Honeysuckle plants are something that almost anyone in the southern United States has a fond childhood memory of. Smelling the buttery sweet aroma in the air during the spring, plucking the flowers and eating them as if they were the best candy in the world. The yellow and white flowers are lining almost every street, yard, and hiking trail here in Asheville, and is one of the many things that makes our North Carolina town so special. But with the number of people becoming interested in natural medicine on the rise, we cannot forget about our friend, the Honeysuckle.
The first known use of honeysuckle was actually in China. In 659 A.D, it was recorded as a remedy for snake bites, drawing out the poison, and was reported to “cool down the patient” suffering from a fever caused by poison. The Europeans caught on and adapted the recipe they discovered to soothe women in childbirth. It was also concentrated into a fragrant oil for the home and used in perfume to promote a sense of calm throughout the day.
Honeysuckle as Natural Medicine
Today, we know a little bit more about the plant and what it can do for us in daily life. By harvesting the flowers, slightly bruising them, and putting them out in the sun with some water to naturally brew, honeysuckle tea provides small but significant benefits! The anti-inflammatory properties can be used for poison ivy, bug bites, and itchy skin. Just drink a cup of Honeysuckle Iced tea after some work in the garden and the incessant irritation from mosquito bites and plant oils will begin to fade.
The plant’s leaves are also popular for making natural mouthwash, as they contain powerful antibacterial properties and can help reduce swollen gums and bad breath, not to mention that it is a great alternative for chemical based mouthwash.
A study using rats in 2015 also showed promising signs of Diabetes treatment using honeysuckle extract. The flowering buds reduced to an oil concentrate reduced symptoms of diabetic nephropathy and decreased high glucose levels in type 2 diabetic rats.
In a world where almost every person has a bottle of prescription medicine in their home, it is extremely important to understand the medicine that grows all around us. Small steps like brewing a delicious, floral tea get us ever closer to living a clean, healthy lifestyle.
We are incredibly lucky to live here in the Appalachian mountains, where nature provides so many incredible remedies for us. Interested in making your own Honeysuckle tea this summer? Check out this link to learn how to make it safely.
As always, when using any natural medicine, make sure that you are not allergic before ingesting and always rinse your plants before adding them to an edible recipe. Visit our store in Downtown Asheville or get in touch with us by leaving a message here.