Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wild Honeysuckle

There are some 180 species of honeysuckle, including the native wild flower, also known as woodbine. These range from stocky evergreen bushes to vigorous climbers.

Honeysuckle can be either deciduous or evergreen. The flowers are trumpet shaped, about 2 inches long, have a strong fragrance that attracts both hummingbirds and butterflies and can be pink, purple, red, white or yellow. Vines can grow as tall as 25 feet and produces either a fruit that is orange or berries that are red. The honeysuckle will bloom from summer through fall. This beauty can become invasive.

I found this vine snaking up the trees on the Chehalis Western Trail in Olympia, Washington.

Interesting medicinal facts:

Honeysuckle is an herb used primarily in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is found in many cleansing and detoxifying blends because of its ability to clear heat, wind and toxins from the blood and liver. It is commonly used for sore throat, fever, skin blemishes and rashes. Honeysuckle combines well with chrysanthemum flowers.

Honeysuckle contains tannins which are being studied for it's possible inhibitory effects on HIV. Over fifty compounds have been identified in the essential oil of the flowers.

Topically, honeysuckle may be used effectively for fever and skin ailments and rashes. Many skin conditions caused by inflammation or internal heat will benefit from the heat and toxin removing actions of the herb.

Warning: Leaves contain toxins

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