Hedera helix

COMMON NAME 

Also known as Ivy, English ivy, common ivy and European ivy. 

  

INTRODUCTION 

Hedera Helix is known by numerous names around the world. This evergreen plant spreads color wherever it goes by climbing trees and crawling on walls. This herb can grow in cold and low light ambiance as well and stays green throughout the year. English Ivy is native to Western Asia and Europe. It mostly occupies coastal areas, salt marsh edges, woodlands, etc. since they have wet soil. 

  

English Ivy is rich in medicinal properties which allow it to be used as an anesthetic, to reduce swelling and intoxication. Ivy is used by herbalists to ease respiratory conditions such as asthma, arthritis, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and inflammation. Ivy is rich in anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antiarthritic, antitumor, antimicrobial, antispasmodic and antioxidant properties.  

  

The two critical components of this plant include flavonoids and Triterpenoid saponins which promote gut absorption and combat bacteria. Flavonoids help reduce allergies, remove toxins from the body, modulate enzymes, strengthen and tighten blood vessels. Additionally, English Ivy can ease airways and reduce coughs. This is helpful for patients suffering from asthma, allergies, bronchitis and COPD. The saponin components enable this by relaxing airway muscles, loosening up mucus which helps clear it quickly and by increasing the secretion and production of liquid film for oxygen exchange. 

  

Furthermore, this evergreen herb combats sick building syndrome which involves people getting sick due to spending too much time in a specific room or building. This purifying plant works by eliminating xylene, toluene, benzene and formaldehyde. Malabar nut also contains antibacterial properties which minimize infection and pain of burning wounds on the skin. This can also reduce irritation of acne, eczema, psoriasis and other skin-related conditions.  

This plant contains antioxidant activity which eliminates free radicals thereby preventing apoptosis and mutation which protects the body from chronic diseases including cancer. Furthermore, Ivy includes antiparasitic and anthelmintic qualities which help eliminate lice and intestinal worms. 

 

CONSTITUENTS 

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

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.