The root is perennial, throwing out long, trailing, unbranched square stems, which root at intervals and bear numerous, kidney-shaped leaves that are scalloped-edged, and a dark green color, sometimes tinged with purple. The leaves are stalked and opposite to one another, the undersides paler and dotted with glands.
The flowers are placed three to four together in the axils
of the upper leaves, and are two-lipped, of a bright purplish blue, with small white spots on the lower lip, or more rarely white or pink.
It varies in size, as well as the degree of color in the flower, according to its situation and remains green not only in summer, but, like the true ivy, at all times of the year, unless the frost is very severe.
Family: Labiatae (Mint family)
Flowers: March – July
Parts Used: Whole herb – gathered in May.
Other Names: Cat’s foot, gill over the ground, ale hoof, creeping charlie,
turn hoof, hay maids
Habitat: Roadsides, lawns, throughout the area. (Alien)
Properties: Astringent, diuretic, tonic, pectoral, and gently stimulant.
Main Uses: Useful in kidney diseases and for indigestion. Leaf tea has been used for lung ailments, asthma, and jaundice. Ground ivy was used in London for making a tea to purify the blood. It is still considered serviceable in pectoral complaints and in cases of weakness of the digestive organs, being stimulating and tonic, though it has long been discarded from the Materia Medica as an official plant, in favor of others with greater action. Combined with Yarrow or Chamomile flowers it is said to make an excellent poultice for abscesses and tumors.
Externally, it has been a folk remedy for cancer, backaches, bruises, and piles.
Preparation And Dosages:
Infusion: Take 1 oz of the herb, add 1 pint of boiling water, and let it steep for 15 minutes. Sweeten with honey, or sugar. Drink wineglassfull doses, three to four times a day.
Fresh plant tincture: (1:2), 70% alcohol, 5 to 15 drops as needed.