Hedera helix (common ivy, English ivy, European ivy, or just ivy) is a species of flowering plant in the family Araliaceae, native to most of Europe and western Asia.
Hedera helix extracts are part of current cough medicines. In the past, the leaves and berries were taken orally as an expectorantto treat cough and bronchitis. In 1597, the British herbalist John Gerard recommended water infused with Hedera helix leaves as a wash for sore or watering eyes. The leaves can cause severe contact dermatitis in some people. People who have this allergy (strictly a type IV hypersensitivity) are also likely to react to carrots and other members of the Apiaceae as they contain the same allergen, falcarinol.
People take Hedera helix by mouth for swelling and blockage of airway passages, to treat and improve lung function in people with bronchial swelling, to help bring up mucus and other material up from the lungs, for liver disorders, spleen disorders,gallbladder disorders, gout, joint pain and swelling, and scrofulosis.
People apply Hedera helix to the skin for burns, calluses, skin infection, inflammation,nerve pain, parasites, ulcers, joint pain and swelling, and vein swelling.
Cough syrup (Prospan; Panoto-s; Athos; Abrilar) containing English ivy leaf extract isPOSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth three times daily for 1 week. English ivy leaf might cause skin irritation when taken by mouth. English ivy leaf extract might cause mild stomach problems.
Not enough is known about the safety of applying English ivy to the skin. In some people, contact with English ivy leaf might cause allergic skin reactions. But this is fairly uncommon.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of English ivy during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: Cough syrup (Prospan; Panoto-s; Athos; Abrilar) or herbal drops (Prospan) containing English ivy leaf extract are POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth three times daily for up to 20 days.
None are recorded.
Gum Ivy, Hedera taurica, Hederae Helicis Folium, Herbes à Cors, Hiedra Común, Ivy, Lierre, Lierre Commun, Lierre Grimpant, True Ivy, Woodbind