A herbalist’s diary May 2022
A firm spring favourite is looking glorious and abundant at the moment. You have to hunt for it but once you find it, often hidden amongst other low growing plants like violet or red deadnettle, you realise it’s everywhere!
Ground Ivy (Latin Glechoma hederacea) belongs to one of our largest and most useful plant families, Lamiaceae, the same as nettles, lemon balm and hundreds of other useful plants. It’s name is derived from Glechom, Greek for mint or thyme and Hederacea meaning ivy like.
It has been used through the ages for clarifying and flavouring ale before hops were available in Britain. Medicinally it’s been recorded since at least the 12th century as being used for various ailments troubling the bladder, kidneys, digestion, as a gargle and an eye lotion.
I always think of it specifically for congestion of the sinuses, so it would be useful to mix with nettles for an early hayfever tea perhaps, before the elderflower is out, or combined with plantain to help clear a gunky head cold, maybe a little fresh ginger in there too.
It has a delicate volatile oil so is best used fresh whenever possible.
Enjoy the hunt.
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