A series of photographs of me foraging Common Ivy was the winner of the ‘Living Sustainbly’ category of the Liverpool City Region 2023 Photo Awards.
Since October 2022, I have been forging a relationship with Hedera Helix- English Ivy. As a practising forager, I have been widening my knowledge of wild plants that I can consume internally as well as those that can be used externally and in different ways. In the case of Ivy, I have been harvesting the plant’s leaves to create a natural laundry detergent. A surfactant, anti-septic and anti-bacterial, when Ivy is boiled the leaves release foaming substances called saponins. Saponins are steroids that dissolve in water and create froth that can be used to make natural soaps.
After reading that many brands marketed as ‘eco-friendly’ aren’t as eco as I had thought, I decided to research alternatives. Hedera Helix can be found everywhere. Using just fresh Ivy and water, what makes this plant even more incredible is that preparing and extracting the saponins is very easy and with the plant being evergreen it is available to us all year round.