Ivy (common)

Hedera helix

Also known as English ivy, European ivy, tree ivy, bindwood or lovestone. Not to be confused with ground ivy.

The story…

Ivy is probably of tropical origin, which partly explains why its growth is stimulated by hot and humid summers. It usually lives for about 100 years and grows from 50 cm to 1 m per year; it can easily reach 100 m long and 30 m high if the support is suitable. It clings to trees, walls or the ground thanks to its adventitious roots that emit numerous bristles. These have no absorbent function: ivy is therefore not a parasitic plant, unlike mistletoe for example. In ancient times, the Greeks prepared a mixture of wine and macerated ivy leaves, which they thought would protect them from poisoning.


Respiratory tract

Ivy is an expectorant and antispasmodic used to treat wet coughs. It clears the airways and soothes inflammation of the bronchial tubes, e.g. when you have a cold, bronchitis or whooping cough.


Infusion: 3g leaves per cup; boil for 10 minutes. Drink up to 3 cups a day.


The black ivy berries are toxic to humans. The whole plant can trigger skin allergies or asthma. Contraindicated for pregnant women and in case of heartburn or ulcers. In case of persistent symptoms or if you have any doubts, consult a doctor.