You have most likely seen honeysuckle growing alongside the road or creeping up fences as ornamental plants. But these colorful plants are more than just a pretty decoration — they have many practical uses as well. Honeysuckles are very often used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
In TCM, the honeysuckle flower is commonly used to help ease the flu, colds and sore throat. According to Science Alert,11 this plant has the ability to prevent the influenza virus from replicating. An animal study published in the journal Cell Research supports this, as it found that honeysuckle, when combined with a plant microRNA called MIR2911, was able to suppress swine flu and bird flu viruses effectively.12
Xiao Er Ke Chuan Ling Oral Liquid (KCL), an herbal preparation that uses honeysuckle and nine other plants, was found to help treat acute bronchitis in children. A study in the Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine said KCL has antiviral, antibacterial and potent pharmacological actions.13
Honeysuckle was also found to have wound-healing properties in rat models, according to the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal.
Aside from showing antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli (E. coli), Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans and Candida tropicalis, an ointment prepared with honeysuckle extract “exhibited potent wound healing capacity as evidenced by the wound contraction in the excision wound model.”14
Made from the flowers, honeysuckle essential oil is one of the most popular products derived from this plant. Aside from its medicinal applications, which are acquired via topical use or inhalation, this oil is also popularly used in cosmetic and bath products, exfoliators and even massage oils.
Organic Facts provides an extensive list of the uses of this oil, from hair care to skin care, and even for diseases like diabetes. However, some caution must be considered before using honeysuckle oil. For example, it may cause redness, irritation and photosensitivity, which may lead to sunburn. Diabetics who are taking blood sugar-lowering medications must use it sparingly because it can cause dangerously low blood sugar levels.20
Other known facts about honeysuckle:
- Fruits from the honeysuckle vine are rich in phenolic compounds ranging from anthocyanins to antioxidants, which are powerful for your health in numerous ways
- European honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum) and Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) are the two main honeysuckle types, Japanese honeysuckle having been used historically in Chinese medicine to treat a variety of maladies
- Honeysuckle fruit is rich in phenolic compounds comparable to those in blackberries, currants and blueberries, which a recent study says makes them a “valuable component of a healthy diet”
- Chemoprevention, mitochondrial energy metabolism and the scavenging of reactive oxygen species (ROS) are some of the dramatic benefits the compounds in honeysuckle in all of its forms can relate to your health
- Besides being antibacterial, antimicrobial and antibiotic, honeysuckle oil is used in numerous applications; you can use it for cleaning, bathing, aromatherapy and treating infections, which helps demonstrate how powerful it is
“Top 10 Benefits of Honeysuckle” by Dr. Mercola