Hedera helix

COMMON NAME

Ivy, common ivy, European ivy, English ivy.

INTRODUCTION

Hedera helix is an evergreen climbing plant, growing to 20–30 m (66–98 ft) high where suitable surfaces (trees, cliffs, walls) are available, and also growing as groundcover where no vertical surfaces occur. It climbs by means of aerial rootlets with matted pads which cling strongly to the substrate.

The plant is native to Europe and temperate Asia. In Europe, it is frequently planted to cover walls and the government recommends growing it on buildings for its ability to cool the interior in summer, while providing insulation in winter, as well as protecting the covered building from soil moisture, temperature fluctuations and direct exposure to heavy weather.

CONSTITUENTS

Chlorogenic acid, rutin, nicotiflorin, hederacoside C, hederasaponin B and α-hederin.

Herbions’ Specification

Scientific Name: Hedera helix

Active:     Hederacoside C

Part used: Leaf

Assay: NLT 10.0% by HPLC

Biological Activity

Expectorant, bronchodilator.

Ivy extracts are part of current cough medicines. In the past, the leaves and berries were taken orally as an expectorant to treat cough and bronchitis.

Overall The German Commission E approved Hedera leaves for the treatment of catarrhs of the respiratory tract and symptoms of chronic inflammatory bronchial conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, bronchiectasis, emphysema and pneumonia.