Honeysuckle Some gardeners do not even realize that most of the charming plants that adorn the area around the house are not just beautiful decorative greenery, but the most natural pharmacy. Perhaps many people know what honeysuckle looks like, recognize the sweet aroma of its flowers, but at the same time do not even know how much benefit (not only in terms of decoration) this plant can bring.

What is honeysuckle

More than 250 varieties of honeysuckle are known. Among them there are upright and climbing bushes. This plant is found in large quantities in Central Asia, the Caucasus, Altai, Kamchatka, Sakhalin, Siberia, Crimea, Iran, China, Thailand, North America. But not all of them are edible or healthy for humans. The varieties with red, orange, or yellow fruits are known as wolfberries and are not suitable as food or medicine. Moreover, these are poisonous fruits. Only honeysuckle with blue berries is considered edible. These varieties are found mainly in the Far Eastern region and Eastern Siberia.

  • What is honeysuckle
  • Useful components
  • Why are different parts of the plant useful?
  • What Honeysuckle Can Cure
  • Traditional medicine recipes
  • Use in cosmetology
  • Honeysuckle essential oil
  • Overdose and side effects
  • How to procure
  • Cooking use
  • How to grow honeysuckle

Edible honeysuckle is a shrub up to 2 meters in height with large yellowish flowers and blue or blue berries, covered with a bluish bloom. Flowers on honeysuckle bushes appear in early spring, and by early summer, the branches are covered with berries. Even in ancient times, people noticed that honeysuckle ripens about 10-12 days earlier than strawberries. The berries of this culture have a pleasant sour-sweet taste, although some varieties have a characteristic bitter taste. They can be round or oblong in shape [1]

Useful components

Honeysuckle is a beautiful plant, but beauty is not the most amazing thing about it. For a long time, honeysuckle has been used as a medicine.

Its berries are a rich source of nutrients. For example, among the fruits of other shrubs, they are the leader in magnesium content. They are also rich in B vitamins, copper, iron, iodine, potassium, calcium, zinc, phenolic compounds, organic acids. One glass of fresh berries contains the daily requirement for iron and B vitamins.

Interestingly, as the berries ripen, their chemical composition changes. In particular, the concentration of acids decreases, but the content of sugars and tannins increases. The warmer the climate, the less bitterness is contained in ripe berries. In fruits ripened in cooler conditions and at high humidity, an increased content of organic acids and vitamin C is observed. Berries ripened in temperate climates are also rich in ascorbic acid, but they also contain a lot of monosaccharides.

Useful components are found not only in honeysuckle berries. Leaves, flowers, and even bark also offer human health benefits.

Chlorogenic acid can account for 0.5 to 7 percent of the total chemical composition of honeysuckle. This substance has antibiotic properties and is capable of removing carcinogens from the body. Another amazing plant component is luteolin. It is a powerful antioxidant that has an anti-inflammatory effect, plays the role of an immunomodulator, improves carbohydrate metabolism in the body [2]

Why are different parts of the plant useful?

 Honeysuckle fruits Honeysuckle fruits are used for food both fresh and for cooking decoctions. Rich in organic acids, tannins and pectin, berries are useful for digestion, improve gastric acid secretion, strengthen capillaries and protect the body from the harmful effects of heavy metal salts. Thanks to vitamin C, which is not less in honeysuckle than in lemons, berries are useful for strengthening the immune system. Fresh berry juice is also useful for treating skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis, abscesses, lichen).

Leaves and flowers have beneficial properties for the treatment of kidneys and bladder, and reduce swelling. These parts of the plant are useful as anti-inflammatory and disinfectants, making them an excellent remedy for treating diseases of the throat and eyes (in ophthalmology, infusions and compresses from the leaves of the plant have worked well). Infusion from the kidneys is used to get rid of skin rashes, to treat colds, bacterial dysentery, inflammation of the small intestine, and even syphilis. Honeysuckle flower extract helps to lower cholesterol, and is also useful in the fight against certain groups of viruses.

