How to Make Honeysuckle Infused Honey and Elixer Recipes
Honeysuckle Blossom Infused Honey is not only delicious and super easy to make, but it has medicinal qualities used for colds, the flu and more.
Maybe you have memories of sucking the sweet nectar out of the honeysuckle blossoms as a child. I was three of four when my grandfather taught me to pluck the flower, bite off the end and suck the nectar. There wasn’t much there, but it was delicious with a taste and fragrance not to be matched.
Here in the mid-Atlantic states, there are weeks in the late spring and summer when you can roll down your windows as you drive along the roads and highways and smell the sweet smell of the honeysuckle that grow along the sides of the road. Ahh. It’s heavenly.
So I got to wondering how else I could keep that lovely scent around longer and learned that I could preserve the blossoms in honey!
For information on more edible flowers, check out my article, Extensive Visual Guide to Common Edible Flower Blossoms.
Types of Honeysuckle to Use for Food and Medicine
Here on the east coast of the United States, we have the very prolific and invasive Japanese Honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica, however there are many fragrant native honeysuckles in the U.S. that are also used in medicine. The Lonicera japonica is very fragrant and makes a lovely infused honey, but you can use the blossoms of other species of honeysuckle. Just be sure to use one that is fragrant.
Wikipedia lists 180 species of honeysuckles with approximately 100 of them being medicinal. Be sure to identify the type and safety of honeysuckle you are wanting to use before consuming it. Check sites like Eat the Weeds to get a professional forager’s experience.
Honeysuckle Honey Recipe
To make Honeysuckle Honey you will want to infuse the honeysuckle blossoms into the honey. To do this:
- Fill any size jar with fresh honeysuckle blossoms. (Make sure the flowers are dry as added water can cause mold to grow.) Fill the jar tightly but don’t smash them. If using dried honeysuckle flowers, fill the jar about 1/2-1/3 full.
- Pour raw honey over the flowers until they are covered with just 1/2 inch or so over the flowers.
- As it sits for a few hours, the honey will settle and you may need to add more honey to cover the blossoms. It’s important to keep the honey at least 1/4 inch over them as it helps to preserve them and keeps out bacteria and mold. To make this quicker and easier, you may want to warm the honey slightly in a double boiler to make it runnier. Make sure to get out all of the air pockets from the honey and blossoms so that mold doesn’t grow.
- Let the honey sit for four weeks or so. At this time you can slightly warm the honey to thin it and strain out the flowers, or you can eat the honey with the blossoms still in it.
- The honeysuckle honey should last indefinitely.
How to Honeysuckle Honey in Food and Beverages
Honeysuckle honey could be used as you would any other honey–to sweeten your yogurt, salad dressing or eaten on toast.
The honeysuckle honey is also delicious stirred into steaming hot water or added to sweeten an herbal tea. You can also stir it into an iced beverage to cool you off in the hot summer months.
Honeysuckle Honey for Colds, Flu & Fever Natural Remedy
You can take honeysuckle honey by the teaspoonful as you would cough syrup. It’s also delicious added to an herbal tea or simply stirred into a cup of very hot water.
It is especially useful when you have an infection along with a fever. Honeysuckle is a broad-spectrum anti-microbial and so combines well with honey to fight infection.
As well as being antibacterial, honey has enzymes, bee propolis, and pollen that can help boost the immune system.
Honeysuckle has both antiviral and antibacterial properties to help fight off colds and flu. It helps with fever and to clear mucous from the lungs.
According to herbalist Kiva Rose, honeysuckle is a safe natural fever reducer even for children. She recommends combining it with Elderflowers as the two work well together. You could make a tea with the elderflowers and add the honeysuckle honey to it or you could make elderflower honey and combine it with the honeysuckle honey. Take as needed.
Honeysuckle is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for many ailments including colds, fever, inflammation, swelling, boils, sores, viral and bacterial infections, pneumonia, and asthma. It is often used with forsythia blossoms to treat inflammation and even cancer and combined with elderflower for fevers, the flu and respiratory infections.
According to George Mason University, “Today, this honeysuckle is a proven antibiotic. It is a broad spectrum antibiotic for bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus B-hemolytic, Escherichia coli, vibrio cholera, salmonella typhi, diplococcus pneumoniae, diplococcus meningitidis, pseudomonas aerurginosa, mycobacterium tuberculosis, and bacillus dysenteriae.” **
In herbalism, the parts used are the buds, blossoms, leaves, and stems for plant medicine. The berries are sometimes used in medicines, but some species of honeysuckle have poisonous berries. In this article, I am dealing only with the blossoms of Japanese Honeysuckle.
**Honeysuckle is not recommended for use during pregnancy. The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials
Honeysuckle Honey Elixer Recipe
You can also make an elixer with honeysuckle blossoms, honey and alcohol. The alcohol will help to extract even more medicinal properties of the honeysuckle and it will be preserved even better than with just honey.
My recipe is adapted from herbalist Kiva Rose’s recipe. Take Honeysuckle Honey Elixir for hot conditions like fevers, bronchitis and infections. It also makes a lovely nervine to calm your frazzled nerves.
To make Honeysuckle Honey Elixir use a type of honeysuckle that is not bitter such as the Japonese Honeysuckle.
You will need approximately:
- 2 cups Honeysuckle Blossoms and Buds
- 1/3-1/2 cup Raw Honey
- 1 pint Alchohol at least 50 proof. Can use vodka, brandy, rum or diluted Everclear.
- Fill a pint jar with the blossoms and buds.
- Add the honey and stir to coat the flowers.
- Fill the jar with the alcohol and stir.
- Cover the jar tightly and shake well.
- Store in a cool, dark place for 4-6 weeks, shaking the jar every couple of days to keep it mixed.
- Decant and elixir and strain out the flowers.