Hedera helix (generic name)

treats Asthma and Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
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Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

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.

Background

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.

Evidence

DISCLAIMER: 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.

Asthma: 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.
Grade: C

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.
Grade: C

Tradition

WARNING: DISCLAIMER: 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.

Dosing

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.

Safety

DISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.

Allergies

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.

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