In herbal medicine, a decoction of the stems of this plant is used to treat acute rheumatoid arthritis. For such purposes, branches are harvested in autumn or winter. Fresh stems with honeysuckle flowers are useful for treating dysentery and upper respiratory tract diseases.

Infusions from the bark are known among herbalists as a cure for edema (has diuretic properties) and bowel diseases [2] [3]

What Honeysuckle Can Cure

 Diseases of the cardiac system Diseases of the cardiac system, hypertension, atherosclerosis, anemia - all these diseases are the reason to introduce honeysuckle into your diet. Fresh berries, as an excellent source of vitamin C, are beneficial in preventing scurvy and malaria. Preparations containing honeysuckle extract have shown themselves well in the treatment of liver and gallbladder diseases. These blue berries are good for lowering blood pressure, treating headaches and stopping nosebleeds. Some sources indicate that honeysuckle is useful for removing toxins, treating female diseases, lowering body temperature in case of fevers, and as an expectorant.

Eating honeysuckle fruit is useful after serious illness or surgery, for people with anemia, stomach or duodenal ulcer. The fruits have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, and have a beneficial effect on the respiratory tract. Berry juice helps to reduce the load on blood vessels, improves vision, is useful for preventing glaucoma, and improves brain function. And the rich content of anthocyanins and pectins gives these fruits anti-cancer properties [3]

Traditional medicine recipes

From time immemorial, honeysuckle in the form of decoctions, infusions, tinctures and oils has been used by herbalists for treatment. In Chinese tradition, this plant is often combined with ginger root, mulberry, thistle, primrose, echinacea, and other herbs.

Honeysuckle is also not alien to modern herbalists. Its extract is used to treat various diseases.

Universal recipe

 Infusion of honeysuckle This infusion is useful for hypertension, headaches, gastritis with low acidity, colitis. It is prepared from 50 g of berries (fresh or dried) and 500 ml of boiling water. Insist at least 3 hours. Take half a glass half an hour before meals (three times a day).

With edema

To get rid of puffiness, it is good to drink a decoction of honeysuckle bark. A glass of water is taken on a tablespoon of bark and boiled over low heat for a quarter of an hour. Drink 1-2 tablespoons before meals. By the way, this broth is also useful for gargling with tonsillitis.

With diarrhea

Diarrhea and some other gastrointestinal disorders are well treated with an infusion of honeysuckle leaves. A glass of boiling water will need 2-3 tablespoons of chopped leaves. Leave the medicine for 3 hours, and then drink everything.

With chronic cystitis

Grind dry leaves and stems of honeysuckle. Pour a teaspoon of the resulting powder into 1.5 cups of hot water and leave in a water bath for an hour and a half. Take a tablespoon three times a day.

Use in cosmetology

 Honeysuckle leaves Honeysuckle leaves and flowers are good for adding to baths. They have a relaxing effect, cleanse the skin, treat acne and pimples.

The sap of the plant is known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which means it is excellent for skin care. Cosmetics with the juice of this plant are useful for treating rashes, eczema, burns from poisonous plants. Lotions based on honeysuckle juice or essential oil are useful for skin care.

Honeysuckle essential oil

Decoctions and infusions are not all that can be prepared from honeysuckle at home. The fresh flowers of this fragrant plant produce a delicious essential oil, which, by the way, also has many beneficial properties. This product can be used in different ways:

  • to remove toxins from the blood and liver;
  • for headaches, fever, skin rash, indigestion;
  • with infectious diseases;
  • to facilitate breathing in asthma and chronic cough;
  • as an expectorant (add a few drops to tea);
  • in home cosmetics (lotions, shampoos, conditioners, creams - moisturize and soften the skin and hair, give a delicate aroma);
  • for soothing baths;
  • in aromatherapy;
  • for air freshening.

