Article - Ground IvyCommon Name: GROUND IVY, ALEHOOF
Scientific Name: Glechoma hederacea
Ground Ivy is an attractive creeper with tiny edible mauve flowers that attracts lots of butterflies. It is a survivor plant that can take sun, heat, frost and even thrive in shade/ partial shade and shady moist conditions. It also does well in pots and hanging baskets. Grow it under hedges and shrubs - it will form an even green carpet, choking out weeds and cooling the soil. To harvest: you can use the whole plant - pick leaves throughout the year and use it fresh.
Ground Ivy has a balsamic odour and aromatic bitter taste. It was used by the early Saxons to clarify and flavour ale and minty liquers. Before hops has been introduced, ground ivy leaves were steeped in the hot liquer. Today you can add the fresh leaves to stir fries, salads, soups and vegetable dishes. Dip sprigs of fresh leaves in batter, fry and serve with salt and olives - this snack can be served with ale.
Since early centuries it was a remedy for stubborn coughs, buzzing ears, tinnitus, to stimulate the kidneys and to clarify the blood. It was taken by painters as a remedy for 'lead colic' and to bathe sore eyes. The leaves were stuffed into the nostrils to relieve headache, or grounded into a snuff.
Today we know that a tea made with ground ivy is:
Ground Ivy is safe for children and old people.