Seeing wild honeysuckle on a recent walk in early summer was a delightful surprise. It smells amazing and the flowers bloom between June and September.
Wild honeysuckle grows in hedgerows, woodland, scrubland and on verges.
Their flowers are edible and their uses include making sorbets, jams, jellies, vinaigrettes or to add a sweet flavour to other dishes. They can also be used in drinks such as cordials or added to fizzy water, champagne and cocktails.
Do not eat the berries because they are toxic.
Herbal Uses for Honeysuckle
Flowers, leaves and bark of the honeysuckle all have herbal uses.
The leaves are astringent which means that they cause contracting of skin cells and other body tissues. Their uses include making a gargle or a mouthwash.
Honeysuckle bark on the other hand is diuretic and its uses include supporting the body with regards to gout, kidney stones and liver problems.
I forage the flowers and buds and infuse them in honey. The flowers antiseptic qualities also make them supportive for asthma.
Infusing Honeysuckle Flowers in Honey
A big thank you once again to Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal’s “Hedgerow Medicine” for their honeysuckle flowers in honey suggestion. In fact their books are always a huge help with ideas for my foraging hauls.
If your new to foraging have a look at my “Foraging Tips for Beginners” post;
To make the honeysuckle flowers in honey I do the following;
- Place the honeysuckle flowers and buds into a clean jar. Label with the concoction’s name, date of when it will be ready to strain, and its ingredients.
- Pour over runny honey and ensure that the flowers are well covered. Then put on the jar’s lid. I use supermarkets own runny honey because its inexpensive and works well.
- Place the jar in my sunny kitchen windowsill. Its left there for two weeks but every couple of days I push the flowers down to ensure that they remain under the honey.
- After the two weeks use cheesecloth and a conical funnel to strain the honey into a clean jar. I press the flowers down with the back of a teaspoon because I want to ensure that I squeeze out as much of the precious honey as possible.
- Discard the flowers.
- Finally label the fresh jar with concoction name, straining date, expiry date, ingredients, uses and dosages. I put on an expiry date which is in one years time.
This honey may support the body with regards to;
- Bronchitis and coughs
- Colds and flu
- Hot flushes
- Sore throats
1 teaspoon for sore throats or 3 times per day.
Comparing the taste of the standard runny honey and the honeysuckle honey is surprisingly distinctly different. The honeysuckle honey is a lot sweeter and also has a deeper colour.
Take a look at “Hedgerow Medicine” and its useful suggestions for yourself;
Honey is great to use in concoctions because its easily digested and gives quick energy. In fact honey infusions are also great for children and the elderly because they coat digestive passages resulting in slow and gentle absorption.
Honeysuckle Bach Remedy
Bach flower remedies are complementary medicine preparations which are made from flowers. These remedies may help to balance the emotions and allow peace and happiness to return so that a sufferer’s body is free to heal itself.
Honeysuckle is for those who dwell on the past rather than living in the present. Sometimes they yearn to be back in the past because the past was the “good days”, or they are full of regrets.
Using the honeysuckle Back Remedy supports renewing interest in life and encourages learning to live in the present. Its said to allow you to learn from your past experiences and let them go. Being able to do this is very important for mental health. In fact this is one of the things that I talk about in my “Alternative Tips for Mental Health, Wellbeing and Balance” mini series posts. Take a look at part three to find out more;
Honeysuckle Magic and Folklore
A few interesting finds about honeysuckle include;
- Magically honeysuckle is used for clairvoyance and prosperity rituals.
- Its folk name is woodbine because of its appearance in woods and its twining ways.
- In some cultures the honeysuckle vines are a symbol of love because they twine together like lovers.
- Carrying honeysuckle which is often done to forget a lover.
- Putting a dab of honeysuckle oil onto the temples to promote memory.
- Crushing fresh flowers and rubbing them onto your forehead to increase clairvoyance powers.
Be aware that you never know if you’re intolerant to something new until you try it for the first time. Therefore only try a tiny amount first and wait a day or two to check that there is no adverse reaction.
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking any medications, always check with your doctor to ensure that using any of these suggestions don’t contradict them.
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