as coughing and congestion. The principle active compounds in ivy have the ability to loosen mucus and also stimulate the production of natural respiratory secretions to prevent dry cough. It also is used in treating:
- Skin Infections and Itching
- High Fevers
- Skin Parasites
- Aid in Weight Loss
- Sinus problems
In Germany, clinical studies have shown ivy provided demonstrable improvement in patients suffering from chronic respiratory disease. Patients were able to breathe more deeply and reduced coughing. In another study some patients were treated with an ivy extract and others were treated with the drug Oxol, an expectorant. After four weeks the measurable results in both groups were similar.
Ivy is used medicinally in extract form, topical balms and lotions, shampoos, and cosmetics. It is even used in anticellulite creams. Proprietary mixtures formulated to treat bronchitis usually contain .3 gram of the ivy leaf or its equivalent in extract form. No data on the effects of ivy usage in pregnant or breastfeeding women has been documented. However, no known side effects have been observed in patients using ivy therapeutically, nor are there any known drug interactions.
Ivy medicinal uses have been qualified in medical studies to be effective in treating bronchitis, asthma, congestion, and sinus conditions. Anecdotal evidence points to the efficacy of this herb in treating many other conditions. With no evidence of ill effect from its prolonged usage the ivy should be in everyone’s herbal pharmacopeia.