We don’t spray to eradicate weeds in our yard and we don’t fertilize either. Consequently, we have many unwelcome visitors if we wanted a perfect lawn … but I look on some patches of weeds in a different light. Ground Ivy (Glechoma Hederacea, which is in the mint family) is an invasive weed in lawns (including ours!) but it is also a very beneficial medicinal tea and wild edible. I’ve found Ground Ivy not only in our lawn, but in waste places (such as the edge of a parking lot), in open fields, and on the margins around wooded areas. Be careful about collecting Ground Ivy in waste places because more often than not, there is a danger of chemicals having been applied or road salt having been used. You don’t want that in your tea. Since our lawn is not treated, it is perfectly safe for me to collect the plant there.
Ground ivy is found in most US states except in the desert southwest. It is invasive in the northeast. The flowers appear as early as March and will persist through June. The leaves are rounded or heart shaped with rounded toothing on the edges and are opposite on a square stem. The stems trail along on the ground and reroot at the nodes.
Brewing Ground Ivy Tea
CAUTION: As with any herbal remedy, ensure you have identified the plant accurately and then use small amounts at first, and watch for any allergic reaction.
Ground Ivy Tea can be used as an anti-inflammatory to reduce pain and swelling and it can relieve respiratory symptoms from colds and bronchitis. It is made, like any tea, from the fresh or dried leaves. Just collect it, wash it, dry it (if you like), and use any steeping device or cup. Steep it for at least 10 minutes to get the most benefit. It can be somewhat bitter but you can sweeten and flavor it with honey and lemon. You can also use the young shoots and leaves of Ground Ivy in soups and other recipes so be creative.
Have you ever tried Ground Ivy tea? Did it work? How did it taste? Share your experiences in the comments below!
Mary is a naturalist who is interested in learning everything she can about the plants seen in everyday life and when hiking. Mary is not a botanist by trade but a citizen scientist like countless others out there she’s met in the field and online who share a common interest. During the day, Mary is a statistical programmer in the pharmaceutical research field. It’s really hard to spot a naturalist, isn’t it? Naturalists don’t fit in standard-sized boxes really well.
Mary discovered that Jo and Eddie were interested in wild edibles and wanted to help educate them and others about the plants she’s identified and to share information. She’s interested in keeping everyone safe and making sure an accurate identification of a plant can be made by readers. She wants to explain how to identify plants accurately and will include some information about how to identify the leaves, stems and flowers (if any) as well as where the plant is found and at what time of year.