Herb: Nepal Ivy
Latin name: Hedera nepalensis
Family: Araliaceae (Ginseng Family)
Medicinal use of Nepal Ivy:The leaves and the berries are said to be cathartic, diaphoretic and stimulant. A decoction of the plant is used to treat skin diseases.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Moist stones and tree stems at elevations of 1600 - 3000 metres in Nepal.
Propagation of Nepal Ivy:Seed - remove the flesh, which inhibits germination, and sow the seed in spring in a cold frame. Four weeks cold stratification will improve germination. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a shady position in a frame. Good percentage. Cuttings of mature wood, 12cm long, November in a cold frame. Layering. Plants often do this naturally.
Cultivation of the herb:Moist stones and tree stems at elevations of 1600 - 3000 metres in Nepal.
Known hazards of Hedera nepalensis:Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, the following notes are for the closely related Hedera helix and quite possibly are relavent here. The plant is said to be poisonous in large doses although the leaves are eaten with impunity by various mammals without any noticeable harmful affects. The leaves and fruits contain the saponic glycoside hederagenin which, if ingested, can cause breathing difficulties and coma. The sap can cause dermatitis with blistering and inflammation. This is apparently due to the presence of polyacetylene compounds.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.