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Folklore of the Ivy (Eidhneán)

By SilentOwl

Ivy – constancy – the Latin name, hedera, derives from the Celtic word for ‘cord’ and Druids revere the plant and often use it in their rites.

In Irish folk medicine, the main use of ivy has been in the treatment of corns. In Ireland, burns and scalds were also treated with an ointment made from the boiled leaves and fat and it was also used to stop bleeding and reduce inflammation.

Like many other evergreens, it symbolizes the concept of eternity; a belief in everlasting life and resurrection after death. Because it is often found growing on dead and decayed trees, it came to represent the immortal soul – which lives on even after the body has returned to the earth. Yet at the same time, because it was often found in sites of death (including cemeteries and old tombstones) it was also viewed as an emblem of mortality. In some old beliefs, if ivy fails to grow on a grave, it symbolizes a restless soul; ivy growing abundantly on a young woman’s grave indicates death from a broken heart.

Read the original article at: Silent Owl

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