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Ground ivy (Ground ivy, Ground ivy)

Ground ivy is known as ground ivy, ground ivy and ground ivy. The inconspicuous wild plant is used as a spice plant because of its essential oils.
Given the lack of nutritional information for this ingredient, we did not include it in the calculations for the nutrition table.
Macronutrient carbohydrates 0%
Macronutrient proteins 0%
Macronutrient fats 0%

The three ratios show the percentage by weight of macronutrients (carbohydrates / proteins / fats) of the dry matter (excl. water).

Ω-6 (LA, <0.1g)
Omega-6 fatty acid such as linoleic acid (LA)
 : Ω-3 (ALA, <0.1g)
Omega-3 fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
 = 0:0

Omega-6 ratio to omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed a total of 5:1. Link to explanation.

Values are too small to be relevant.

Ground ivy ( Glechoma hederacea ) has been a traditional wild and food plant for many centuries and was used as a medicinal herb in earlier times. Common names include ground ivy , ground ivy and ground ivy .

Use in the kitchen:

Can you eat ground ivy? This wild-growing and rather inconspicuous food plant is rich in essential oils. For this reason, it should be used in moderation, similar to other herbs. 1

What does ground ivy taste like? Descriptions of the smell and taste range from pleasantly aromatic to strong-aromatic, resinous-aromatic to licorice-like.

What can you do with ground ivy? Fresh or dried ground ivy is used as a kitchen spice, similar to parsley . Because of its thyme-mint aroma, the herb was formerly known as soldier's parsley. Ground ivy can improve the digestibility of food 2 and stimulate the appetite.

From March to May, the tender leaves and shoots can be added to salads, raw vegetable soups, stews, chopped herb mixtures, seasonings, Frankfurt green sauce, Maundy Thursday soups, pestos, quark, butter and cream cheese. Ground ivy gives sweet dishes, ice cream and desserts a mint-like note. 1

From May to June, the leaves are particularly suitable as an essential aroma in herbal liqueur, herbal wine, herbal vinegar, herbal oil and drinks, e.g. in ground elder lemonade. 1

The delicately sweet-tasting flowers, which bloom from April to the end of June, can be used in a similar way to the leaves and as an edible decoration on smoothies, desserts and salads. 1

You can get a sweet, delicious crunchy treat by dusting moistened ground ivy leaves with cocoa and icing sugar and drying them slowly in the oven (for raw food, set the oven to 40 °C or use a dehydrator). 1 Or you can dip the fresh leaves in melted dark chocolate and let them dry.

Other wild plants that harmonize with the aroma of ground ivy are young yarrow leaves , chervil leaves (cow chervil) , watercress , daisies, nettle leaves and birch leaves . 3

Vegan recipe for Frankfurt green sauce with ground ivy:

Process 100 g cashews and 100 ml water in a blender to a cream. Mix the juice of half a lemon with 1 teaspoon mustard and 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil . Finely chop 30 g each of parsley, chervil , tarragon , dill , borage , sorrel , ribwort and ground ivy. Now mix all the ingredients so that the sauce gets a green color (the herbs must be fine enough for this). You can then season the green sauce with salt andpepper and decorate with ground ivy flowers. The original recipe (without ground ivy) can be found HERE .

Warning for borage: Borage contains liver-toxic and carcinogenic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA), which is why the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment does not recommend its consumption. To be on the safe side, you can replace the borage here with a classic ingredient of the traditional Frankfurt green sauce ( cress , burnet or chives ) 16 or alternatively use lemon balm . You can find out more about the PA problem by clicking on the ingredient borage .

Recipe for fresh ground ivy tea:

Pour 1-2 teaspoons of dried or fresh ground ivy into 250 ml of boiling water and let the herbs steep for about 10 minutes. Drink one cup daily or twice daily as a treatment. 3,4

Not only vegans or vegetarians should read this:
Vegans often eat unhealthily. Avoidable nutritional mistakes

Purchasing - where to buy?

Ground ivy is available as a dried and loosely packaged herb (Herba Hederae Terrestris or Glechomae hederaceae herba) online, at pharmacies and drugstores.

Supermarket chains such as Coop , Migros , Denner , Volg , Spar , Aldi , Lidl , Rewe , Edeka or Hofer as well as the organic supermarkets Denns and Alnatura do not yet carry Gundermann in their product range.

Found in the wild - Season:

Wikipedia tells us that ground ivy is an indicator plant for moist, heavy, fertile, calcareous and nitrogen-rich soils. It grows on forest edges, in hedges, in alluvial bushes, on farm meadows, in moist forests, 5 on walls, on wasteland, as a weed in gardens, on meadows or on roadsides. 3,6

The fast-growing ground ivy is a rhizome plant with creeping stems. These square stems are up to 200 cm long and root at the nodes. The common name ground ivy is derived from its ivy-like leaves and its ivy-like growth. In the flowering regions, the plant stands up to about 20 cm tall. The notched, kidney-shaped leaves are arranged opposite each other. The leaves, which are up to three centimeters wide, are clearly streaked with prominent leaf veins and sometimes have a reddish tint. The flowers are lip-shaped, one to two centimeters long and blue, blue-violet to pink-violet in color. When crushed, the above-ground parts of the plant have a strong ethereal scent. 6

