Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine / 2011 / Article / Tab 3

Review Article

Systematic Review of Clinical Trials Assessing the Effectiveness of Ivy Leaf (Hedera Helix) for Acute Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

Table 3

Summary of the results of included studies.

ReferenceDiagnosisTreatmentOutcomes assessed (selection)*ResultsStatistics**
Intervention groupControl groupIntervention groupControl group

Ivy leaf extract versus placebo

Kemmerich et al. 2006 Acute bronchitis Ivy + Thyme (syrup) PlaceboChange in frequency of coughing fits (relative reduction), time to cessation of fits, Bronchitis severity score (BSS), Response to treatment (AD) Frequency of coughing fits 77.6%, Frequency of coughing fits 55.9%,
Time to a 50% reduction in fits 6d,Time to a 50% reduction in fits 8d,
BSS (8.2 →1.6),BSS (8.3 →3.3),
Response rate 96.2%Response rate 74.7%

Ivy leaf extract versus conventional expectorant therapy

Bolbot et al. 2004 Acute bronchitis Ivy (syrup) AcetylcysteineFVC, FEV1, PEF, Change in symptoms cough frequency, sputum, shortness of breath, respiratory pain, Global assessment of efficacy (based on symptoms) (AD) FVC ↑ FVC ↑ s
FEV1 ↑FEV1 ↑s
PEF ↑PEF ↑s
Global efficacy rated as very good in 40.0%Global efficacy rated as very good in 12.5%s

Comparison of different formulations of ivy

Unkauf and Friedrich 2000 Acute bronchitis Ivy (syrup) Ivy (syrup)Severity of bronchitis assessed on visual analogue scale (AD), Frequency and quality of coughSeverity (on scale 67.3 mm)Severity (on scale 64.2 mm) for equivalence
After treatment 26.9% without bronchitisAfter treatment 36.5% without bronchitisns

Observational studies (OSs)

Büechi and Kähler 2003 Acute bronchitis, common cold Ivy (pastilles) n.a.Change in symptoms urge to cough and sputum quantity on a scale (1–4) (AD), Global assessment of efficacy (AD, AP)Urge to cough
(2.7 → 1.3)
n.a.no statistics
Sputum quantity (1.5 →1.1)
Efficacy rated as very good or good in 78% (AD) and 77% (AP)
Büechi et al. 2005 Acute and chronic bronchitis, common cold Ivy + Thyme (syrup) n.a.Change in symptoms urge to cough, sputum quantity, sputum consistency, ease of expectoration on a scale (1–4), Global assessment of efficacy (AD, AP)Change of median symptom score for urge to cough, sputum consistency and ease of expectoration 3 → 1, for sputum quantity
2 → 1, Efficacy rated as very good or good in 86% (AD) and 90% (AP)
n.a.no statistics
Fazio et al. 2009Acute and chronic bronchitis, coughIvy (syrup)n.a.Change in symptoms cough, expectoration, shortness of breath, respiratory pain (AD)Improvement or cure for cough in 93.4%, expectoration 92.9%, shortness of breath 91.2%, pain 90.8%n.a.no statistics
Hecker 1999BronchitisIvy (syrup)n.a.Change in symptoms cough, expectoration, shortness of breath, respiratory pain on a scale (1–4) (AD), Global assessment of efficacy (AD)Improvement or cure for cough in 91.3%, expectoration 87.5%, shortness of breath 57.7%, pain 60.9%, Efficacy rated as very good or good in 86%n.a.no statistics
Leskow 1985Acute and chronic bronchitis, chesty cough, pertussisIvy (drops)n.a.Change in symptoms cough, expectoration, shortness of breath (AD)Improvement or cure for cough in 96.4%, expectoration 100%, shortness of breath 100%n.a.no statistics
Marzian 2007Acute bronchitisIvy+Thyme (syrup)n.a.Change in frequency of coughing fits, Bronchitis severity score (BSS),Improvement yes/no (AD)Coughing fits (25.1/d → 4.7/d), BSS (8.9 → 1.2), Improvement or cure in 94%n.a.no statistics
Santoro Júnior 2005BronchitisIvy (syrup)  n.a.Change in symptoms cough and shortness of breath, Auscultation results (AD)Cough (98.8% → 5.4% of patients), shortness of breath
Auscultation: rales
n.a.s

n.a. = not applicable, ns = not statistically significant, s = statistically significant, FVC = forced vital capacity, PEF = peak expiratory flow, FEV1 = forced expiratory volume in one second, AD = assessment by doctor, AP = assessment by patient, *only outcome parameters reported in a manner allowing comparison between groups are listed (RCT/CCT), for OS: selected relevant outcomes. **if reported: -value for intervention compared to control. For OS: -value for baseline compared to after treatment.

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