Growing, reproducing and using the beneficial properties of ivy
Botanical characteristics of ivy
Ivy is an evergreen plant, liana-like, belonging to the Araliaceae family. With the help of its strong and tenacious roots-suckers, ivy climbs trees, pipes, fences and poles. Long ivies have a thicker trunk than those that do not climb up to 20 meters. In the forests, you can see an ivy rug on the ground.
The leaves of the plant most often have a heart-shaped base, alternate, dense, dark green color. Ivy flowers are inconspicuous, greenish-yellow, collected in umbrellas. Ivy flowers can be either unisexual or bisexual. Male and bisexual flowers have 5 stamens, while female flowers have a pistil with a 5–10-nested ovary. The ivy fruit is similar in size to a pea. The plant blooms in autumn.
Wild ivy can be seen in Eurasia. In Western Europe, ivy is found on trees and on soil in light and floodplain forests. Ivy also grows well on rocks and rocky cliffs. Ivy is grown in Russia, but you will not see it in the wild. Parks, gardens, courtyards are chosen for cultivation and even ivy is used as a houseplant.
Ivy is propagated by cuttings, shoots and layering. The plant is propagated by cuttings as follows: after cutting off the cuttings, they need to be planted in pots, 2-3 units each, and covered with foil on top. To plant cuttings, you must first prepare the soil, namely, mix sand with deciduous soil. Cuttings with aerial roots will take root best.
Ivy propagation by layering. For this method, you need to take long shoots, make cuts at the bottom and pin them to the ground using special staples. When the plants take root, they must be carefully and slowly separated and transplanted separately.
Reproduction by shoots. We take a shoot, which has 8-10 leaves, and put it on the sand. Now we place it inside the sand using indentations. Only leaves should be on the surface. After 10 days, underground roots will appear on the stem, where the buds from the air roots are located. Now the shoot needs to be pulled out of the sand and cut in such a way that there is a leaf and roots on each cuttings. Cuttings can not be kept in water until the roots appear, for this you just need to treat them with a special powder. When the cuttings take root, they are planted in a finished pot or soil.
The soil when growing this unpretentious plant must be constantly moistened. In summer, watering should be abundant, in winter - moderate. Ivy responds well to frequent spraying. This plant prefers fertile soil. Ivy is responsive to any kind of feeding. The ends of the shoots must be pinched periodically - this will give the plant thick foliage and more decorative effect.
You can transplant ivy once every two years into a pot with a larger diameter than the previous one. For better development and growth, the plant must be grown in a bright and illuminated place.
Ivy, although rare, is still exposed to diseases and various pests. If the room is warm, then the plant is affected by the scale insect. In this case, the damaged stems must be cut off, and the plant must be moved to a colder place. If you notice that the ivy leaves turn yellow and fall off, then this indicates a lack of moisture.
Useful properties of ivy
Ivy has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is used as an astringent, emetic, laxative. Ivy alcoholic tincture is used to lower blood pressure and remove warts. A decoction made from this plant helps cure coughs and relieve headaches. Due to the fact that preparations based on the plant have a hemolytic property, ivy is taken to maintain the tone of all vessels of the body.
Ivy contains organic acids, iodine, glycosides, thanks to which ivy is used as a general tonic.
Even in ancient times, ivy was used in folk medicine. On the basis of this plant, preparations are prepared for cough and whooping cough, bronchitis and asthma. Ivy is used for diseases of the respiratory tract and bronchial inflammation of a chronic nature. Ivy contains a huge amount of iodine, so it is used for hyperthyroidism.
Ivy preparations help with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, gout and rheumatism. Infusion and tincture of ivy are used for catarrh of various kinds. Ivy is also used externally - as a means for washing in the presence of a skin disease.
Ivy decoction for skin diseases. To prepare it, you need to take 1 tablespoon of crushed ivy leaves and pour 200 ml of boiling water over them. Let's put everything in a water bath for half an hour. After removing the composition from the water bath, take the gauze, put it in 3 layers and filter the product. The resulting broth is brought to the original volume with boiling water. Take this medicine three times a day, 1 tablespoon. The same broth can be used for washing.
Broth for rickets. 1 teaspoon of plant leaves is poured into 400 ml of cold boiled water and infused for 1 hour. After straining, the broth is taken 4 times a day for a quarter of a glass.
Ivy for the flu. To prepare this medicine, you need to take fresh ivy leaves, squeeze the juice out of them and combine it with the same amount of garlic juice. This juice must be dripped into the nose and nasopharynx. The same medicine can be used for chronic head pain.
Ivy for sore throat. You need to take 10 grams of plant leaves and boil them in old wine, adding a pinch of salt there. Rinse a sore throat with a slightly hot broth.
Contraindications to the use of ivy
Ivy should only be used in moderate doses, otherwise an excessive dose will lead to poisoning. Some people may be allergic to this plant.
The author of the article: Sokolova Nina Vladimirovna | Phytotherapist
Education: Diploma in "General Medicine" and "Therapy" received at the Pirogov University (2005 and 2006). Advanced training at the Department of Phytotherapy at the Peoples' Friendship University of Moscow (2008).
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