Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:

  • English ivy


Ivy leaf is an evergreen vine that grows up walls and trees. It has been used to ease symptoms of cough and bronchitis. It can be taken as a pill, powder, or extract. Ivy leaves can also be made into a syrup or tea.


There are no advised doses for ivy leaf.

What Research Shows

Likely Effective

  • Respiratory disease—may ease symptomsB1-B3

Not Enough Data to Assess

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take ivy leaf for a short time. Some people may have allergic reactions to the skin. C1, C2 Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period or by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.


REFA Bronchial Asthma

REFA1 Hofmann D, Hecker M, et al. Efficacy of dry extract of ivy leaves in children with bronchial asthma--a review of randomized controlled trials. Phytomedicine. 2003 Mar;10(2-3):213-220.

REFB Respiratory Disease

REFB1 Schmidt M, Thomsen M, et al. Suitability of ivy extract for the treatment of paediatric cough. Phytother Res. 2012 Dec;26(12):1942-1947.

REFB2 Lang C, Röttger-Lüer P, et al. A valuable option for the treatment of respiratory diseases: review on the clinical evidence of the ivy leaves dry extract EA 575®. Planta Med. 2015 Aug;81(12-13):968-974.

REFB3 Schaefer A, Kehr MS, et al. A randomized, controlled, double-blind, multi-center trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a liquid containing ivy leaves dry extract (EA 575®) vs. placebo in the treatment of adults with acute cough. Pharmazie. 2016;71(9):504-509.

REFC Safety

REFC1 Jones JM, White IR, White JM, McFadden JP. Allergic contact dermatitis to English ivy (Hedera helix)--a case series. Contact Dermatitis. 2009 Mar;60(3):179-180.

REFC2 Gangemi S, Minciullo PL, et al. Contact dermatitis as an adverse reaction to some topically used European herbal medicinal products - part 2: Echinacea purpurea-Lavandula angustifolia. Contact Dermatitis. 2015 Apr;72(4):193-205.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
  • Review Date: 02/2020
  • Update Date: 05/27/2020