Dried Ivy Leaf Extract – Naturopathic Cough Remedy

The erratic weather conditions predisposes one to the common cold if proper preventions were not taken. Many have complained of persistent cold and cough symptoms that can last an entire month. I too, was not spared, when both my boys caught the bug. Typically, I do not take any medication, preferring to rest and allow my body’s natural immune system fight the infection. However, the cough that I developed made it difficult for me to rest well . It was then necessary for me to visit my family physician to obtain an official rest order to excuse myself from work. Due to my pregnancy, my family physician prescribed me an atypical cough mixture, which was not only safe for me but also suitable for infants and children. This became a life saver in my household.

Abrilar / Prospan Dried Ivy Leaf Extract Cough Syrup


Made from dried ivy leaf extract, this cough syrup is alcohol and sugar free and is safe for pregnancy, infants and diabetics. The formula is non drowsy and has the most delicious taste you can hope for in a medication. It is so yummy that my eldest begs to drink this and my youngest helps himself to it. It is easily available in the pharmacies without a prescription , costing less than SGD $9 for a 100ml bottle.

Mechanism of Action
This cough syrup is an expectorant, which promotes bronchial fluid secretion, reduce mucous viscosity and relaxes the bronchus.

My Review

There has been much flak about the use of cough syrups in young children. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics has denounced the use of over the counter cough mixtures for children less than 6 years old. Hence, it was great to find this herbal cough syrup which has none of the addictive properties of common cough mixtures. There are no major side effects, except being a mild laxative as reported by MIMS Singapore.

It is easy to suspect that the formulation might be so mild, rendering it ineffective. On the contrary, it works pretty well. Recommended to take a week, one can feel the cough symptoms subsiding by the third day of intake. Quite impressive don’t you think?

I was convinced that this might be another TCM herb repackaged and marketed by Western medicine. I found out that this herb is called 洋常春藤叶。It has its record in historical chinese herbalogy classics like the <本草纲目拾遗>。There has been no mention of it used in the treatment of cough. However, this herb is said to enter the lungs, liver and spleen meridians in TCM philosophy. These three systems constitute the major internal causes of cough. Hence, its use as a cough remedy though not a direct link can be justified. Moreover, the use of dried ivy leaf extract has its roots in ancient Europe, in another branch of complementary medicine known as naturopathy where its use and effectiveness has been validated.

For the skeptics, this journal article may validate your claims. In any case, this cough syrup has its place in my home, since it is the only cough syrup that my children willingly drink from now and the fact that I do see it working for me and my family.

Have you tried it today?



  1. We have used Prospan for five years now, ever since our paediatrician prescribed it instead of the usual cough medications. It being available over the counter is a bonus, and my kids like the taste of it.

  2. Thanks for sharing! I’ve also always been a little suspicious of how well it can work given it seems to mild, but I don’t want my kids to be too dependent on strong medication so for common coughs and colds it’s usually Prospan and Zrytec. And after a week or so I just stop giving it to them (sometimes also lazy lah) and let them recover naturally.

    • Same here…the course of a flu or cough should run approximately a week. Administration of medication is typically for the relief of symptoms. We should allow their natural immunity to recover and fight back.

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