Natural Health Products
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The active ingredients in ground ivy are found in the aerialaerialplant parts appearing above ground (above ground) parts of the plant. Ground ivy is used in herbal medicine and as a spice in some foods. It is rich in potassium and iron.
How is this product usually used?
Ground ivy is commonly used on the skin by mixing 2 g to 4 g of dried leaves with equal parts (i.e., 2 mL to 4 mL) of water. The mixture can then be applied to the affected area using a cloth as needed. Ground ivy can also be taken by mouth in amounts ranging from 1 g to 4 g 3 times daily for occasional use.
The usual dose of ground ivy for adults (i.e. 18 years and older) is:
- tea: prepared by steepsteepTo soak an agent (such as tea) to extract its active ingredienting 2 g to 4 g of dried aerialaerialplant parts appearing above ground parts in 150 mL of boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes and straining, 3 times daily
- tincturetincturea desired active ingredient that is extracted from alcoholic solution: 1 g to 2 g of dried leaves combined with 5 mL to 10 mL of 25% ethanol, 3 times daily
- fluid extractextractto get, separate, or isolate a desired active ingredient: 2 g to 4 g of dried leaves in 2 mL to 4 mL of 25% ethanol, 3 times daily
Do not use this product if you are under 18 years old.
Your health care provider may have recommended using this product in other ways. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.
What is this product used for?
In herbal medicine, ground ivy can be used on the skin to help heal minor cuts and scrapes and to reduce swelling.
Ground ivy has also been used orallyorallyto be taken by mouth (swallowed) (taken by mouth) in herbal medicine to:
- clear mucusmucusa moist and sticky substance produced by the mucous membranes from the lungs to relieve coughs
- help with food digestion
- increase urination
- relieve diarrhea
- relieve hemorrhoids
People have also used ground ivy for:
- chronic lung inflammation
- menstrual irregularities
There is not enough reliable scientific evidence to show whether ground ivy is effective for these uses.
Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.
What else should I be aware of?
Ground ivy appears to be generally safe for most adults when used in the amounts normally found in food and supplements. Side effects such as irritation of the kidneys and the lining of the gastrointestinal tract can occur if doses larger than the recommended daily amount are taken. Rarely, ground ivy can cause swelling of throat, laboured breathing, and liver damage.
Ground ivy may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners (e.g., warfarin, enoxaparin), ASA (Aspirin®), iron, birth control pills, and fluphenazine.
Do not use ground ivy together with pennyroyal. Both of these herbs contain an oil called pulegone, which can damage the liver. Taking these herbs together may increase the risk of liver damage.
People with any of the following conditions should not use ground ivy:
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- seizure disorders
Do not use ground ivy if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Do not use ground ivy if you are allergic to it or to any plants from the Lamiaceae family (e.g., mint, rosemary, basil, oregano, lavender).
Consult a health care provider if any of the symptoms or conditions being treated with ground ivy persist or worsen.
Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.
- Health Canada. Natural Health Products Ingredients Database. Ground Ivy – Topical. http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=109&lang=eng (Accessed September 14, 2011)
- Health Canada. Natural Health Products Ingredients Database. Ground Ivy – Oral. http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=108&lang=eng (Accessed September 14, 2011)
- Natural Database. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Ground Ivy. http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com/nd/Search.aspx?cs=&s=ND&pt=100&id=26&ds=&name=GROUND+IVY&searchid=29572374 (Accessed September 14, 2011)
- Natural Standard-the Authority on Integrative Medicine. Ground Ivy. http://3rdparty.naturalstandard.com/frameset.asp. (Accessed January 30, 2012)
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