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The more than 100 species of honeysuckle produce some of the most fragrant, nectar-rich flowers to be found. Perhaps this is why honeysuckle oil is a common aroma enhancer in many consumer products like shampoos, deodorizers, perfumes and lotions. The nutritional content of honeysuckle oil is unquestionable, too, with numerous health-enhancing vitamins and minerals. Beyond this tincture's undeniable qualities are other medicinal remedies used by Asian herbalists for centuries to treat a range of ailments — from respiratory disorders and arthritis to hepatitis and even the common cold.
A member of the genus Lonicera, honeysuckle is originates north of the equator. It can be found throughout the world, however, and is often considered an invasive weed, particularly to farmers. Some species are more prized than others. The Japanese honeysuckle, or Lonicera japonica, is often credited with many of the purported medical uses, but many of the other species are equally fragrant and used for those purposes.
One key reason the honeysuckle is such a storied family of plants is the longevity and distinctiveness of its fragrance. These not only can help bring pollen-delivering insects to a small garden or giant farm, but they also can be distilled into highly fragrant essential oils or waters for use in cooking, deodorizing or as a complementary herbal remedy. Though many sell honeysuckle oil for generic aromatherapy purposes, other manufacturers go so far as to claim the oils can evoke sexual dreams as well as bring joy and good fortune.
Honeysuckle is consumed or used in raw form as an essential oil, a concentrated medicinal tincture, or just for its edible stems, leaves and flowers. These have been used for medical purposes for centuries, particularly by Chinese herbalists. Through many generations, these curatives spread through the generations to influence Indian Ayurveda and other herbalist traditions.
According to the non-profit Plants for a Future Web site from the United Kingdom, the listing is long for potential uses for honeysuckle oil and its other forms. Though studies from established medical institutions are lacking as of 2011, herbalists have long used this remedy to quell respiratory, muscular, joint and skin inflammation; calm the symptoms of the flu, colds and other infections; ease digestion as a diuretic; and do battle with venereal disease and tuberculosis. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not partake in consuming this oil though. Anyone else seeking to treat these types of serious medical conditions should first consult a doctor.
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