Ground Ivy: Sometimes It's Hard To Hear

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Ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea), also known as alehoof, creeping charlie, and gill-over-the-ground, is one of our favorite herbs to gather in early spring. We like to prepare a tincture of it in brandy, and we work with it for troubles in the ear-nose-throat. It helps a lot with tinnitus and with difficulty hearing that comes from stagnant fluid in the ears.

Here are just a few comments on this ability of ground ivy, over a 300-year span:

  • Botanologia, or The English Herbal, written by William Salmon in 1710, says about ground ivy that “It is bitter, cleansing and opening the Obstructions of the Viscera: put into the Ears, it helps the Noise in them, as also their Ringing and Deafness.”
  • Health from British Wild Herbs, written by Richard Lawrence Hool in 1918, noted that “The expressed juice of Ground Ivy is a specific for deafness.”
  • Writing in 2012, Henriette Kress in her post Herb of the Week: Ground Ivy writes that “It’s one of the few herbs that can touch noise-induced tinnitus. A lot of people read my first book […] grabbed the ground ivy, and could start working again … they’d been on disability for their tinnitus for years. I know because quite a few told me.”

But we also observe an effect of ground ivy on ‘hearing’ issues that have more to do with mental & emotional blocks to communication. When we avoid hearing something because it’s painful, because we’re not prepared to accept it, because we’ve built up a habitual reaction to a topic and can no longer hear the nuances… ground ivy can be helpful. We’ve seen this over and over in our clients & students, and it’s a direct extension of the physical work of the herb. All plants are this way! They work on the whole human, not “just” the body or “just” the mind.

Herbs discussed in this episdoe include: ground ivy, nettle, garlic mustard, violet, henbit, deadnettle.
Ground ivy is one of 90 herbs we profile in-depth in our Holistic Herbalism Materia Medica course. It’s the foundation of our herbalist training program and a great way to get started if you’re new to herbalism. Course enrollment includes access to twice-weekly live Q&A sessions with Ryn & Katja!

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This episode was sponsored by Mountain Rose Herbs. We thank them for their support!

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