English ivy is a common creeper with flat waxy leaves. Usually found thriving over walls of uninhabited buildings it has the notoriety for being an invader plant. It can prevent plants around it from getting any sunlight. It’s also considered to be toxic to cats, dogs, and children.
Despite all the demerits of having it in your garden, it’s not always bad news! It has been used in ancient Greek medicine to relieve several inflammatory and infectious conditions. Researchers claim that English ivy is a must-have plant if you are living in a damp and humid environment as it’s capable of stopping mold growth.
Living With Mold
Slimy patches on your shower curtains, kitchen sinks, basements, and walls are downright unsightly. But mold growth in your house can also trigger several allergic reactions even if you weren’t sensitive to it initially.
Coming into contact with mold spores can initiate respiratory symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and blocked sinuses. It can even cause eye irritation and hives in many. If you have a history of allergic asthma, you are more likely to suffer from frequent attacks if you have mold growth at home.1
English Ivy Plant Clears Mold Spores
NASA had enlisted English ivy as one of the best indoor plants that are natural air purifiers. A scientific study had confirmed that English Ivy plant is capable of lowering airborne mold by 74% after a period of 12 hours. It can also remove toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene which are responsible for sick building syndrome.2
In addition to this, it has proven anti-inflammatory, antiarthritic, antioxidant, antioxidant, antiviral, antispasmodic, and antimicrobial properties. Triterpenoid saponins and flavonoids in the plant are responsible for these abilities. It has seen to be effective in people with respiratory diseases like asthma, bronchitis, and COPD. It loosens phlegm and relaxes muscles of the airways so that you can respire well.3
Other Ways To Use English Ivy
Get an English ivy plant from your local garden and grow it in a hanging pot for the leaves to trail a bit. You have to prune it regularly to prevent its vigorous overgrowth. Below are the ways you can use English ivy.
- Brew tea out of 1 teaspoon of dried leaves in 0.25 liters of hot water.
- Apply its essential oil on the irritated skin.
- Make a poultice out of linseed meal and ivy leaves in a ratio of 3:1 and apply it to the sore areas of the body.
Side Effects Of English Ivy
Berries of English ivy can be toxic if eaten raw. Signs of allergy include shortness of breath, swelling, reddening of skin and itching. In animals and kids, it can cause diarrhea and headaches. It’s best to keep the plant in a place that’s out of reach for the young ones. Avoid ingesting it in any form if you are lactating or pregnant.
Even if you grow an English ivy at home, ensure that you fix leaky taps and old pipes that are serving are breeding grounds for mold. Don’t allow moisture to linger ion the floor and walls. Dry clothes outside and allow sunlight and air circulation in each room. Invest in a good dehumidifier if you think the mold problem is getting out of control.
|↑1||Bush, Robert K., Jay M. Portnoy, Andrew Saxon, Abba I. Terr, and Robert A. Wood. “The medical effects of mold exposure.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 117, no. 2 (2006): 326-333.|
|↑2||Yu, Miao, Young June Shin, Nanyoung Kim, Guijae Yoo, SeonJu Park, and Seung Hyun Kim. “Determination of saponins and flavonoids in ivy leaf extracts using HPLC-DAD.” Journal of chromatographic science 53, no. 4 (2014): 478-483.|
|↑3||Hofmann, D., M. Hecker, and A. Völp. “Efficacy of dry extract of ivy leaves in children with bronchial asthma–a review of randomized controlled trials.” Phytomedicine 10, no. 2-3 (2003): 213-220.|