Can you eat ivy?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “can you eat ivy?”, what are the health benefits of ivy, what are the potential downsides of ivy, and other queries related to this topic.

Can you eat ivy? 

Yes, you can eat ivy but take it with caution because it can be mildly poisonous and some people might develop mild sickness symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Moreover, some people might be allergic to it and might develop dermatitis so its safety is not well known.

Also, when consumed in large quantities, such as ivy leaves and berries, especially in children and pets the level of toxic compounds will increase in their bodies, and thus it can lead to severe toxicity and severe vomiting.

The ivy also known as English ivy is native to Europe, western Asia, and North Africa and has been introduced recently to the United States. This plant is cultivated in cold areas where the soil is always moist.

Generally, the English ivy is used as a decoration in the gardens since it is climbing and it stays green all year long. Besides its decorative purposes, ivy can be considered a medicine and a supplement since it has some positive health effects but is not well-proven by studies.

What are the potential benefits of English ivy?

English ivy has several health benefits because it is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. So, phytochemicals like flavonoids and saponins are effective antioxidants that protect against cell damage and thus might be protective against diabetes. 

In addition to the antioxidant effect of ivy, it has anti-inflammatory properties, because it was seen, in some animal studies, that the secretion of inflammatory compounds like interleukin 6 is decreased and inhibited when ivy extracts have been ingested but further investigations are needed.

Moreover, ivy is very beneficial in treating upper respiratory tract infections and problems. So, it helps in treating COPD, bronchitis, cough, and asthma in children. Hence, it is not very well proven by the studies so extra research and investigations are required.

The positive effect of ivy on cough and lungs is related to its anti-inflammatory effect. Also, it has been seen during the studies that ivy stimulates the beta 2-adrenergic signaling system thus this compound will stimulate epinephrine secretion that leads to bronchodilation thus increasing airflow.

In addition to being effective in reducing the free radicals, their harmful effect on the body, and asthma and coughing in children, ivy is beneficial in treating arthritis, joint pain, tinnitus, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, bladder infections, bladder stones, and kidney stones. 

Furthermore, some women take it to relieve problems and symptoms coupled with the menstrual cycle. Also, some people apply ground ivy directly to their skin. Compounds in the ivy help in treating ulcerations, wounds, and burns as well as many other skin conditions.

Along with being effective in reducing the symptoms of many health problems, ivy is considered a major air purifier. Hence, placing it inside the house is not very convenient since it can lead to skin irritation for your children and pets.

To be consumed, you can dry your ivy leaves or you can buy ivy extract capsules. So, when the ivy leaves are dried and crushed, then you can prepare your tea. So, when buying ivy tea make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging.

Generally, to be on the safe side, one to two cups of ivy tea per day is recommended. However, you can use fresh ivy leaves for tea making if dried leaves are not available.

What are the potential downsides of English ivy?

The most important downside of English ivy is skin irritation and dermatitis especially when the plan is being cultivated and placed inside the house. Also, children under five years old are the most affected by the plant poisoning, so teach not to eat or touch this plant.

Moreover, when ingested the ivy can lead to gastrointestinal problems like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Also, adults should be careful and attentive when trimming and cutting the outdoor ivy plant because they are more likely to develop skin irritation and itching.


So, the general population should be very careful when consuming or ingesting any herbal remedy because some of them can be life-threatening. Additionally, pregnant women should not contact their doctor before drinking or ingesting ivy leaves or tea.

Conclusion


In this brief guide, we discussed the following question, “can you eat ivy?”, what are the health benefits of ivy, what are the potential downsides of ivy, and other queries related to this topic.


References

https://www.healthline.com/health/5-fast-facts-english-ivy
https://www.rxlist.com/english_ivy/supplements.htm

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.