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I’ve convinced my husband to forgo mowing the lawn for almost two weeks so I can harvest this beauty from our backyard. Thought I would share it’s awesome medicine with you. Click here for the blog post on herbal terms and definitions. Enjoy!

Family: Lamiaceae

Latin name: Glechoma hederacea

Common names: Ground ivy, creeping charlie, field balm, gill-over-the-ground, run away robin

Parts Used: Top 50% aerial parts of the plant

 

Description

Glechoma, a creeping perennial evergreen, is native to Europe but has naturalized well in North America. It is a evergreen perennial and if it’s not mowed it can grow up to 50 cm in height. Ground ivy can be identified by leaves that are kidney or fan shaped with toothed edges and funnel shaped blue-lavender coloured flowers. The leaves have stalks that attach to the square stem and are opposite of one another. The flowers grow in clusters of three to four and attach at the upper part of the stem, near the tip of the plant.

Ground ivy is extremely hardy and while preferring moist shady areas it will still do very well in full and partial sun. The flowers are hermaphroditic (having both male and female parts) and is pollinated by bees.

While considered an invasive weed in North America, Glechoma has been used for medicinal purposes in Europe for thousands of years. The use of this plant dates back to the first century where it was considered a panacea (cure-all). It was one of the first herbs brought to North American by European settlers.

 

Ground Ivy

 

Therapeutic Properties

Anticatarrhal, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic (digestive, general), antiulcerogenic, anxiolytic, astringent, carminative, decongestant, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, nervine, neurovasodilator, peripheral vasodilator, relaxant, stomachic, tranquilizer, vulnerary

 

Contraindications

There is no known toxicity to humans but it can be toxic to horses if they over graze on it. It’s use is not recommended in pregnancy. Due to its effects on the nervous system it should be used with caution for those on anti-convulsant, sedative and mood-altering medications.

 

Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org

Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org

 

Medicinal Uses of the Herb

Epithelial 

  • Topical conditions (cuts, bites, scrapes, stings, burns etc.)
  • Deeper tissue injuries (bruises, sprains, strains etc.)

Digestive System 

  • Poor appetite, indigestion, cramps, spasms, gas, bloating and ulcers
  • Inflammatory conditions (colitis, diverticulitis etc.)

 

Nervous System 

  • Depression, anxiety, stress-related conditions
  • Poor memory and concentration

Respiratory System 

  • Upper respiratory (cold, flu, sinus congestion, hay fever, fevers)
  • Useful in childhood feverish conditions

 

Glechoma botanical

 

References

  • Class Notes – Living Earth School
  • Earthwise Herbal, The – Matthew Wood
  • Holistic Herbal – David Hoffman
  • Medical Herbalism – David Hoffman 1
  • New Encylopedia of Herbs & Their Uses – Deni Bown

 

Thanks for joining me today!

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