Alehoof, Catsfoot, Cat's-Paw, Couronne de Terre, Courroie de Terre, Courroie de la Saint-Jean, Creeping Charlie, Gill-Go-By-The-Hedge, Gill-Go-Over-The-Ground, Glechoma hederacea, Glécome Lierre, Haymaids, Hedgemaids, Herbe de Saint-Jean, Lierre Terrestre, Lizzy-Run-Up-The-Hedge, Nepeta hederacea, Robin-Run-In-The-Hedge, Tierra-Hiedra, Tun-Hoof, Turnhoof.
Ground ivy is a plant. The dried plant and crushed leaves are used to make medicine.
People take ground ivy for mild lung problems, coughs, and bronchitis. They also take it for arthritis and other joint pain, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), stomach problems, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, bladder infections, bladder stones, and kidney stones. Women take it for menstrual (period) problems.
Some people apply ground ivy directly to the skin for wounds, ulcers, and other skin conditions.
In food manufacturing, ground ivy is used as a flavoring.
How does it work?
Ground ivy might work as an astringent to dry out body fluids such as mucus and to help stop bleeding.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Mild lung problems.
- Joint and muscle pain (rheumatism).
- Menstrual (period) problems.
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
- Stomach problems.
- Bladder stones.
- Kidney stones.
- Wounds or other skin conditions, when applied directly to the skin.
- Other conditions.
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).
Ground ivy is POSSIBLY SAFE in the amounts used to flavor foods and in small doses as medicine. However, it is known to contain substances that can damage the liver and also cause miscarriages. Larger amounts can irritate the stomach, intestines, and kidneys, and cause serious liver damage.
It’s also best to avoid ground ivy if you are breast-feeding. There isn’t enough information to know whether it is safe for a nursing infant.
Kidney disease: Ground ivy contains a chemical that can irritate the kidneys. Don’t use ground ivy if you have kidney problems.
Liver disease: Ground ivy contains a chemical that can harm the liver. It could make existing liver disease worse. Don’t use ground ivy if you have liver problems.
Epilepsy or another seizure disorder: Don’t use ground ivy if you have epilepsy or a history of seizures.
The appropriate dose of ground 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 ground 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.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
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.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
An, H. J., Jeong, H. J., Um, J. Y., Kim, H. M., and Hong, S. H. Glechoma hederacea inhibits inflammatory mediator release in IFN-gamma and LPS-stimulated mouse peritoneal macrophages. J Ethnopharmacol 7-19-2006;106(3):418-424. View abstract.
Henry, D. Y., Gueritte-Voegelein, F., Insel, P. A., Ferry, N., Bouguet, J., Potier, P., Sevenet, T., and Hanoune, J. Isolation and characterization of 9-hydroxy-10-trans,12-cis-octadecadienoic acid, a novel regulator of platelet adenylate cyclase from Glechoma hederacea L. Labiatae. Eur J Biochem 12-30-1987;170(1-2):389-394. View abstract.
Komprda, T., Stohandlova, M., Foltyn, J., Pozdisek, J., and Mika, V. Content of p-coumaric and ferulic acid in forbs with potential grazing utilization. Arch Tierernahr. 1999;52(1):95-105. View abstract.
Kuhn, H., Wiesner, R., Alder, L., and Schewe, T. Occurrence of free and esterified lipoxygenase products in leaves of Glechoma hederacea L. and other Labiatae. Eur J Biochem 12-8-1989;186(1-2):155-162. View abstract.
Kumarasamy, Y., Cox, P. J., Jaspars, M., Nahar, L., and Sarker, S. D. Biological activity of Glechoma hederacea. Fitoterapia 2002;73(7-8):721-723. View abstract.
Singh, T., Wu, J. H., Peumans, W. J., Rouge, P., van Damme, E. J., Alvarez, R. A., Blixt, O., and Wu, A. M. Carbohydrate specificity of an insecticidal lectin isolated from the leaves of Glechoma hederacea (ground ivy) towards mammalian glycoconjugates. Biochem J 1-1-2006;393(Pt 1):331-341. View abstract.
Tokuda, H., Ohigashi, H., Koshimizu, K., and Ito, Y. Inhibitory effects of ursolic and oleanolic acid on skin tumor promotion by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate. Cancer Lett 1986;33(3):279-285. View abstract.
Wang, W., Hause, B., Peumans, W. J., Smagghe, G., Mackie, A., Fraser, R., and van Damme, E. J. The Tn antigen-specific lectin from ground ivy is an insecticidal protein with an unusual physiology. Plant Physiol 2003;132(3):1322-1334. View abstract.
Wang, W., Peumans, W. J., Rouge, P., Rossi, C., Proost, P., Chen, J., and van Damme, E. J. Leaves of the Lamiaceae species Glechoma hederacea (ground ivy) contain a lectin that is structurally and evolutionary related to the legume lectins. Plant J. 2003;33(2):293-304. View abstract.
Zieba, J. Isolation and identification of flavonoids from Glechoma hederacea L. Pol.J Pharmacol Pharm 1973;25(6):593-597. View abstract.
Zieba, J. Isolation and identification of non-heteroside triterpenoids from Glechoma hederacea L. Pol.J Pharmacol Pharm 1973;25(6):587-592. View abstract.