Small, perennial plant 5-15 cm, with a creeping root system and creeping surface shoots. Stems four-sided, branched, with raised, flowering shoots, 10-40 cm long, bare at the bottom, leafy and covered with hairs at the top.

Blue violet flowers on average 3-4 flowers per plant. The seeds of the plant divide into 4 nuts.

The plant is harvested during flowering. Ground-ivy is used both fresh and dried. The plant is dried in a shady, well-ventilated place by spreading the plant in a small layer on cloth or sieves. Can also be dried in forced dryers, not exceeding a temperature of 35C. The obtained drugs are stored in cardboard boxes or glass jars. Stored no longer than one year.

The surface part of the Ground-ivy seed contains tannins, bitter substances, choline, carotene, ascorbic acid, resins, free amino acids, gums, saponins, essential oils, trace elements (potassium, molybdenum, titanium, zinc, manganese and others), aldehydes, phenol carbonate and organic acids, as well as triterpenoids.

Medicinal significance

Ground-ivy has expectorant, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. The active substances of the plant also act as an anti-cold, choleretic, wound-healing and anti-sclerotic agent. It promotes digestive processes and improves appetite.

Decoctions and infusions of ivy have antibacterial, hypotensive, antitumor, choleretic properties and the plant is recommended to enhance lactation. The plant, as an additional remedy, can be used in the treatment of diseases of the stomach, liver, spleen, as well as any other diseases accompanied by fever - the plant will relieve the condition. The plant will also help remove stones from the kidneys and bladder.

In folk medicine, Ground-ivy seed is used as an anti-inflammatory, digestive and metabolic stimulating, wound-healing agent, it helps bone tissue to regenerate in case of fracture, improves blood circulation and liquefies phlegm.

After long-term illnesses, decoctions of ivy seeds are used in baths.

Not recommended for use

Ground-ivy is a poisonous plant, although it is harmless in therapeutic doses. When using decoctions and infusions, it should not be overdosed. Careless use of this plant can cause intoxication, which will cause increased sweating, heart rhythm disturbances, increased salivation and pulmonary edema.

The use of Ground-ivy seed pods should be reasonable and best done after consultation with your doctor. Ivy cotyledons should not be used in pregnancy, lactation, hypertensive crises, liver pathology, reduced gastric juice, kidney failure, increased blood clotting and individual intolerance.

Importance of food

The leaves of the plant are used for food, and can be harvested twice a year - in early spring before flowering and in August, already after flowering. The seed pod is a bit bitter, but the smell is pleasant, reminiscent of sage and mint.

The plant can be added to salads and various drinks as a spice. Ivy leaves can be added to meat marinade when preparing meat for barbecue. Even more so, the plant is common. It can also be safely added to meat stews, boiled eggs, omelettes, cheese, minced meat, sauces and all kinds of vegetable salads.

Already in ancient times, this was the first plant that could be obtained in nature, in early spring, and it was added as a spice to potato dishes and soups.