English ivy (Hedera helix)

background

English ivy (Hedera helix) is native to most of Europe and southwest Asia. Although it is often used as a landscaping groundcover in the United States, it is also an invasive species that is considered a noxious weed in some areas.
Based on preliminary animal studies, English ivy leaf extract may have antimutagenic (anticancer) and antioxidant properties. In addition, it may also be beneficial for children with asthma or adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. However, more research is needed in all of these areas to assess English ivy's potential benefits.

Related Terms

Araliaceae (family), common ivy, dried ivy leaves, gum ivy, Hedera helix L., Hedera helix leaf extract, Hedera helix ssp. Canariensis Willd., true ivy, variegated ivy, woodbind.
Note: Hedera helix (English ivy) should not be confused with Glechoma hederacea (ground ivy), although the species have similar common names.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
 
Asthma (Grade: C)
Currently, there is insufficient available information to recommend for or against the use of English ivy in treating children with asthma. Additional study is needed in this area.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (Grade: C)
Currently, there is insufficient available information to recommend for or against the use of English ivy in treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Additional study is needed in this area.