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Ground ivy: the discovery

Ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) is a plant from the labiate family. The herbaceous plant was already valued and used by healers in the Middle Ages. Its discovery as a medicinal plant goes back to old European traditions, in which it was regarded as a universal remedy for various ailments. The striking, heart-shaped leaves and small, purple flowers make ground ivy easily recognizable, and its medicinal properties have been passed down from generation to generation.

Dosage forms and dosage

Ground ivy can be taken in various forms:

  • Tea: A tea is prepared from the dried leaves and flowers. To do this, add about two teaspoons of dried ground ivy to a cup of hot water, leave the tea to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes and drink it once or twice a day.
  • Tinctures: Extracts from fresh or dried parts of the plant can be taken in the form of tinctures. The usual dosage is 10-20 drops three times a day.
  • Fresh leaves: The fresh leaves can be eaten directly or used in salads. They add a slightly tart flavor to dishes.
  • External use: It can be applied externally as a poultice or ointment to soothe skin irritations.

Ground ivy: Healing properties

It is known for its versatile healing properties and is traditionally used for a variety of ailments:

  • Inflammation: Its anti-inflammatory properties make it effective for skin conditions, wounds and insect bites.
  • Respiratory disorders: For colds, coughs and bronchitis, it can loosen mucus and make breathing easier.
  • Digestive complaints: It promotes digestion and can help with flatulence, stomach pain and loss of appetite.
  • Urinary tract disorders: Due to its diuretic effect, it supports the treatment of bladder inflammation and kidney problems.
  • Liver diseases: It is also used to support liver function and detoxify the body.

Effect on the body

The healing effects of ground ivy on the body are manifold:

  • Anti-inflammatory: the flavonoids and essential oils it contains have an anti-inflammatory effect and promote healing.
  • Antioxidant: It protects the cells from oxidative stress and supports the immune system.
  • Expectorant: The expectorant properties make breathing easier and help with coughs.
  • Diuretic: It promotes the excretion of fluid and supports the detoxification of the body.
  • Liver-strengthening: By supporting liver function, it helps to improve general well-being.

When should ground ivy be used?

Ground ivy should be taken for:

  • Colds and respiratory problems: To promote mucus clearance and ease breathing.
  • Digestive complaints: To aid digestion and relieve stomach pain.
  • Urinary tract disorders: To support bladder and kidney function.
  • Skin disorders: For external use on skin irritation and inflammation.
  • Liver support: To support detoxification and strengthen the liver.

Who should not take ground ivy?

It is not suitable for certain people:

  • Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers: Due to insufficient research, it is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  • Children: It should only be used in children under medical supervision.
  • Allergy sufferers: People who are allergic to labiates should exercise caution, as it can trigger allergic reactions.

Additional food supplements and medicinal plants

To support the healing effect of ground ivy, the following dietary supplements and medicinal plants can also be taken:

  • Echinacea: strengthens the immune system and supports healing in the case of colds.
  • Ginger: promotes digestion and has an anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Nettle: has a diuretic and detoxifying effect.
  • Camomile: Soothes the stomach and has an anti-inflammatory effect.

Foods with a lot of ground ivy

Ground ivy itself is not found in common foods, but can be used as a fresh herb in the kitchen. It can be a healthy and tasty addition to salads, smoothies or herbal quark in particular.

Ground ivy: Possible side effects

In rare cases, side effects may occur when ingested:

  • Gastrointestinal complaints: Excessive consumption may cause nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Allergic reactions: People who are allergic to labiates may experience skin rashes or breathing difficulties.


An overdose of ground ivy can lead to toxic reactions. Symptoms of an overdose are severe gastrointestinal complaints, dizziness and headaches. In severe cases, a doctor should be consulted immediately.

Naturopathic treatments

Ground ivy is used in various forms in naturopathy:

  • Teas and infusions: For internal use for respiratory and digestive complaints.
  • Ointments and compresses: Externally for skin irritations and inflammations.
  • Tinctures and extracts: In concentrated form for internal use for various ailments.


In summary, ground ivy is a versatile medicinal plant that is highly valued in traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory, expectorant and diuretic properties. In the correct dosage and application, it can help with many complaints and promote general well-being. However, it should always be used with caution and in consideration of individual health conditions.

Published on: 10. July 2024


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