Ivy is mainly used in cellulite and for its activity on venous vessels, but also in cou

What is it

Ivy (Hedera helix) is a climbing and creeping plant on the ground that belongs to the Araliaceae family and is also well known as an ornamental plant.

The part used in phytotherapy consists of young leaves and branches.


The effects of ivy are related to saponins, flavonoids and sterols. Ivy also contains estrogenic substances, glucosides, alkaloids, caffeic acid, mineral salts and calcium oxalate.

All these active ingredients give it different activities: vasoconstrictive, astringent, anti-cellulite, antimicrobial (antifungal), healing, sedative and soothing.

To these is also added the ability – synergistic with that of horse chestnut and ginkgo biloba – to improve strength and elasticity of the capillaries.

Why is it used

In the past, ivy was used to counteract peripheral neuralgia and rheumatic or arthritic pain.

Currently the main use is in cellulite, to improve skin elasticity. It is also useful to counteract venous insufficiency, by virtue of its anti-fatigue and soothing action, and to reduce ankle swelling.

It is also used in preparations against convulsive cough, usually in association with the thymus, and in case of bronchitis to thin phlegm.

How to use it

The young leaves and branches of the plant are used. Mainly the use is cosmetological and therefore topically (10 or 20% ointment, oil) and also exploits its healing action.

The oral intake involves a dosage of 200-400 mg per day in two administrations between meals.

For safety purposes, the use of titrated and standardized extracts is essential: the dry extract is titrated in total saponosides (minimum 2%), while the fluid extract is titrated in ederacoside C.


Heartburn and digestive disorders have been reported rarely.


Toxicity has not yet been characterised in detail. The use is contraindicated in pregnancy, lactation and allergy.

However, it is preferable to avoid using ivy arbitrarily and without the advice and indications of the doctor.


Joycelyn Elders is the author and creator of EmpowerEssence, a health and wellness blog. Elders is a respected public health advocate and pediatrician dedicated to promoting general health and well-being.

The blog covers a wide range of topics related to health and wellness, with articles organized into several categories.

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