Honeysuckle Flower (Lonicera periclymenum & Lonicera japonica)
Honeysuckle can be found in our woodlands & hedgerows, it is a commonly used flower in China, known as Jin Yin Hua & is becoming ever more popular here too. Honeysuckle is useful for treating inflammation, especially the throat, eyes, sinus’, breasts & skin.
The flowers can be drunk as a refreshing herbal tea regularly, especially if you are prone to inflammatory disorders, a large pinch of flowers can be added to a mug, covered in freshly boiled water & drunk warm or left to cool.
For sore throats it combines well with Licorice root which is available in tea bag form at many large supermarkets. A large handful of Honeysuckle flowers in a big café tier & one Licorice root tea bag should make about three cups which can be drunk throughout the day.
A stronger tea of the flowers can be used externally as a wash for sore, inflamed & infected wounds to encourage a speedier recovery. This tea can also be used as a poultice for angry patches of eczema & psoriasis.
Combined with Elderflower as a tea, they would be useful for sinusitis & acute symptoms of hay fever, especially if the eyes are very red & irritated.
For colds & fevers they can be used with other diaphoretic herbs, which open the pores & stimulate sweating such as Elderflower, Chamomile, Peppermint, Yarrow & a little fresh Ginger root.
For painful urination with burning sensation, they can be added to Nettle, Dandelion & Cleavers tea.
Adding Honeysuckle flowers to any herbal formula will make it tackle inflammation or ‘Heat’ more efficiently.
All in all, they are a safe & useful herb to have at home. Collecting & drying Honeysuckle is easy, the flowers need to be picked just before they open & dried on a flat surface away from direct sunlight or as I do, thrown in one of those Ikea netted tubes for socks etc… & tossed by hand occasionally to help them dry.
You can find recipes online for Honeysuckle syrups, cordials, cakes & jelly… they are probably simplest & most effective used as tea, but it is good to incorporate local plants into our lives in as many ways as possible.