Ivy Plant is known as hedera helix, it is a medicinal plant with shiny green leaves, despite the beauty of its leaves on the sides of buildings, but it has many health benefits, as it has been used for thousands of years all over the world in traditional medicine from Europe to Asia, and it has a very important place in history.
Where the leaves of the ivy plant contain flavonoids, saponins, and polyphenol acids that have many benefits, such as treating cough and some respiratory diseases. This plant is also used in the formulation of some cosmetic products such as anti-cellulite and anti-wrinkle creams. It can be obtained from natural product stores and some pharmacies in various forms, such as ointments, creams, capsules, etc.
Ivy Plant types
Types of ivy plants that are easily grown in home gardens
North African ivy.
English ivy plant
Persian ivy (Hedera colchica).
Irish Ivy (Hedera hibernica).
Japanese ivy (Hedera Rhombea).
Russian ivy (Hedera pastuchovii).
Ivy Pollock heart.
Swedish Ivy Plant (Plectranthus australis).
Boston Ivy (Parthenocysus trisospidata)
Health benefits of ivy leaf
Ivy Plant benefits
There are many health benefits of Ivy Plant, including:
1- It has anti-inflammatory effects
One of the most well-known benefits of using ivy is the treatment of diseases caused by inflammation in the body. Through the effect of ivy extract on infections caused by bacteria, fungi and parasites, because it contains saponins, alpha hedirin, falcarinol and falcarinol acetylenes that help treat infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, Shigella, Escherichia coli , Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida.
Therefore, people who suffer from arthritis, gout, or rheumatism are advised to consume ivy in the form of tea, or to put the leaves directly on the site of inflammation.
For people who experience discomfort and pain from injury or surgery, topical application is recommended, and this can heal internal inflammation as well. Ivy Plant also has a variety of other applications on various body systems.
2- Helps remove toxins from the body
Early studies showed a link between liver and gallbladder function and ivy leaf use. This helps those organs work better to remove toxins from the body more effectively, thus purifying the blood and reducing stress on vital organs.
3- It may help with skin care
ivy plant care
People have used ivy leaves for centuries to reduce the pain and inflammation of burn wounds on the skin. It is suitable for use on any open sores or wounds, as the leaves of the ivy plant contain some antibacterial properties.
In addition to the protective nature of the saponins found within the leaves, this can also help relieve pain and irritation caused by psoriasis, eczema, acne, and other skin conditions.
4- Works to expel phlegm
ivy leaf benefits
The ivy plant contains saponins , α-hederin and heterogenic compounds, which are compounds that treat bronchitis and help it dilate and expel sputum, in addition to easing cough, by eliminating the environment in which pathogens and bacteria multiply, as it can improve general health and reduce the time of recovery from disease.
This may make the leaves of the ivy plant a suitable treatment for allergic reactions and asthma, as it reduces the inflammation of those passages, so the extract of this plant is used in cases of bronchitis and acute cough and to reduce the resulting symptoms.
How is ivy used to expel phlegm?
Phytotherapy preparations based on ivy extract can be found in the form of syrup or solid pills taken by mouth. Ivy may be combined with other medicinal plants, such as fir buds, which have expectorant and bronchodilator properties, to obtain medicinal preparations.
5- It may be anti-cancer
The many properties shown by ivy leaves indicate the significant antioxidant activity present in them, and thus can help prevent the spread or development of cancer. By eliminating free radicals and preventing fatal mutations, in addition to protecting the body from a wide range of chronic diseases, including cancer. But the search did not end with this topic.
6 - Contains antibacterial and anthelmintic properties
In addition to its potential antibacterial properties, ivy has anthelmintic and antiparasitic properties, which makes it ideal for getting rid of intestinal worms and lice. Ivy leaf extract can be cleaned topically on the hair to get rid of lice and itching.
7- It is used in case of venous insufficiency
Ivy Plant contains saponins and α-hederin, which have lipolytic properties, that is, they help prevent the accumulation of fats in the blood, as well as aid in the absorption of other compounds, such as Centella Asiatica which can be used in cases of venous insufficiency.
Environmental benefits of ivy leaf
The ivy plant is a wonderful medicinal plant, easy to care for and fast growing, with a range of good environmental benefits including:
1- Remove mold
Ivy can reduce mold particles, which are green and black specks that may be present in damp nooks and crannies in basements. Which can be very dangerous for people with mold allergies.
2- It moisturizes the indoor air
The ivy plant has one of the highest rates of transpiration , greatly increasing the humidity levels in a small room. It also helps reduce carbon monoxide from indoor air. Therefore, it can be grown in a hanging pot to improve the quality of the air you breathe.
3 - Doesn't need a lot of care
Ivy Plant is not inherently demanding and can adapt to any type of soil. It also tolerates low light conditions well and can also be trimmed to shape to fit anywhere you like.
4- A source of nectar for bees at the end of the season
In the fall, outdoor ivy will produce yellow flowers rich in nectar. At a time when most other flowers are not in bloom, ivy is a food source for bees and other beneficial insects.
5- It improves air quality
Ivy is one of the best air purifying plants, and this has been proven in many studies, as it is a great plant for improving respiratory health, especially for allergy and asthma sufferers.
6 - Natural shelter
When the ivy is densely overgrown, it provides a safe home for many birds and animal species, helping them to nest and hibernate.
7 – Safe for other plants and trees
Ivy can be an invasive plant in its native environment but this can easily be prevented with regular maintenance.
8- It keeps the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter
If you live in a warm area, growing ivy would be a boon. Thanks to its dense coverage and rapid growth, it can cover walls in no time.
In a test conducted by the University of Oxford, ivy was found to keep homes 36% cooler in summer and 15% or more warmer in winter.
9 - Helps maintain privacy
Because the plant grows thicker at any given time, it can be a great natural alternative for creating privacy. It can be planted close to the place you want to cover and soon you will have a natural curtain that protects the privacy you want.
10 - Hides damaged walls and fences
If the house has patches on the wall, an ivy plant can simply be planted whose thick clump of leaves will soon cover all damaged walls and broken hedges in no time.
Uses and effectiveness
There is insufficient evidence to rate the effectiveness of ivy leaf, but it includes the following:
Bronchitis . Several research shows that taking cough syrups (Prospan, Panoto-s, Athos, Abrilar) or herbal drops (Prospan Herbal Drops) containing English ivy leaf extract by mouth, alone or with standard treatment, for about 1-3 weeks It may treat lung infections in children ages 1 to 15, as well as adults with sudden or recurring bronchitis.
Joint pain and swelling.
But more evidence is still needed to rate the effectiveness of english ivy for these uses.
Precautions for the use of ivy plant
English ivy leaves may irritate the skin when touched.
English ivy leaf extract might cause mild stomach problems.
Ivy or products containing ivy may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, contact sensitivity, and shortness of breath. Also, in cases of excessive doses, ivy can be life-threatening.
It is forbidden to use this Ivy Plant in pregnant women or those who suspect pregnancy because it may cause miscarriage.
It should not be taken while breast-feeding, in children under two years of age, in cases of hyperthyroidism, as well as in those taking certain anti-hyperthyroidism drugs.
In the end…
keep in mind that natural products are not always safe, and it is important to determine the necessary doses, and you must also be sure to follow the instructions on the product labels and consult your pharmacist, doctor or other physical therapist before use to direct the necessary dose and the appropriate time of use according to the intended change tackle it.