What is honeysuckle and how is it useful?
If you have never tried honeysuckle and do not even know what it is, then you have lost a lot. These fruits not only have an unusual and pleasant taste, but also very useful.
What it is?
Honeysuckle is a plant belonging to the genus of shrubs, and they can be creeping, climbing or erect. It belongs to the family Honeysuckle. The Latin name sounds like Lonícera and was given in honor of the scientist Adam Lonitser, but at first Karl Linney wanted to call the berries “honeysuckles”. Honeysuckle is common in almost all regions of the northern hemisphere of the Earth, but it is especially abundant in East Asia and the Himalayas. Certain species are also represented in the CIS countries.
Plant flowers can be pink, yellowish, light blue or white, usually they are located near the leaves in pairs. Honeysuckle fruits are berries, which are also placed in pairs, sometimes growing together. The color depends on the variety and can vary from dark orange or red to blue.The shape is also different, there are both rounded and oblong berries.
Approximately two hundred different species are represented, but not any honeysuckle edible, there are representatives of the genus, not only unfit for consumption, but also poisonous. You can eat varieties such as blue honeysuckle (blue), honeysuckle, Caucasian, Altai, edible, and some others.
The taste of the berries can be very diverse and depends on the specific type. But it is very pleasant and can be sweet, sweet and sour, a little bitter, tart. Usually, the pulp of ripe fruit is quite juicy and very useful.
Honeysuckle has a unique composition, which includes various organic acids, sugars, polyphenols, pectin, tannins, vitamins C, B, A, iodine, phosphorus, zinc, copper, potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron, silicon.
Is honeysuckle useful?
Useful properties of honeysuckle:
- This is an excellent diuretic to prevent the development of edema and normalizes the work of the kidneys.
- Honeysuckle helps to stop bleeding, as it has astringent properties. In addition, the plant is used to accelerate wound healing, as well as tissue regeneration.
- The use of honeysuckle is also in the fact that it significantly improves digestive processes, as it stimulates the production of gastric juice and increases its acidity. In addition, part of the pectin normalizes peristalsis of the intestinal walls and, thus, relieves constipation.
- Honeysuckle has a choleretic effect.
- The fruits have antipyretic and analgesic properties, so that they can be used for various diseases accompanied by pain and fever.
- The plant is useful for women, as it has antioxidant properties and stops the processes of premature aging of cells, providing a rejuvenating effect.
- Honeysuckle reduces the risk of developing cancer if you regularly use it.
- Berries can be used for hypertension to normalize blood pressure levels.
- Honeysuckle is an excellent restorative and tonic, which is especially useful after suffering severe illnesses, as well as with increased emotional, physical or mental stress.
- The fruits of the plant contribute to the normalization of the liver, as well as the purification of the body from all harmful substances such as slags, toxins, poisons.
- Honeysuckle has pronounced antifungal and antibacterial properties, therefore it can be used as a means of treating various infections, with various systems and organs: the nose, stomach or intestines, throat, and skin.
- Fruits are useful to eat with anemia, because they contain enough iron.
- Honeysuckle will help with diseases of the joints.
Can it hurt?
Like any other product, honeysuckle can cause harm if it is used incorrectly, thoughtlessly, or in unreasonable quantities. In such cases, the fruits can cause diarrhea, skin rashes, muscle spasms, stomach pain and other unpleasant symptoms.
There are some contraindications, which include diseases of the gastrointestinal tract in the acute stage (eg, ulcers, gastritis), kidney and liver disease, as well as an increased tendency to allergies. It is not necessary to give berries and children, and during pregnancy it is better to exercise caution.
Tip: if after eating berries you have discomfort, then reduce the amount or for a while refuse from such a product altogether.
How to use?
Honeysuckle can be used both in cooking and in medicine.
From honeysuckle you can cook a lot of a variety of delicious dishes, especially desserts. Here are some of them:
- For the winter, you can make delicious and healthy jam. To do this, you need a kilogram of sugar, one glass of water and about a kilogram of honeysuckle berries. First, add sugar to the pan and pour in water, put everything on the fire, bring to a boil. Put the berries in the syrup, cook for an hour, leave for the night, then cook again, leave again and boil again. Then you can begin to seaming.
- Make a jelly. First, from two kilograms of berries squeeze out the juice, add one and a half kilograms of sugar. Pour two tablespoons of gelatin with cold water, leave to swell. Boil the juice with sugar, dissolve the gelatin in it and place the mixture in containers, which then need to be sent to the refrigerator until it solidifies.
Treatment and prevention of diseases
Recipes of folk remedies based on honeysuckle:
- Prepare a decoction: a glass of raw materials (it is better to chop the fruits beforehand), place them in a saucepan or other similar container and fill with ten glasses of water. Put the mixture on the slowest fire, bring to a boil and simmer for about half an hour. Then strain the finished product and take half an hour before meals for half a glass no more than three times a day.
- To improve digestion, twenty minutes before a meal, you can drink half a glass of juice.
- From the leaves you can make a useful infusion. A couple of tablespoons of raw materials (dried or fresh), pour 200 milliliters of boiling water. Cover the container tightly, leave to infuse for an hour, then strain and use a tablespoon after meals three to five times.
- Also for medicinal purposes, you can use flowers. Try to make a decoction that will be useful for respiratory diseases. A teaspoon of flowers pour one cup of boiling water. Place the container on the fire and hold on it after boiling and reducing the flame for at least ten minutes. Strain the composition and take on a tablespoon four times a day.
How to grow?
It is not necessary to look for honeysuckle, because it is quite possible to grow it in your garden. And in order for it to give fruit, when planting it is worth considering a few important points:
- Choosing the right place. Honeysuckle is very capricious, she likes well-lit, but protected from the wind and wet places. And to find a site that meets all these requirements, sometimes difficult. But you can plant a plant along the fence, this area is usually in the penumbra, but the sun's rays fall into it. In addition, such a place will not be too arid.
- Landing time. Honeysuckle planted on the site can be either in the fall or spring. If you chose the first option, you should start no later than mid-September, otherwise the shoots will simply freeze. In the spring, landing is desirable in May, when the last frost has passed.
- Proper fit. It is best to use ready seedlings for growing, as the seeds will sprout long enough. First you need to dig holes, the depth of which should be about forty centimeters. The width will be about the same. In order for the plant to receive all the necessary substances, add a mixture of two buckets of compost, a cup of ash and 50-100 grams of superphosphate to the well.Now take a seedling, remove the rotted or dried processes of the roots, place it in the recess, sprinkle it with soil and lightly tamp it, then pour it abundantly. The distance between the bushes should be about 1.5-2 meters. And so that the moisture does not evaporate too quickly, the soil can be mulched with straw, dry grass, scraps of cardboard or paper.
- Care. Watering should be abundant and regular, as the honeysuckle loves moisture and with its shortage quickly dies. No less important fertilizing. The first is carried out after the beginning of flowering and involves the introduction of ash. The second time to feed the honeysuckle should be during the formation of berries, using biohumus. After collecting the berries, you can add fertilizing for the third time, using a mixture of organic fertilizer and ash. Before frost should thoroughly mulch the soil. But it is not necessary to loosen it, since the roots are located quite close to the ground surface. To ensure active growth and the formation of fruits every few years, the bush should be cut off, removing all old shoots.
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