Legend has it that it was an ivy plant, created on purpose by Gea, the Earth, to protect the newborn Dionysus, the future god of the festivity and the vine, from the fury and thunderbolts of Zeus. And so Dionysus grew up bringing to Earth the joy and cheerfulness of his parties in which he always participated with a crown... of ivy obviously, the plant that was sacred to him and that he considered his protector. But the protective action of ivy went even further. In fact, in ancient times it was believed that this plant could decrease the effects of wine. As the testimonies of the time report, ancient Greeks and Romans used to consume decoctions of ivy to counteract hangovers. In short, whether it is against fire or wine, ivy has always been the plant that symbolizes protection, one of the oldest remedies, even born within a myth. But, as often happens, legend and myth have a truth in them and this case is no exception. Ivy can really become a valuable remedy and protect against some annoying conditions. Today we will talk about the cosmetic use of ivy and how this plant can improve swollen and heavy legs and cellulite.
Ivy, properties proven by science
Common ivy, scientific name Hedera Helix, is an ingredient often found in preparations for topical use to counteract swelling of the legs and ankles and cellulite. In fact, studies have shown that ivy is able to counteract fluid stagnation, to drain the lymphatic system and to improve microcirculation (Ymam et al, J Clin Aesthet Dermatol, 2018). An alteration of microcirculation causes edema of the lower limbs and is considered the main cause of cellulite, since blood circulation is 35% lower in the regions affected by this disorder (Piotrowska et al, Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2022 - Chao et al, Diabetes Technol Ther, 2012). Not only that, cellulite is favored by other factors, such as chronic inflammation and alterations of the extracellular matrix, which is the part of the tissue that holds the cells together. Well, ivy has been shown to bring improvements in both conditions (Piotrowska et al, Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2022). Thanks to these results provided by scientific studies, it is possible to say that ivy helps in case of heaviness in the legs, localized stagnation in the lower limbs and cellulite.
Ivy, here is the draining and anti-cellulite bath
Get two handfuls of fresh ivy, you will find it growing spontaneously practically everywhere. In any case, try to avoid the leaves of plants exposed to pollution and, if your plant grows in the city, look for younger leaves less exposed to dust and toxins. Rinse the leaves well before using them. Add the crushed and roughly broken leaves to a liter of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, then filter. Pour the decoction into the hot bath water and immerse yourself for at least 15 minutes. You can make the bath even more beneficial by adding two handfuls of coarse salt, which helps improve skin hydration and fights inflammation (Proksch et al, Int J Dermatol, 2005). Finally, once you have finished your bath, rinse your body with cold water by directing the jet from the bottom up.