Alehoof, Glechoma Hederacea

Common Names: cats-foot, ground-ivy, gill-go-by-ground, and gill-creep-by-ground, turnhoof, hay-maids, and alehoof.

Description: Sports square stems and leaves, with rounded lobes on their edge, attaching to the stems in an opposite arrangement with hairy upper surfaces. The flowers are bilaterally symmetrical with a funnel shape, growing in clusters of 2 to 3 in the leaf axils.

History                                                                                                                                 Alehoof was used by the early Saxons to clarify and preserve beer before the introduction of hops. (‘Hofe’-the old english for herb.) The ancient herbalists wrote that tea from the herb was a cure for sciatica and bad backs as well as mouth ulcers, insaity, and regulation of the heart beat. It was used to prevent scurvy due to the high vitamin C content.

Traditionally it has been used to treat an assortment of conditions: chest and sinus infections, coughs, indigestion, fevers, headaches, stomach pains, colic in babies, weak backs, kidney disease.  The herb was also used at one time to cure ‘painter’s poisining’ due to the power to remove heavy metals including lead from the body in the days of lead based paints.

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