 Honeysuckle flowers Important note: The essential oil should not be applied to the skin undiluted with another base oil, as it may increase the skin's sensitivity to the sun.

Essential oil recipes:

  • Pour 100 g of olive oil over two tablespoons of fresh flowers and leave for 2-3 months in the dark. Keep refrigerated.
  • Pour 5 parts of any base oil over one part of the crushed honeysuckle flowers. Strain after 3 weeks.
  • Mash fresh honeysuckle flowers a little so that they release the juice, pour any oil and tightly close the vessel. After two days, strain and pour in a fresh batch of petals with the same oil. Repeat the procedure three times.
  • Overdose and side effects

    Edible berries, consumed in moderation, usually do not cause adverse reactions from the body. But very large portions of the fruit can sometimes cause allergic reactions. In some cases, an excessive increase in hemoglobin and diarrhea are possible. In children, honeysuckle berries can provoke an allergic rash.

     Edible berries With caution, honeysuckle should be treated by pregnant women and people with blood clotting problems. In these cases, the plant extract can cause bleeding or impair wound healing [2] [3]

    How to procure

    To use the healing properties of honeysuckle not only in summer, you will have to take care of stocking up. It is better to harvest the bark in early spring, dry it away from direct sunlight (for example, in the attic). The leaves are harvested during the flowering period, and the berries after full ripeness. Honeysuckle fruits can be dried, canned (prepared compotes, jams) or simply frozen.

    Cooking use

    Due to its original taste, honeysuckle is good for preparing various dishes. Juices, syrups, wines, pie fillings, desserts can be made from its fruits. But it is important to consider the variety, since different types of honeysuckle can have different tastes, from sweet and sour to bitter.

    Honeysuckle jam

     Honeysuckle jam For jam, take only fresh, undamaged berries (preferably not very sweet varieties). It is important that the fruits are ripe, but not overripe. Sort the berries, rinse, dry a little on a paper towel or clean cloth.

    Pour 200 ml of water into an enamel pot, add 1 kilogram of granulated sugar and bring to a boil while stirring. Boil the syrup for 10 minutes, then pour 1 kilogram of berries into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. After cooling (but not earlier than after 7 hours), bring to a boil again (do not forget to stir and skim off the foam if necessary). Cook for about 15 minutes, then put the finished jam in sterilized jars and roll up tightly.

    You can cook jam in another way. Cover the berries with sugar in a one-to-one ratio and leave for 4 hours. Then cook in two steps, as described above. To preserve a beautiful color, citric acid can be added to the jam (1 gram for each kilogram of berries).

    Honeysuckle flower jelly

    Ingredients for the recipe:

    • 4 cups honeysuckle flowers
    • 4 cups boiling water;
    • 4 glasses of sugar;
    • lemon juice;
    • 1 bag of pectin.

    Remove the green sepals from the flowers, add boiling water, bring to a boil and leave for 45 minutes. Strain, add sugar, lemon juice and bring to a boil again. Cool slightly, add pectin, cook for another 2 minutes, but do not boil. Pour into prepared clean jars and close tightly.

    How to grow honeysuckle

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    This plant is very unpretentious to plant and care for. This culture is propagated, as a rule, by cuttings or seedlings. Seedlings are planted in the fall, after the leaves fall. For planting in a new area, it is better to take a plant with 4-5 branches, at least 25-30 cm, with a stem thickness of 5 mm.

    Honeysuckle can be planted in any soil other than acidic soil. The distance between plants should be at least 2 meters. If the bushes should play the role of a hedge, then the distance between the seedlings should be 50-100 cm.The correct hole for the seedling should have the following parameters: 40x50x40 cm.For better growth, it is advisable to take care of the drainage layer, which is made from a mixture of sand, ash, compost and fertile soil. In order for the plant to grow quickly, it is impossible to deepen the root collar. It is important to fertilize a young plant regularly (in the spring with nitrogen fertilizers, in the summer - with phosphorus and potassium), treat the soil, and protect it from pests.

