Feature Story
Breathe Easy This Season

Helpful Supplements

Cooking Corner
Crunchy Turkey Salad on Greens

In the News
The Perfect Exercise Program

Vitamins & Minerals
N-Acetyl Cysteine

Herbal Remedies
Ivy Leaf

Everyday Answers
What's a Good Sugar Substitute?

Next Month 

  • Stomach Soothers
  • Lovely Licorice
  • Dietary Guidelines


Ivy Leaf

Botanical names: Hedera helix

Ivy is an evergreen climber native to the damp woods of western, central, and southern Europe. The leaf is used medicinally. It should be carefully distinguished from poison ivy found in the Americas.


25 drops of a leaf extract twice per day
A study involving children with bronchial asthma suggested that ivy leaf was effective in increasing the amount of oxygen in the lungs.

Adults: 50 drops of extract twice per day; children: 25 drops twice per day
Ivy leaf is anti-inflammatory and has been shown to be as effective as the drug ambroxol for chronic bronchitis.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
50 drops of a concentrated alcohol extract twice per day
One double-blind trial found an ivy leaf extract to be as effective as the mucus-dissolving drug ambroxol for treating chronic bronchitis, which is a component of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)
Ivy leaves were held in high regard by the ancients. They formed not only the poet’s crown but also the wreath of the Greek god of wine, Dionysus. The ancient Greeks believed that binding the forehead with ivy leaves would prevent the effects of inebriation. Greek priests presented a wreath of ivy to newlyweds, and ivy has been traditionally regarded as a symbol of fidelity. Romans regarded ivy as excellent feed for their cattle. Traditional herbalists have used ivy for a wide number of complaints, including bronchitis, whooping cough, arthritis, rheumatism, and dysentery. Decoctions of the herb were applied externally against lice, scabies, and sunburn.

How to Use It
Standardized ivy leaf extract can be taken by itself or in water at 25 drops twice per day as a supportive treatment for children with asthma. At least double this amount may be necessary to benefit adults with asthma. However, ivy is not intended to replace standard medical therapies and should only be used following consultation with a healthcare professional. A similar amount can be used for people with a cough or bronchitis.

Side Effects
The 0.3 gram daily tea preparation of the herb, suggested in the German Commission E monographs, is not recommended for pediatric use because the quantities of the saponins it contains are too variable and could induce nausea and vomiting. Since ivy contains small amounts of emetine, it is not recommended during pregnancy, as this specific alkaloid may increase uterine contractions. In addition, the leaf itself can be quite irritating when handled and may cause allergic skin reactions.

Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds
At the time of writing, there were no well-known interactions with this supplement.

Copyright © 2009 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of the Aisle7 content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Aisle7. Healthnotes Newsletter is for educational or informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a healthcare professional. Aisle7 shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. AISLE7 is a trademark of Aisle7.

Aisle7, 215 NW Park Ave., Portland, OR 97209,
Info@Aisle7.net, www.Aisle7.net


About | For Industry | Lookup | In the News | Newsletter | Donate
Copyright 2009 Dietary Supplement Education Alliance | Privacy Policy