Herb: Italian Honeysuckle

Latin name: Lonicera caprifolium

Family: Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)

Medicinal use of Italian Honeysuckle:

The fruit is emetic and cathartic. The pressed juice makes a mild purgative. The leaves and flowers are antispasmodic, emollient and expectorant. They are used as a cutaneous and mucous tonic and as a vulnerary. Recent research has shown that the plant has an outstanding curative action in cases of colitis. The seed is diuretic. The plant is used in Bach flower remedies - the keywords for prescribing it are "Dwelling upon thoughts of the past", "Nostalgia" and "Homesickness".

Description of the plant:


6 m
(20 feet)

August to


Habitat of the herb:

Hedges, scrub and woods.

Edible parts of Italian Honeysuckle:

The fruit is eaten in small quantities. It is probably cooked first. An infusion of the heavily perfumed flowers is used as a tea substitute.

Other uses of the herb:

An essential oil has been extracted from the flowers and used to make a very sweet perfume, but yields are extremely low.

Propagation of Italian Honeysuckle:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 2 months cold stratification and should be sown as soon as possible in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with or without a heel, July/August in a frame. Good percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, 15 - 20cm with or without a heel, November in a cold frame. Good percentage. Layering in autumn.

Cultivation of the herb:

Hedges, scrub and woods.

Known hazards of Lonicera caprifolium:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.