Ivy, Hedera helix, Uses of Ivy, Herb
Hedera helix Araliaceae
This evergreen shrub grows wild throughout Europe and Asia, creeping or climbing in woods, in hedgerows and on walls. Little roots on its branches act as crampons and allow it to climb. Ivy's shiny dark green leaves are if two kinds: unlobed on flower-bearing branches and sharply divided into three to five lobes on non-jlowering branches. The small greenish yellow flowers are followed by spherical, usually black fruits.
Wood and leaves
The wood is taken from mature branches and the bark is stripped off. The wood is then cut into small pieces for use in infusions or syrups. . The leaves, which are picked when young and fresh, are for external use only in ointments and creams.
Ivy wood contains saponins which have antispasmodic and expectorant actions. The leaves contain the same saponins, as well as sterols, phenols and flavonoids. There are also mucilages, which soothe coughs, tannins and anthocyanins. The alkaloid emetine is also present.
When taken internally, ivy wood is recommended as a treatment for coughs during attacks of bronchitis. This is due to its ability to ease spasms, release phlegm and soothe a sore throat. German research performed in 1997 has demonstrated ivy wood's ability to ease spasms, while extracts from ivy leaves have been shown to release phlegm.
The leaf extract has also been found to attack fungal infections and other germs and may act against tumours.
Extracts of ivy wood and leaves are used in cellulite-reducing cosmetic products that are applied topically as a complement to slimming regimes. Creams containing extracts of ivy are also used externally to treat itching skin, burns, warts, scabies and rheumatism.
Ivy can be grown in a variety of soils and in heavily shaded locations. Grow from semi-ripe cuttings in summer.
PREPARATION AND DOSAGE
For internal use
TO TREAT coughs, bronchial attacks
IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST CONSULT A DOCTOR
Ayurveda - God's
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