English Ivy

Plant Part Used

Leaf

Introduction

Ivy has made a home for itself in many corners of the earth. In addition to flourishing in the United States, it grows across Europe and into northern and central Asia. Ivy is cultivated for use in gardens around the world to climb along trellises and as a ground cover. As a medicinal agent, ivy leaf has traditionally been used in the relief of respiratory inflammation, as a treatment for intestinal parasites, and as an agent to reduce fever and induce sweating. Supplement makers derive an extract of the active components of ivy from the leaf of the plant.

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

Tablets: 2 x 25mg, 3-4 times daily as needed. Syrup: Adults – 2 to 3 teaspoonfuls, 2-3 times a day as needed.

Tea: One cup using 0.3 to 0.8 gm of herb, taken 3 times per day. (1)

Most Common Dosage

Tablets: 2 x 25mg, 3 times a day as needed. Syrup: Adults – 2 teaspoonfuls, 3 times a day as needed.

Tea: One cup using 0.3 gm of herb, taken 3 times per day.

Standardization

[span class=doc]Standardization represents the complete body of information and controls that serve to enhance the batch to batch consistency of a botanical product, including but not limited to the presence of a marker compound at a defined level or within a defined range.[/span]

The most current available medical and scientific literature indicates that this dietary supplement should be standardized to 25mg glycosidic saponins per tablet, at a strength of 5-7.5:1(w/v). Syrup: dried ivy extract (5-7.5:1w/v) 0.7gm/100ml.

Reported Uses

Although there has not been a great deal of research on the clinical uses of ivy, some interesting potential uses for the plant have been studied to date. One of ivy’s key components, known as falcarinol, may help fight bacteria and ease pain. Falcarinol may also have a sedative effect. (2) , (3) One study looked at ivy’s effectiveness in fighting the bacterial invaders that can cause yeast infections in women. Other research suggests that ivy may be effective in the fight against other parasites and fungal infections. (4) ,

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

[span class=alert]Be sure to tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other health care providers about any dietary supplements you are taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects.[/span]

General

This dietary supplement is considered safe when used in accordance with proper dosing guidelines. (5)

Allergy

Some individuals experience an allergic reaction when this dietary supplement placed on the skin. If a skin rash or irritation develops, discontinue use of this dietary supplement. (6) , (7) Call your doctor or seek medical attention if you have fast or irregular breathing, skin rash, hives or itching.

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects related to fetal development during pregnancy or to infants who are breast-fed. Yet little is known about the use of this dietary supplement while pregnant or breast-feeding. Therefore, it is recommended that you inform your healthcare practitioner of any dietary supplements you are using while pregnant or breast-feeding.

Age Limitations

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects specifically related to the use of this dietary supplement in children. Since young children may have undiagnosed allergies or medical conditions, this dietary supplement should not be used in children under 10 years of age unless recommended by a physician.

References

  1. PDR for Herbal Medicines, 2nd edition. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company; 2000:276.
  2. View Abstract: Tanaka S, Ikeshiro Y, Tabata M, Konoshima M. Anti-nociceptive Substances From the Roots of Angelica acutiloba. Arzneimittelforschung. 1977;27(11):2039-45.
  3. Cioaca C, Margineanu C, Cucu V. The Saponins of Hedera helix with Antibacterial Activity. Pharmazie. Sept 1978;33(9):609-10.
  4. Timon-David P, Julien J, Gasquet M, Balansard G, Bernard P. [Research of Antifungal Activity From Several Active Principle Extracts from Climbing-ivy: Hedera helix L]. Ann Pharm Fr. 1980;38(6):545-52.
  5. Blumenthal M, ed. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA:Integrative Medical Communications; 2000.
  6. View Abstract: Johnke H, Bjarnason B. [Contact Dermatitis Allergy to Common Ivy]. Ugeskr Laeger. Jun1994;156(25):3778-9.
  7. Garcia M, Fernandez E, Navarro JA, del Pozo MD, Fernandez de Corres L. Allergic Contact Dermatitis from Hedera helix. Contact Dermatitis. 1995;33(2):133-134.