Ground ivy appears to be generally safe for most adults when used in the amounts normally found in food and supplements. Side effects such as irritation of the kidneys and the lining of the gastrointestinal tract can occur if doses larger than the recommended daily amount are taken. Rarely, ground ivy can cause swelling of throat, laboured breathing, and liver damage.
Ground ivy may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners (e.g., warfarin, enoxaparin), ASA (Aspirin®), iron, birth control pills, and fluphenazine.
Do not use ground ivy together with pennyroyal. Both of these herbs contain an oil called pulegone, which can damage the liver. Taking these herbs together may increase the risk of liver damage.
People with any of the following conditions should not use ground ivy:
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- seizure disorders
Do not use ground ivy if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Do not use ground ivy if you are allergic to it or to any plants from the Lamiaceae family (e.g., mint, rosemary, basil, oregano, lavender).
Consult a health care provider if any of the symptoms or conditions being treated with ground ivy persist or worsen. Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.