Season 7 Episode 7: Ground Ivy
with Val Alcorn

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Ground Ivy with Val Alcorn

Would you prefer watching or reading this episode? If so, click here for the 'How to Use Ground Ivy' video and transcript.

Episode Summary

It’s always exciting to hear about a little known herb with powerful medicinal action, especially when it also happens to grow abundantly. And that’s what you have to look forward to in this conversation about ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) with Val Alcorn! 

You’ll also receive Val’s recipe for an Upper Respiratory Tincture which contains ground ivy. This is a formula she describes as ideal for “heavy, stagnant congestion and/or pain in the upper respiratory system.” 

By the end of this episode, you’ll know:

► Are there ever any advantages to invasive plants?

► Why look at how herbs were used ancestrally?

► How following your curiosity and intuition can lead to powerful medicine

If you don’t already know Val, she is an herbalist, herb farmer, writer and artist living on Anishinaabe land in what is now Michigan. Her goal is to connect people with the stories and the medicine of the plants so that we may heal body and spirit with curiosity and reciprocity. She crafts a variety of herbal tools and goods with a focus on herbal bitters and runs a brick-and-mortar store in Gladwin, Michigan.

I’m so grateful to share our conversation with you today!

I feel like everybody’s so excited about the exotic plants, the adaptogens, those buzzword herbs, but sometimes I feel like the most common plants are the most powerful.


What You'll Learn from This Episode

  • [01:09] Introduction to Val Alcorn
  • [02:42] How Val found her way onto her herbal path
  • [08:09] Why Val chose ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) as a topic for this conversation
  • [12:04] Ground ivy look alikes and ID tips
  • [13:13] When to harvest ground ivy
  • [13:58] Ground ivy medicine in medieval times
  • [18:24] Ground ivy upper respiratory tincture recipe
  • [23:02] How Val became interested in bitters
  • [30:45] Val’s YouTube channel
  • [33:25] The 2023 Lunica planner and gardening by the moon
  • [41:34] Advice for those just starting out on their herbal path

Get Your Free Recipe!

This is an ideal tincture for heavy, stagnant congestion and/or pain in the upper respiratory system. Ground ivy helps to drain mucus and relieve allergy symptoms, while barberry supports immune response and mullein lowers inflammation.


  • 1 oz barberry root
  • 5 oz fresh ground ivy aerial parts (or 2 oz dried, though fresh is preferable)
  • 2 oz mullein leaf
  • 25 oz high proof alcohol


  1. Add all ingredients into a large mason jar. If the ground ivy you are using is fresh, be sure to chop it up into small pieces before adding to the jar.
  2. Pour all of the alcohol into the jar. If there is plant material that is not covered by the alcohol, use a large spoon to press it down so that it is completely covered. You can also add plant material and alcohol to a blender and pulse it a few times to infuse them more thoroughly.
  3. Cover the jar mouth with cheesecloth and cap. Store in a dark cabinet for one month, shaking daily.
  4. Strain the tincture into amber bottles.

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Rosalee is an herbalist and author of the bestselling book Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Healand co-author of the bestselling book Wild Remedies: How to Forage Healing Foods and Craft Your Own Herbal Medicine. She's a registered herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild and has taught thousands of students through her online courses. Read about how Rosalee went from having a terminal illness to being a bestselling author in her full story here.  

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