Araliaceae (family), common ivy, dried ivy leaves, gum ivy, Hedera helix L., Hedera helix leaf extract, Hedera helix ssp. Canariensis Willd., true ivy, variegated ivy, woodbind.
Note: Hedera helix (English ivy) should not be confused with Glechoma hederacea (ground ivy), although the species have similar common names.
English ivy (Hedera helix) is native to most of Europe and southwest Asia. Although it is often used as a landscaping groundcover in the United States, it is also an invasive species that is considered a noxious weed in some areas.
Based on preliminary animal studies, English ivy leaf extract may have antimutagenic (anticancer) and antioxidant properties. In addition, it may also be beneficial for children with asthma or adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. However, more research is needed in all of these areas to assess English ivy's potential benefits.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Currently, there is insufficient available information to recommend for or against the use of English ivy in treating children with asthma. Additional study is needed in this area.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Currently, there is insufficient available information to recommend for or against the use of English ivy in treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Additional study is needed in this area.
*Key to grades:
A: Strong scientific evidence for this use;
B: Good scientific evidence for this use;
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use;
D: Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work);
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).
The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below. Antioxidant, arthritis, burns, cancer, cough, decongestant/expectorant, dysentery (severe diarrhea), gallbladder disorders, gout (inflamed foot), inflammation, lice, liver disease, neuropathy (nerve damage), parasites, rheumatic diseases, scabies, scar prevention (stretch marks), skin conditions (calluses), spleen disorders, sunburn, ulcers (gastroduodenal), whooping cough.
The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.
Adults (18 years and older):
There is no proven safe or effective dose for English ivy.
Children (younger than 18 years):
There is no proven safe or effective dose for English ivy in children.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.
Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to English ivy (Hedera helix) or its constituents. Crossreaction or cross-senstivity has been noted between Hedera helix and Dendropanax trifidus, Schefflera arboricola, dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), false ragweed (Ambrosia acanthicarpa), giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida), short ragweed (Ambrosia artemisifolia), sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), wild feverfew (Parthenium hysterophorus), yarrow (Achillea millifolium), and tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), and some Dahlia species.
Side Effects and Warnings
The most frequently reported adverse effects related to English ivy are allergy symptoms, such as allergic contact dermatitis, asthmatic bronchitis, or allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (inflammation of the lining of the nose and the mucous membrane that covers the front of the eye and lines the eyelids). Gardeners and those with frequent exposure to English ivy may have a high risk of sensitization and should wear appropriate protective clothing.
Use cautiously in patients with cancer or taking antineoplastic (anticancer) agents.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
English ivy is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.
Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.
Interactions with Drugs
Although not well studied in humans, English ivy may have antimutagenic (anticancer) properties. Caution is advised when combining English ivy with other anticancer agents.
English ivy may have antioxidant activity. Although not well studied in humans, combined use of English ivy and antioxidants may have additive effects.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Although not well studied in humans, English ivy may have antimutagenic (anticancer) properties. Caution is advised when combining English ivy with other anticancer herbs or supplements.
English ivy may have antioxidant activity. Although not well studied in humans, combined use of English ivy and other herbs or supplements with antioxidants may have additive effects.
This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).
Natural Standard Bottom Line Monograph, Copyright © 2011 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.
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Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)
Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)