Medicinal Shrubs and Woody Vines: Lonicera, Honeysuckle


  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,623 admin

    We have 5 species of Lonicera that are native in BC although most are in southern BC. In my area, we have L. involucrata. There are other species that have escaped cultivation but haven't become invasive.

    L. involucrata is an emetic/purgative as one of my neighbour's discovered. They were out for firewood and came across a patch of huckleberries, so he cut firewood while she picked huckleberries. He thought he'd munch on a few berries while he was working. By the time they got home, he was already starting to look a bit grey. This was followed by several hours of cramping, sweating, vomiting and sitting on the toilet. Turns out he wasn't paying attention to which berries he was eating. He'd consumed quite a few black twinberries.

    I have found quite a few recent studies indicating the effectiveness of L. japonica for upper respiratory infections. More have taken place since COVID. Its in some TCM combinations that also includes forsythia.

    We also have a haskap (Lonicera caerulea) farm in our area. First harvest was this year. These berries are being promoted as healthier than blueberries with higher antioxidants and anthocyanins plus an anthocyanin specific to haskaps. One study has shown improvements in cognition, mood and blood pressure in seniors when taking a haskap extract.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,455 admin

    I'm looking forward to planting some honey berries or haskap - something I've been meaning to do for quite a while. SInce I've gotten into basket weaving, I've developed a whole new appreciation for honey suckle and other vining plants!