Honeysuckle plants (Lonicera sp) belong to the Caprifoliaceae family which are mostly shrubs and vines. It belongs to the family with about 180 Lonicera species. Honeysuckles are native to North America but are also found in parts of Asia.
They are mainly grown on fences and trellises but are also used as ground cover. They are mostly cultivated mostly for their fragrant and beautiful flowers. Because of its sweet nectar, these tubular blossoms are often visited by pollinators such as the humming bird. The fruits of the honeysuckle plant red, orange, or black berries that are attractive to animals.
There are a variety of honeysuckle species where this oil is extracted from. The Japanese and Italian honeysuckle are the most common of these varieties.
Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)
Native to East Asia, this variety of honeysuckle has been used in traditional Chinese medicine. This plant bears yellow-white flowers with black berries. It has an intense sweet floral aroma.
Japanese honeysuckle is a rampant growing vine that eliminates plants that grow near them. They grow over other plants and eventually kill them. If can grow uncontrollably and can cover shrubs and small trees. The Japanese honeysuckle essential oil can be extracted from the flowers, leaves, and stem of the plant through hydro-distillation. The oil is used to treat colds, flu, and other respiratory conditions which leads to fever and sore throat. For a more soothing effect, it is often blended with peppermint essential oil.
It is used to treat cuts, wounds, sores, and other infections both internally and externally.
Italian honeysuckle (Lonicera caprifolium)
This variety of honeysuckle is native in Europe and was naturalized in parts of Northern America. This vine can grow up to 25 feet tall and bears cream colored flowers with a hint of pink. Because of its long tube shape, pollinators have a hard time reaching the nectar. Their bright orange flowers bloom at night and are mostly pollinated by moths.
Italian honeysuckle essential oil has a scent that is much like a blend of citrus and honey. This oil is extracted from the flower of the plant through steam distillation.
Traditional Use of Honeysuckle Essential Oil
Honeysuckle oil was reportedly used in Chinese medicines in AD 659. It used to in acupuncture to release heat and poison from the body such as those from snakebites. It was considered as one of the most important herbs for detoxifying and cleansing the body. In Europe, it was widely used to clear toxins and heat from the body of mothers who had just given birth. It is said that the continuous use of it attracts luck and prosperity.
Benefits of Using Honeysuckle Essential Oil
Aside from the oil’s sweet scent, it also has several health benefits due to the presence of quercetin, vitamin C, potassium, and other nutrients and antioxidants.
This oil has a sweet and calming aroma that makes it a famous additive to perfume, lotions, soaps, massage, and bath oils.
The oil can also be added to shampoos and conditioners to eradicate dryness, moisturizes the hair, and leave it silky smooth.
Honeysuckle essential oil is found to be antibacterial and antimicrobial and can be used to disinfect household items. When diffused, it can also work against air-borne germs floating around the room.
Known as a natural antibiotic, it is used to treat infections caused by certain strains of bacteria such as Staphylococcus or Streptococcus.
It is used as mouthwash to get rid of bacteria in between teeth and those in the gums resulting to a fresher breath.
This oil’s ability to release heat from the body gives it a cooling effect. It is mostly used to lower fevers. Honeysuckle blends well with peppermint essential oil which can give a more cooling feeling.
Controls blood sugar
Honeysuckle oil can stimulate the metabolization of sugar in the blood. This can be used as a prevention from having diabetes. Chlorogenic acid, a component mostly found in medicines to combat diabetes, is found in this oil.
This essential oil reduces the body’s inflammation response. It can relieve swelling and joint pain from different types of arthritis.
This oil is used to treat eczema, psoriasis, and other skin inflammations. Its antibacterial property also protects cuts and wounds from being infected.
Honeysuckle essential oil contains substances that can help eliminate bacteria that causes ulcers in the digestive tract and cause stomach pain. It helps balance the good bacteria in the gut. This results to a healthier digestive system. Without the occurrence of diarrhea, constipation, and cramps, the nutrient uptake increases. It also alleviates feelings of nausea.
When used in aromatherapy, It can help decongest the nasal pathway to ease breathing. It relieves chronic coughs, asthma, and other respiratory issues.
Eases stress and anxiety
The powerful aroma of honeysuckle oil helps create a feeling of calm. It is known to boost the mood and prevent symptoms of depression. If the scent is too powerful, it can also be blended with vanilla and bergamot essential oil to name a few. Those who experience anxiety and has hard time sleeping, a blend of honeysuckle with lavender essential oil can help onset sleep.
Works against free radicals
Honeysuckle oil has antioxidants that work against free radicals in the body which causes the damage of body cells. It promotes the growth of new cells for rejuvenation.
Safety Tips and Precautions
However aromatic, pregnant and breastfeeding women should seek the advice medical professionals before using this essential oil.
Honeysuckle essential oil can slow down blood clotting that is why it is advised to refrain from using it two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
If to be used on the skin, it is best to do a skin test first to determine if an allergic reaction will most likely occur.