Herb: Honeysuckle

Latin name: Lonicera periclymenum

Family: Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)

Medicinal use of Honeysuckle:

The plant has expectorant and laxative properties. A syrup made from the flowers has been used in the treatment of respiratory diseases whilst a decoction of the leaves is considered beneficial in treating diseases of the liver and spleen. It is used as a mouthwash for ulcers and is considered to be a good ingredient in gargles. The flowers are antispasmodic, astringent, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge and sudorific. The fruit is emetic and cathartic. The herbage is used as a cutaneous and mucous tonic and as a vulnerary. It is also diaphoretic. The leaves are laxative and slightly astringent. The seed is diuretic. The bark is anticatarrhal, depurative, diuretic and sudorific.

Description of the plant:


4.5 m
(15 feet)

June to


Habitat of the herb:

Woods, hedgerows, scrub and shady places, avoiding calcareous soils.

Edible parts of Honeysuckle:

Children (of all ages) suck the base of the flowers to extract the nectar.

Other uses of the herb:

A climbing plant, it can be allowed to scramble on the ground where it makes a good ground cover. Plants should be spaced about 1.2 metres apart each way.

Propagation of 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 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:

Woods, hedgerows, scrub and shady places, avoiding calcareous soils.

Known hazards of Lonicera periclymenum:

Poisonous in large doses. It only has a very mild action.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.