Hedera helix (Ivy leaf)

What is Hedera helix?

Hedera helix, commonly known as Ivy, is an evergreen climbing plant native to Europe and Western Asia. Able to grow up to 30m high, Hedera helix produces small flowers in autumn and berries which ripen in winter. Extracts from the plant’s leaves are used to help relieve symptoms of chesty coughs.

The history of Hedera helix

Hippocrates, the ancient physician renowned as the “father of medicine”, is responsible for one of the first recorded mentions of the medicinal application of Hedera helix in 400 BC. Throughout history, many prominent physicians have since recognised the healing power of Hedera helix ­- including Leonardo da Vinci.

Hedera helix became widely accepted as a natural method to help relieve symptoms of chesty coughs in the 19th century. Before that, and in particular during the 16th and 17th centuries, Hedera helix was used as a natural treatment for a variety of inflammatory symptoms related to various illnesses.

Today, this useful plant is used around the world to help relieve bronchial coughs.  While scientists know it’s the leaves that contain the active substances, they are still investigating the full range of the plant’s benefits.

The specific extract used by Flordis

The specific Hedera helix extract used by Flordis is known as EA 575®. EA575 is manufactured using a patented process.

Natural medicines can vary considerably depending on how they are produced. Flordis believes it’s the science behind growing, harvesting and processing that delivers the true health benefits of natural medicine. That’s why in the making of a Flordis medicine, careful attention is applied to plant species and growing methods through to cultivation and harvest, using precise processes to help produce consistent crops. This is continued with extracting and manufacturing of specific ingredients following a series of strict controls to help deliver a consistent medicine from one batch to the next.

It is this specific medicine that is tested in clinical trials. And it’s the same medicine that you receive, which is one of the reasons you can feel good about its effectiveness. Flordis medicines follow processes where all of the steps involved in the growth and manufacture of the natural medicine are tightly controlled to reduce variability and to help ensure consistency.

Flordis medicines follow processes where all of the steps involved in the growth and manufacture of the natural medicine are tightly controlled to reduce variability and to help ensure consistency.

The seed to patient journey

  • High quality Hedera helix leaves are cleaned, chopped and winnowed
  • The active ingredient, EA 575, is extracted using extraction solvent
  • The product is manufactured using a patented manufacturing process, helping to ensure a optimal dose of active substance

How it works

Hedera helix helps to relieve chesty coughs by playing a role in thinning and loosening chest mucus trapped in the bronchi (airways to the lungs), so it can be expelled. Specifically, it helps to liquefy the mucus, allowing it to be coughed up more easily.

As a result of this effect, the bronchi soothed and opened - allowing for more air to flow into the lungs.

Key studies on EA575

The EA 575 extract has been researched in numerous clinical trials, whose results have demonstrated that this particular extract has helped to relieve chesty coughs in thousands of people.1

Clinical trials and scientific studies of EA 575 together with its long history of use worldwide, demonstrate that it is a well-tolerated and effective option for the relief of chesty coughs in both children and adults.1

Since 1990, there have been 18 publications of clinical trials and non-interventional studies using EA 575 covering over 65,000 patients suffering from respiratory illnesses (both acute and chronic).1

The effectiveness and tolerability of EA 575 was tested in a large post-marketing study of over 9000 people including about 5000 children (0-14 years) who  were suffering from bronchial cough. After taking Prospan for 7 days 95% of patients reported an improvement in their symptoms. 93% of patients showed improvement of their cough and expectoration symptoms.  Tolerability of EA 575 was rated as good or very good in 96.6% of all patients. 2

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1. Lang C, et al Planta Med. 2015 Aug;81(12-13):968-74. doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1545879. Epub 2015 Apr 15. 2.  Fazio S, et al. Phytomedicine 2009 ; 16.1:17- 24.  3. Monograph – Hederae helicis folium – Ivy Leaf 24 November 2015 EMA/HMPC/586888/2014 Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC).