Honeysuckle flowers (Lonicera japonica, Caprifoliaceae) are powerfully anti-microbial and are one of the most widely used medicinals in the world.

 

honeysuckle flowers

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Honeysuckle flowers (Lonicera japonica, Caprifoliaceae) are powerfully anti-microbial and are one of the most widely used medicinals in the world. The woody vine is a common inhabitant of fields, thickets, and abandoned lots in North America. Honeysuckle is native to Asia, where it is often used for colds, flu and infections in general. It is strongly anti-bacterial and anti-viral. I use the flowers to treat hot inflamed conditions – urinary tract infections, laryngitis, sinus and ear infections, head colds, and even staph infections. Recently, we used it in conjunction with spilanthes, wild cherry, violet and onion to treat my daughter’s whooping cough.

The flowers can be picked in bud form, and also after they are opened, and tinctured fresh in alcohol. Honeysuckle flowers are also effective as a tea; we combine it with mint and lemon balm to mask its slight bitterness. The flowers can be dried and stored in jars for future use.

The vines are flowering now in many parts of the country–it’s a great time to befriend and harvest this highly versatile medicinal herb. Make sure you only pick this species; other honeysuckles are not necessarily safe or used medicinally in the same fashion. Honeysuckle has become one of my favorite herbs, as it is highly effective in treating many different types of infections. Plus, I don’t have to grow it, or worry about overharvesting it, as it is overabundant!

I would love to hear how others are using honeysuckle, and how they prepare it. This year I am experimenting with honeysuckle infused in honey, and also tequila.