hist-brewing: Gill-over-the-ground

Cindy Renfrow renfrow at skylands.net
Mon May 3 20:33:25 PDT 1999

>"Abbott, Ruth" wrote:
>> I want to harvest the gill (aka ground ivy) from my yard and brew with it,
>> but I can't seem to find out any details on how to go about it.  Can anyone
>> help?
>> Alix, brewster
>CAUTION : Some breeds of Ivy are toxic , make sure you have the right kind


Ground ivy (alehoof) is a mint (Labiatae), Glechoma hederacea L.  No
relation to Hedera helix. Hedera helix (English Ivy), according to Gleason
& Cronquist, is related to ginseng (Araliaceae), & according to Britton &
Brown, it's related to grapes (Vitaceae).

The only reference I have to alehoof being used in beer is for the purpose
of clarifying the brew.  It is used in this mead recipe:


Take of the Roots of Colts-foot, Fennel and Fearn [sic] each four Ounces.
Of Succory-roots, Sorrel-roots, Strawberry-roots, Bitter-sweet-roots, each
two Ounces, of Scabious-roots and Elecampane-roots each an Ounce and a
half.  Ground-ivy, Hore-hound, Oak of Jerusalem, Lung-wort, Liver-wort,
Maiden-hair, Harts-tongue of each two good-handfulls.  Licorish four
Ounces.  Jujubes, Raisins of the Sun and Currents, of each two Ounces; let
the roots be sliced, and the herbs be broken a little with your hands; and
boil all these in twenty quarts of fair running water, or, if you have it,
in Rain water, with five Pints of good white honey, until one third part be
boiled away; then pour the liquor through a jelly bag often upon a little
Coriander-seeds, and Cinnamon; and when it runneth very clear, put it into
Bottles well stopped, and set it cool for your use, and drink every morning
a good draught of it, and at five in the afternoone. (From The Closet of
Sir Kenelme Digby...Opened, 1669.)


Cindy Renfrow
renfrow at skylands.net
Author & Publisher of "Take a Thousand Eggs or More, A Collection of 15th
Century Recipes" and "A Sip Through Time, A Collection of Old Brewing

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