When does ground ivy bloom? The main flowering period is from early April to late June. 1

The main season for harvesting the evergreen or hardy perennial is in spring to early summer, from March to the end of June . 4.1


Ground ivy should be used fresh, frozen or gently dried. To do this, you can spread it out on a kitchen towel and let it dry in the fresh air. The plant parts should not be exposed to direct sunlight. If the plant parts rustle when you touch them, they are dry and you can chop them up with scissors. Paper bags, metal cans or brown jars are suitable for storage. 7

Ingredients - nutritional value - calories:

Fresh ground ivy contains up to 10% or more tannins, and 3-7% in the dried herb. Other ingredients are bitter substances, vitamin C , minerals (especially potassium ), choline, saponins, essential oils (up to 0.06% in the dried herb), phenolcarboxylic acids (rosmarinic acid, caffeic acid, ferulic acid), flavonoids (apigenin, luteolin, quercetin), sesquiterpenes (glechomafuran, glechomanolide), triterpenecarboxylic acids (ursolic acid, oleanolic acid) and hydroxy fatty acids. 1,3,8,9

Health aspects - effects:

So far, hardly any scientifically confirmed effects of ground ivy have been described. 8,9

Dangers - Intolerances - Side effects:

Is ground ivy poisonous? There are no known cases of poisoning in humans. 9 However, you should not overdose on ground ivy. If you follow the dosage instructions, there are no side effects to worry about. See, for example, under tea preparation. 3

Use as a medicinal plant:

Ground ivy is not a medicinal herb, which is why it is not used in conventional medicine. However, the ingredients do not rule out its effectiveness. The slight irritant effect of ground ivy (and other medicinal plants) stimulates the metabolism and increases the activity of almost all organs in the body. 3

Folk medicine - natural medicine:

Ground ivy is used exclusively in folk medicine. Areas of indication are gastric and intestinal catarrh, stomach upset with diarrhea, bladder problems, flu-like infections, loss of appetite, cough with thick mucus, jaundice and gallbladder, liver and kidney problems. Ground ivy is traditionally used for the symptomatic treatment of stubborn skin inflammations, festering pimples (acne) and for rinsing and gargling in the case of inflammations in the mouth and throat. 1,3,9,10

Occurrence - Origin:

Ground ivy is widespread in most of Europe. 3,5,6 It is found in western and northern Asia as far as Japan, Hong Kong and Tonkin. In New Zealand, the USA and Canada, ground ivy is a neophyte introduced by humans. Ground ivy can be found from sea level up to mountainous altitudes. 5

Growing in the garden or as a potted plant:

In late summer, you can sow ground ivy seeds from specialist retailers; pre-grown seedlings can be planted out in spring. The easiest way to grow ground ivy is via cuttings. The fast-rooting ground ivy forms many runners that grow into a dense, flat carpet. The plant is ideal for slopes, as it protects soil from erosion, as well as for balcony boxes and as a potted plant. 11

Ground ivy grows like a weed and can steal light and nutrients from other plants. It is therefore a good idea to regularly cut off the long tendrils and their potential offshoots. Ground ivy is also very susceptible to fungal infections. To prevent infected weeds from infecting surrounding plants, the mother plant should be pulled out, including roots and runners. 12,13

Danger of confusion:

Similar but non-toxic medicinal and wild plants are bugleweed, small self-heal or red deadnettle. The flowering time and a close look at the leaves, flowers and growth form can be helpful clues. 7

Ground ivy should not be confused with ivy, which can be poisonous even if it comes into contact with the skin. The fruits of ivy are particularly toxic and eating just a few berries can lead to serious poisoning. 8

Animal protection - species protection - animal welfare:

Ground ivy is one of the most important spring flowers for wild bees in Central Europe. Pollination is usually carried out by bumblebees and fur bees. Other frequent visitors to the so-called ground ivy include hoverflies, woolly hoverflies, beetles, ants and some butterflies such as the Aurora butterfly, brimstone butterfly and the rapeseed white butterfly. 5,6

Since the flowering period is from April to June, the ground ivy is referred to as an early summer nectar. Nectar is the general term for the food that the bees bring in, i.e. nectar, pollen and honeydew. The nectar value of the ground ivy is medium and the pollen value is low (nectar value and pollen value scale: none, low, medium, high, very high). 6

General information:

Ground ivy ( Glechoma hederacea ) is a plant species in the mint family (Lamiaceae). 5 The genus Glechoma includes about 12 species of creeping perennials. 4

Alternative names:

There are numerous common names for ground ivy, including: real ground ivy, ground ivy, soldier's parsley, hedge kieker, blue huder, gundam, earth wreath, bulk man, thunder vine, hederich, ground rebli, gundelrieme, huder, little goat's herb, silver herb, gunelreif, healing ivy, udrang and little goat's herb.

There are also some alternative names for ground ivy in English: creeping Jenny, ground ivy, gill-over-the-ground, alehoof, catsfoot, hedgemaids, creeping Charlie, field balm, run-away-robin, tunhoof, tun-hoof, gill-go-by-the-hedge, lizzy-run-up-the-hedge and robin-run-in-the-hedge.

Literature - Sources: