Early Greens, Ground Ivy


ground ivy leaves

The warm weather and the rain have brought many plants to life around here. Although it is still early in the season (frost is still not out of the question) there are  hand full of ‘weeds’ that are taking advantage for the sunshine and rain. One of the first i have seen popping up, in my garden no less, is ground-ivy (Glechoma hederacea). SCREETCH>>>>> ground-ivy!?!? Many see it as an invasive weed that can be quite hard to get rid of. Those darn opportunistic plants! Ground ivy (not to be confused with purple dead-nettle, which I recently did!, or henbit) can be seen as a benefit also. As a fast spreading ground cover that doesn’t interfere with established plants, it works well with perennials and shrubs.

Traditional Medicinal Uses **

  • Tea Infusion
    • cough, cold, phelgm-y, asthma
    • said to overcome shyness.
    • with nettle it is used as a spring tonic for clearer skin complexion, 9 days.
    • also makes good tea with lemon verbena.
    • mixed with lemon and honey it is a fine tasting tea. (1 oz herb to one pint boiling water)
    • stimulates digestion
    • cleanse blood and tissue of toxic metals (lead-painters, ale makers, this plant grow out side their establishments and homes)
    • use as eye wash for inflamed eyes.
    • sinitius
    • hay fever, allergies (with chamomile)
  • Tincture
    • inflammation
  • Dry Powdered Leaves (snuff),
    • snuff in nose for headaches and stuffy noses (passive congestion)

In the Garden

  • Companion Plant for
    • tomato
    • pepper
    • cukes and family
    • broccoli
    • brussel sprouts
    • cauliflower
  • Repels
    • cabbage worms
    • cuke worms
    • beetles
    • tomato horn worms
  • Acts as a low ground cover
  • Prevents erosion
  • Likes poorly drained soils and shade, Creeping Charlie thrives in moist, fertile soil in shade but also tolerates dry, poor soil in sun
  • Gulls formed by Cynips glechomea, which were eaten (by the peasantry)
  • Attracts bees and butterflies, one of their first foods of spring

ground ivy groundcover



  • Can be added to salads, soups or stir fries
  • Pot herb
  • Historically, however, its popularity hinged for centuries on its use by home brewers, hence the name “alehoof,” or ale herb. As far back as the Vikings right up to late medieval times, the dried leaves rivaled hops in popularity for the bitterness and clarity they imparted to ale. Alcoholic drinks made with a variety of herbs such as fennel, costmary and rosemary were commonplace in Medieval Europe, and hops were not considered necessary or often even desirable in the production of ale then. Ground ivy was one of the most popular herbs for brewing prior to the 16th century, and for years a battle was waged in public houses across Europe over which drink was preferable hopped or unhopped ale until finally hops won out, and ground-ivy “subsided” to become the ground-hugging landscape plant we know it as today.  Richters.com


ground ivy flowers

Magical Uses

  • Connection with powers of magic and divination
  • Used by milkmaids as a safeguard against sorcery and as a charm for cows against enchantment
  • Ritual use
    • Crowns at midsummer eve

Personal Care

  • Foot bath at night to promote sleep, meditation healing, love, friendship and fidelity
  • Strewing promotes serenity and peaceful dreams


WARNING, not for use by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

**The information gathered here is not a replacement for medical treatment. If you are under the care of a health care practitioner please contact them before changing any part of your treatment. This information is for educational purposes only. I am NOT a doctor or in the healthcare field.



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