Honeysuckle tea is made from fresh honeysuckle flowers and honeysuckle buds. Honeysuckle is a kind of traditional Chinese medicine, having a good effect on clearing-heat and detoxifying.
The Chinese name of Honeysuckle is called Jin Yin Hua (literally called Golden Silver Flower) which comes from the medicinal book <Compendium of Materia Medica>, because honeysuckle flower is white at the beginning, and then turns yellow.
1. History of honeysuckle as medicine in China
Honeysuckle is used as medicine in different parts in different historical periods.
Before the Song Dynasty (AD 960-1279), people used stems and leaves of honeysuckle as medicine and started to use flowers as a medicine until the Song Dynasty.
In the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912), people found that the flowers of honeysuckle are more effective than the stems and leaves of it, so they used flowers more frequently than using other parts of it.
During that time, honeysuckle tea began to appear. According to a medicinal book <Ben Cao Qiu Zhen>, in the south of the Yangtze River in China, people began to make and dink honeysuckle tea.
Because honeysuckle has a high value in making tea, medicine, and plague prevention, in 1984, the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine identified honeysuckle as one of the precious Chinese herbal medicines.
In 2002, the Ministry of Health of China made it clear that honeysuckle is both food and medicine.
2. Production process of honeysuckle tea
- Picking: from May to July is the harvest time of honeysuckle. High-quality honeysuckle should be picked at 9:00 a.m. when the dew is not dried and the flowers have the strongest aroma, so that it is convenient to maintain the original color of honeysuckle.
- Washing and filtering: wash honeysuckle in clean water and remove old or bad flowers and buds that will affect the quality of honeysuckle tea.
- Drying: place the cleaned honeysuckle under the sun to dry them for about 2 days. If there is a rainy day, use small fire to dry them for 2-3 hours to prevent honeysuckle from decaying.
3. Health benefits of honeysuckle tea
Clearing heat and detoxifying
Clearing heat and detoxifying are the most common effects of honeysuckle. Some people have febrile diseases such as furuncle, erysipelas and sore throat due to the accumulation of internal heat, which is called “heat toxin” in traditional Chinese medicine, also known as “warming toxin”. Diarrhea and hematochezia are caused by the accumulation of heat toxins in the intestine.
Honeysuckle can eliminate these toxins, so as to improve the body’s immunity. Therefore, honeysuckle can be used as a heat-clearing and detoxifying medicine in the clinic.
Honeysuckle contains substances that can promote the release of the adrenocortical hormone, which can inhibit various kinds of inflammation and swelling. So, if your body appears inflammation, swelling and pain symptoms, you can drink honeysuckle tea to treat it, even if there is no inflammation, after drinking honeysuckle tea can also prevent these diseases.
Antibacterial and antiviral
Honeysuckle can inhibit the growth and reproduction of many human pathogens, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, dysentery bacteria, Vibrio cholerae, typhoid bacillus, pneumococcus, meningococci, tuberculosis, etc.
For example, honeysuckle is used to assist the treatment of viral myocarditis. Besides, if the face is allergic to bacterial infection, wipe the face with honeysuckle water to remove the bacteria on the face surface, and there is no side effect.
The aqueous extract of honeysuckle has a strong scavenging effect on hydrogen peroxide in vitro. Taking honeysuckle to scalded mice can improve the release of hydrogen peroxide from neutrophils, which shows that honeysuckle has the effect of antioxidant. It can also protect and repair skin by improving microcirculation, eliminating fat deposition and promoting metabolism.
Reducing blood fat
Scientific experiments have proved that when the honeysuckle is infused into the stomach of rats, it is surprising to find that that absorption of cholesterol in the intestine of rats is significantly reduced.
In vitro experiments also found that honeysuckle can combine with cholesterol. It shows that patients with hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and hyperglycemia can reduce these if they drink honeysuckle tea for a long time.
In China, honeysuckle is extracted into a kind of honeysuckle distillate called Jin Yin Hua Lu, which is a very popular non-prescription medicine.
4. Recipes of honeysuckle tea
Honeysuckle tea with honey: honeysuckle can be matched with honey. For these people who have internal heat and constipation, it is the best herbal tea. It can moisten the intestines and relieve constipation, especially for those who do not exercise for a long time and are prone to constipation.
Honeysuckle tea with wolfberry (Gou Qi): wolfberry has the function of moistening the lung, nourishing kidney and liver, and brightening the eyes.
Honeysuckle tea with chrysanthemum: both of them have the effect of clearing internal heat.
Honeysuckle tea with astragalus (Huang Qi): astragalus has the effect of nourishing the blood.
5. Precautions of drinking honeysuckle tea
Honeysuckle tea is very effective. It can be brewed or decocted with many other herbs. But not everyone is suitable for drinking. We should judge whether we can drink based on our own situation and the doctor’s advice, otherwise, it will be counterproductive.
The medicinal property of honeysuckle is cool, so we should pay attention to the following conditions:
- Do not drink too much in the cold season, best in summer.
- Do not drink the overnight honeysuckle tea. Overnight honeysuckle tea can breed a lot of bacteria, which will affect your health.
- People with cold hands and feet and cold abdomen should drink less.
- Patients with weak spleen and stomach should not drink honeysuckle tea too much.
- Women should not drink honeysuckle tea during menstruation. If not, it may lead to irregular menstruation and dysmenorrhea.
- Patients with Hepatitis B should not drink honeysuckle tea for a long time. Because hepatitis B patients usually appear anorexia, abdominal distention, nausea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms. If you drink honeysuckle tea for a long time, it may aggravate the gastrointestinal discomfort, such as bowel sounds, diarrhea, loss of appetite and so on.
6. How to store honeysuckle tea
- Avoid dampness.
- Prevent odor from creeping in.
- Avoid sunlight. It is easy to get spoiled and discolored by sunlight.
- Avoid approaching heat sources. Vapor may generate beside heat sources, and it will make honeysuckle tea leaves spoiled.