    Honeysuckle is a plant that can be very beneficial to humans. The main thing is to know when and how to use it.


    Things to know (Q&A)

    Why is honeysuckle bad?

    Invasive honeysuckle vines, which are non-native, can out-compete native plants for nutrients, air, sunlight and moisture. The vines can ramble over the ground and climb up ornamentals, small trees and shrubs, smothering them, cutting off their water supply or stopping free flow of sap in the process.

    What is honeysuckle good for?

    Honeysuckle is a plant that is sometimes called “woodbine.” The flower, seed, and leaves are used for medicine. ... Honeysuckle is also used for urinary disorders, headache, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis , and cancer. Some people use it to promote sweating, as a laxative, to counteract poisoning, and for birth control.

    Does honeysuckle like sun or shade?

    Keep your honeysuckle blooming by making sure the plant is in a spot that gets full sun . Honeysuckle will still grow, but will not bloom as much, in shady spots. Full sun means 6 or more hours of sunlight each day.

    Is it safe to eat honeysuckle?

    The flowers have a sweet nectar that is delicious, but that is the only part of the plant you should eat . The berries are poisonous. ... Honeysuckle has a beautiful aroma when in bloom. The flowers have a sweet nectar that is delicious, but that is the only part of the plant you should eat.

    Why is honeysuckle a problem?

    Highway designers use honeysuckle in order to control erosion and stabilize banks. Even though Japanese honeysuckle is a highly desirable, highly utilized ornamental, it has quickly become a problem in the U.S. due to its fast growth rate and ability to displace native plant species .

    Should I get rid of honeysuckle?

    It is best to remove them. Grow Native: Fall is a good time to remove honeysuckle from your tree line. Given the choice between keeping or replacing large invasive, non-native bush honeysuckle shrubs to screen an ugly view, homeowners often choose to keep the honeysuckl

    Why is honeysuckle so invasive?

    Invasive exotic honeysuckles are native to Asia and southern Russia. They were introduced into North America as ornamentals in the mid-18th and 19th centuries, due to their showy flowers and fruit . They were also used for wildlife food and cover, and soil erosion control. Bell's honey- suckle (L.

    Is honeysuckle good for the environment?

    Many of the characteristics that make honeysuckle exceptionally good at competing with other plants also make it exceptionally poor at holding soil in place, so an area infested with honeysuckle is likely to contribute to sediment loading of local waterway

    Is it safe to drink honeysuckle?

    When taken by mouth: Honeysuckle flower bud extract is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken as medicine for up to 8 weeks .

    How do you use honeysuckle?

    How to Use Honeysuckle Syrup

    1. Use your honeysuckle flower syrup to sweeten summer iced tea.
    2. Make homemade lemonade sweetened with honeysuckle syrup.
    3. Add a few drops of honeysuckle syrup to sparkling water.
    4. As a sweetener for your favorite cake and muffin recipes.
    5. Enjoy as a topping for ice-cream, frozen yogurt, or sorbet.

    What happens if you eat honeysuckle?

    Eating a few honeysuckle berries will likely only result in a bit of stomach upset . If large quantities of potentially poisonous berries are ingested, you may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and rapid heartbeat. In extreme cases, respiratory suppression, coma and death have been reported.

    Which honeysuckle is safe to eat?

    Varieties with edible fruits include Lonicera affinis , Lonicera angustifolia, Lonicera caprifolium, Lonicera chrysantha, Lonicera kamtchatica, Lonicera periclymenum, Lonicera ciliosa, Lonicera hispidula, Lonicera villosa solonis, Lonicera utahensis, and Lonicera villosa.

    Can you eat common honeysuckle?

    There are over 180 species of honeysuckle, some of which may be toxic to varying degrees. The flowers of a few species are considered edible , including UK native common honeysuckle, or woodbine (Lonicera periclymenum). ... Honeysuckle-infused water can be used to make refreshing sorbets, cordials or conserve

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