The Power of Honeysuckle
Honeysuckle is more than just a beautiful flower. Many turn to the traditional honeysuckle herb for its healthy immune support properties and have done so for centuries.
History of Honeysuckle
The first written account of honeysuckle used in medicine was in the Tang Ben Cao, written in 659 AD. It’s one of the most important Chinese herbs for clearing poisons from the body.
It was a remedy to “remove heat” from the body and treat ailments ranging from snake bites to childbirth. Since then, honeysuckle has been used in many parts of the world as a powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent. Honeysuckle herb is an amazing agent for healthy immune support.
Uses of Honeysuckle in TCM
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), another name for honeysuckle is Jin Yin Hua, which means “golden silver flower”. It has cooling properties, making it perfect for clearing “heat” and relieving toxicity. Heat, in TCM, is either a deficiency in Yin, or an excess of Yang. Both of which cause imbalance in the body, and can cause health problems.
TCM Flavor and Temperature Profile
“Cold” herbs restore balance in the body. Honeysuckle is one of these cold herbs, so it can clear inflammatory and infectious conditions, or “internal heat”.
Honeysuckle is also a “sweet” herb. Sweet herbs slow down acute reactions and detoxify the body in TCM. Honeysuckle also replenishes Qi, the energy source within the body.
Major Organ Groups affected by Honeysuckle
Honeysuckle targets the stomach, heart, and lung meridians. Meridians are the energetic channels through which Qi travels in the body. The stomach receives and ingests foods into the body, and is important as it is the center of good digestion.
The heart is in charge of regulating blood flow and is the “spirit” or center of vitality. The lungs perform respiration and are a key part of the production chain for Qi. So it’s important to keep these organs healthy, and according to TCM, adding honeysuckle to your diet can do that.
Modern Studies of Honeysuckle
In a recent study, scientists looked at the honeysuckle plant and found a microRNA called MIR2911. MicroRNAs are small molecules in plants and animals that play an important role in influencing the pathways responsible for many diseases.
Studies on Flu Virus
In clinical trials, this molecule was able to suppress influenza A viruses such as the swine and bird flu. This suggests that honeysuckle contains a broad spectrum of antiviral activity. Someday, western medicine might harness the power of honeysuckle in medical treatments with these active components.
Honeysuckle studies on other common health issues
Other clinical studies showed that honeysuckle lowered body temperature and reduced inflammation in cases of fever in study participants. Honeysuckle proved effective against the common cold and pneumonia in case studies.
Chemical Compounds of Honeysuckle
Honeysuckle is rich in phenolic compounds, a molecular group which can have antioxidant and health-promoting properties. It is also high in flavonoids that ease inflammation, and promote neuronal plasticity- both of which are important to health.
One reason that honeysuckle is so powerful as an antibacterial ingredient could be because of its high concentration of aromadendrene. Aromadendrene is a naturally occurring chemical structure which may stop bacterial growth.
Overall Health with Honeysuckle
Honeysuckle is also used for deficiencies in the spleen or stomach. It’s been used medicinally as a diuretic and antiviral ingredient. Honeysuckle might even be helpful for soothing digestive issues stemming from inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.
Honeysuckle is not just important for the internal health of the body. It is used as a wash for sores, boils, swelling and inflammation, due to its antibacterial properties.
Healthy Blood Pressure Support
Honeysuckle is an important component in the TCM formulas that support healthy blood pressure levels. For this type of formula, honeysuckle and chrysanthemum are crucial because they are both cooling herbs
Honeysuckle Supports Healthy Immunity
Traditional Chinese herbalism has many applications for honeysuckle when it comes to supporting healthy immunity. In TCM, the herb is an ingredient in antibacterial formulas, to help fight infections and inflammation, along with fevers.
Everyday use of Honeysuckle
When it comes to cold and flu season, adding honeysuckle tea to your routine could be incredibly beneficial. Many people reach for Honeysuckle tea to help fight the common cold.
TCM recommends using the herb for upper respiratory tract infections because of its lung supporting benefits. Those with asthma often use Honeysuckle to soothe and clear the airways.
Powerful but Humble
Honeysuckle oil is a popular ingredient in skin and hair care, as well as in aromatherapy to relieve stress. It can also be a cleaning agent, when combined with water and vinegar. Even more common is the use of honeysuckle as an ingredient in many Chinese foods and beverages.
Traditional Chinese Medicine for Everyday Life
Yet, this potent flower can do so much more. It is a staple in TCM for balancing and detoxifying the body, and may support a healthy immune system by fighting bacteria and viruses. As new research is always emerging, there is plenty more we are excited to learn about this humble flower.
Our Absolute Honeysuckle Tea is a delicious way to add this incredible herb to your daily life. It’s the easiest and tastiest way to receive the full benefits of the amazing Honeysuckle.
Zhou, Zhen, et al. “Honeysuckle-Encoded Atypical microRNA2911 Directly Targets Influenza A Viruses.” Cell Research, vol. 25, no. 1, July 2014, pp. 39–49., doi:10.1038/cr.2014.130.
Foster, Steven, et al. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America. Houghton Mifflin Co., 2000.
Schlotzhauer, William S., et al. “Volatile Constituents from the Flowers of Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera Japonica).” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, vol. 44, no. 1, 1996, pp. 206–209., doi:10.1021/jf950275b.
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