Hedera helix also called the common ivy or English ivy or European ivy, or just ivy is from
the family of Araliaceae species native to Europe and western Asia. Hedera helix is a
clinging evergreen vine that grows fast and is a familiar sight in gardens, waste spaces, tree
trunks and wild areas in its native habitat. The generic name of ivy is Hedera, however, the
specific epithet helix derives from Ancient Greek "twist, turn". It was first used around 1600
AD. It has been known for long that Ivy extracts are ingredients in modern cough medicines.
Before the medicinal properties were captured in a medicine form, its leaves and berries
were used as an expectorant and to treat cough and bronchitis.
Hedera helix is sold under the brand names such as Dr Reckeweg Hedera Helix Q,
Demopectol Junior amongst others.
John Gerard, the British herbalist first recommended water infused with ivy leaves as a wash
for sore or watering eyes in 1597. In some patients, the touch of the leaf can cause severe
contact dermatitis. Patients with this type IV hypersensitivity are very likely to develop
allergies to carrots and other members of the Apiaceae, as they all have, falcarinol.
Forms and dose
Hedera Helix is available as Oral expectorant and tablets for treating Cough and Bronchitis.
The usual adult dose is 50 mg tablets, to be taken 3 to 4 times per day as needed. When
administering the syrup containing dried ivy leaf extract of 0.7 g for every100 ml, the
recommended dose is 10-15 ml as needed. When being served as tea, the dose is 1 cup
containing 0.3-0.8 grams of the medicine.
The price of Hedera Helix
In Germany, the consumers have to pay $ 11.00 for 100ml Syrup and $ 15.00 for 50ml
Drops. Whereas in the USA, a standard 20ml bottle with this extract as medicine costs
How does it work?
English ivy can stimulate mucus glands besides being an expectorant. These actions caused
by the medicine in the body improves lung function of people with swollen and blocked
airway passages leading to breathing difficulties. English ivy is also known to have
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