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Glechoma hederaceaGlechoma hederacea/Nepeta hederacea (Labiatae)

GROUND IVY, LIZZY-RUN-UP-THE-HEDGE

 

This herb is valued by herbalists for ailments as varied as catarrh, piles, bronchitis, cystitis, and indigestion. Chinese physicians prescribe it for flue, kidney stones, traumatic injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, and skin sores.

 

Ground ivy has long been used as a cure for coughs and consumption, especially by the poorer classes, who were more prone to such illnesses because of their inadequate housing and nutrition. Native to Europe but naturalized in North America and widely found in temperate regions on sunny waste ground and by hedgerows and banks, it is not related to true ivy (Hedera spp.) but resembles it. A low-growing perennial, it has square stems, dark-green, heart-shaped leaves, and purple-pink flowers from spring.

 

PARTS USED

Whole herb.

 

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

Sesquiterpenes; flavonoids, including quercetin, hyperoside, and apigenin; saponins; bitter principle, glechomine.

 

ACTIONS

Astringent; relieves catarrh; promotes wound healing; increases urine production.

 

MEDICINAL USE

Given to treat chronic catarrh, bronchitis, cystitis, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). It is also used to help reduce the symptoms of mild diarrhoea, piles, and gastritis. The Chinese prescribe it for flu, kidney stones, trauma, rheumatoid arthritis, and skin sores.

 

PREPARATIONS

Dried herb, infusion, tincture.

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