Did you know that honeysuckle had medicinal benefits? I didn’t until just recently! Don’t you remember as a child, gathering honeysuckle flowers to taste the sweet honey nectar inside each blossom? Mmmmmm….goood memories.
Before I get into all the benefits, guess what I made with my honeysuckle harvest? JELLY! I knew that all edible flowers could be made into a syrup or a jelly so why not try Honeysuckle Jelly. The recipe that I used was from Lehman’s but I did not have liquid pectin so I made do with powdered pectin and all was just fine. 🙂
I will give you the link for the recipe in a minute but let’s discuss all the amazing benefits that Honeysuckle(Lonicera japonica) has. It is mainly used in TCM, traditional chinese medicine as a cold remedy. I have heard different versions of which flowers to collect from the unopened blossoms to only the white new blossoms, so I will collect both to cover all bases. As for the jelly, any of the yellow or white flowers are good to use.
Here is a list of what it can do:
kills or inhibits germs
coughs and asthma
natural antibiotic used for staph or strep
reduces fever and heat in the body
for reducing ulcers, sore throats
used for acute symptoms NOT chronic symptoms
reduces rashes from poison oak
cuts that have become infected
tea used as an eye wash
helps nausea and vomiting from Hepatitis C
WOW!!! Honeysuckle is GOOD STUFF!
So if you have a honeysuckle bush or two, go ahead and gather some flowers to use now, for jelly, and later for teas or tinctures.
Here is that recipe I promised!
Honeysuckle Jelly Yields 7 half-pints
4 cups honeysuckle flowers
4 cups boiling water
1/4 c. lemon juice
4 cups sugar
1 package liquid pectin
First you need to make an infusion to draw the flavor out of the flowers. It’s very simple. Prepare the flowers by removing the tiny green tip at the base of the petals.
Next, bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, turn the heat off, then add the honeysuckle flowers you’ve gathered and allow them to steep for about 45 min., stirring occasionally.
Strain the flowers from the liquid. You need two cups of the infusion for this recipe. ***I used 3 cups cause I did not read the recipe but it turned out super!***
In the same saucepan, stir together 2 cups flower infusion, the lemon juice, and the sugar; bring to a hard boil that won’t stir down. Add the pectin and boil for 2 min; reduce heat if necessary to avoid boiling over. Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, and screw on lids. ***This was not in the recipe but I process ALL jellies in the water bath canner for 10 minutes*****
Allow to cool for 24 hours, then test the lids to make sure the jars are properly sealed.
Here is one of my jars. 🙂
Enjoy your Memorial Day today,