Honeysuckle flowers always seem to bring back nostalgic memories of my childhood. When its fragrance wafts through my windows this time of year, a vivid image of playing in the creeks, picking honeysuckles and sucking out the sweet nectar always comes to mind.
What you may not know is that this invasive species was actually introduced to the US by Chinese immigrants in the mid-1800's. Knowing that it could flourish easily, it was used as a reliable and accessible herbal remedy for symptoms of the common cold.
Today, in Chinese herbalism we still utilize the flower of the honeysuckle plant to clear heat, resolve toxicity, cool the blood and alleviate thirst. Its sweet, cooling and lightweight nature guides it to the upper body, clearing heat from the lungs and stomach. This tiny flower has been shown to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, which is why it is so commonly used for febrile conditions. It is used to treat the early stages of a fever, sore throat, headache, thirst, perspiration as well as dermatological sores and abscesses. Who would have thought that this fragrant little flower was so powerful!