Many are familiar with the sweetly fragrant scent of honeysuckle. Its climbing vines are wonderful to walk by when its flowers are in bloom. It is not surprising that it is a symbol of happiness. Because its vines are hardy and clinging, it is also a symbol of devotion and everlasting bonds.
While the Western variety, Lonicera periclymenum, can be used medicinally, it is the Eastern variety, L. japonica, that has the longest medicinal history. Indeed, in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) it is considered one of the 50 Fundamental Herbs and is commonly used to treat a variety of acute infectious diseases, including colds and flu, and even encephalitis.
In TCM the berries of L. japonica are known for their immune system supporting properties. Not all varieties have edible berries. The dwarf (Diervilla lonicera) and Tartarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) have toxic berries.
Find out more about Honeysuckle (Jin Yin Hua).