English Ivy

Understanding COPD

What other names is English Ivy known by?

Gum Ivy, Hedera helix, Hedera taurica, Hederae Helicis Folium, Herbes à Cors, Hiedra Común, Ivy, Lierre, Lierre Commun, Lierre Grimpant, True Ivy, Woodbind.

What is English Ivy?

English ivy is a vine. The leaves are used to make medicine.

People take English ivy by mouth for swelling and blockage of airway passages, to treat and improve lung function in people with bronchial swelling, to help bring up mucus and other material up from the lungs, for liver disorders, spleen disorders, gallbladder disorders, gout, joint pain and swelling, and scrofulosis.

People apply English ivy to the skin for burns, calluses, skin infection, inflammation, nerve pain, parasites, ulcers, joint pain and swelling, and vein swelling.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Bronchitis. Early research shows that taking cough syrup (Prospan; Panoto-s; Athos; Abrilar) or herbal drops (Prospan Herbal Drops) containing English ivy leaf extract by mouth, alone or with usual treatment, for about 1-3 weeks might improve lung function in children ages <1 to 15 years, as well as adults, with sudden or recurring bronchitis. however, it's too soon to tell if the improvement is due to english ivy extract, the usual treatment, or natural course of the disease.
  • Liver disorders.
  • Spleen disorders.
  • Gallbladder disorders.
  • Gout.
  • Joint pain and swelling.
  • Scrofulosis.
  • Skin wounds.
  • Nerve pain.
  • Ulcers.
  • Parasites.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of English ivy for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Quick GuideCOPD Lung Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

COPD Lung Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

How does English Ivy work?

English ivy might stimulate mucus glands and have expectorant properties. This might improve lung function in people with breathing difficulty due to swelling and blockage of airway passages. English ivy might also have antioxidant effects.

Are there safety concerns?

Cough syrup (Prospan; Panoto-s; Athos; Abrilar) containing English ivy leaf extract is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth three times daily for 1 week. English ivy leaf might cause skin irritation when taken by mouth. English ivy leaf extract might cause mild stomach problems.

Not enough is known about the safety of applying English ivy to the skin. In some people, contact with English ivy leaf might cause allergic skin reactions. But this is fairly uncommon.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of English ivy during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: Cough syrup (Prospan; Panoto-s; Athos; Abrilar) or herbal drops (Prospan) containing English ivy leaf extract are POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth three times daily for up to 20 days.

Dosing considerations for English Ivy.

The appropriate dose of English ivy depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for English ivy. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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