Last Updated on October 17, 2022
Yes, you can eat the beautifully scented honeysuckle flower! Here are some delicious honeysuckle recipes to use this fragrant edible and medicinal flower this season. Here’s what to know about honeysuckle benefits and some amazing honeysuckle uses!
This is a guest post from a veteran forager and apprentice herbalist I’ve long admired, Michelle Van Doren of Seeking Joyful Simplicity. She has a fabulous honeysuckle recipe for you to add to your stock of foraged treats and homemade medicines. Be sure to check out her site for more great ideas for homemade, homegrown foods and herbal remedies!
The Humble Honeysuckle Flower
For me, the sweet aroma of honeysuckle flower marks the start of summer better than any date on a calendar. The tantalizing scent of honeysuckle brings a flood of memories of childhood summers, freedom from school, and endless days filled with swimming, biking, and reading. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could bottle the aroma and flavor of honeysuckle flower? We can! This simple honeysuckle syrup recipe is a delightful treat that captures all that summer joy.
The scientific name for honeysuckle is Lonicera, and there are over 100 different species. Considered an invasive, the most common varieties in northern America are the Japanese honeysuckle and the trumpet honeysuckle. Both kinds of honeysuckle flowers are edible, though it is the Japanese variety that is usually used medicinally.
Note that the berries these plants produce are poisonous. Here’s what to know about poisonous vs edible honeysuckle berries. If you’re interested in edible honeysuckle berries (usually called haskap berry or honeyberry), you generally need to grow them yourself.
As with any foraged food, it’s important to correctly identify the plant before consuming. Be sure to use a good foraging book to ensure what you’re harvesting is safe to eat. Foraging expert Green Deane warns that some varieties of honeysuckle are toxic. Read more here.
If you’d like to become more expert in the art of foraging, the Herbal Academy has an online foraging course that teaches plant identification and ethical wildcrafting practices.
Honeysuckle Benefits and Honeysuckle Uses
Honeysuckle flowers and berries have traditional uses as remedies for bacterial and viral infections, and there are a number of studies looking at the benefits of honeysuckle for treating respiratory illnesses like bronchitis and influenza. Delicious and medicinal honeysuckle flowers are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Find more on medicinal uses for honeysuckle flower here.
Please note that one honeysuckle use in Chinese medicine is as a contraceptive, so best to avoid this if you’re trying to conceive.
Honeysuckle may also be an anticoagulant and should be avoided before surgery.
Not only do honeysuckle flowers have some terrific health benefits – honeysuckle syrup is fun and delightful!
Honeysuckle Recipe: Honeysuckle Syrup
Part of the fun of making honeysuckle recipes is harvesting the honeysuckle flowers. Take your time and enjoy the beauty of foraging wild honeysuckle blossoms. Use caution when collecting wild plants and only collect from areas that aren’t treated with chemicals. This recipe calls for honeysuckle flowers only.
Honeysuckle Syrup Recipe
This simple honeysuckle syrup recipe captures the intoxicating scent of honeysuckle flowers in a deliciously sweet syrup.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- About 50 honeysuckle flowers
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and honeysuckle flowers.
- Using medium to high heat, bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
- Strain out honeysuckle flowers and pour syrup into a jar.
Stores up to a month in the refrigerator. You can freeze syrup in an ice cube tray to prolong storage time.
How to Use Honeysuckle Syrup
My goodness, honeysuckle flower syrup makes desserts and drinks special! Here are some ideas for enjoying it:
- Use honeysuckle flower syrup to sweeten summer iced tea
- Make homemade lemonade sweetened with honeysuckle syrup
- Add a few drops of honeysuckle syrup to sparkling water
- As a sweetener for your favorite cake and muffin recipes
- Enjoy as a topping for ice-cream, frozen yogurt, or sorbet
- Pour a spoonful of honeysuckle syrup over a bowl of fresh fruit
- Add honeysuckle syrup to unsweetened homemade yogurt
- Freeze some of your honeysuckle syrup in ice cube trays, remove and store in freezer bags. This is a great way to preserve your blossom syrup for the winter months – then add to your favorite hot beverage in the winter. Or use it in one of the honeysuckle recipes below.
Other Delicious Honeysuckle Recipes
♦ You can make a naturally sweet honeysuckle tea by pouring boiling water over blossoms. 1/4 -1 cup blossoms covered with 1 cup water. Steep for several hours or overnight. Refrigerate for a refreshing ice tea.
♦ You can also make a glycerite for sore throats and colds. Learn how to make a honeysuckle glycerite from Homespun Seasonal Living.
♦ You can use your honeysuckle syrup to make honeysuckle sorbet.
♦ One clever cook has even created a honeysuckle ice cream recipe.
Other honeysuckle recipes include jelly, cordials, wine, and cakes. Pinterest has some interesting honeysuckle recipes worth exploring if you find yourself with extra blossoms.
If you have a surplus of flowers, dehydrate some to enjoy when the honeysuckle season is over! Here are more than 150 additional flowers you can eat to try this season.
You can also buy dried honeysuckle here.
If you enjoy bringing flowers into your kitchen as food and medicine, you might also enjoy these ideas:
How to Use Roses as Food and Medicine
How to Use Wild Violets in Cooking and Home Remedies
Borage Plant ~ Benefits for Garden and Table
Elderflower Benefits and Elderflower Recipes
About the author: Michelle Van Doren is passionate about food, herbal remedies, and helping others live their best life. She is a contributing writer for the Herbal Academy, a Registered Dietitian, and a lifelong student of herbal medicine. She believes with the right combination of simple foods, herbs, and living with intention, you can live a more joyful and satisfying life. Visit her at Seeking Joyful Simplicity.
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Disclaimer: Content on this website is intended for informational purposes only and is not meant to provide personalized medical advice. Please consult a licensed professional for personalized recommendations.
Honeysuckle recipes photo credits: DagnyWalter, byrev, YvonneHuijbens, annalovisa
Susannah is a proud garden geek and energy nerd who loves healthy food and natural remedies. Her work has appeared in Mother Earth Living, Ensia, Northern Gardener, Sierra, and on numerous websites. Her first book, Everything Elderberry, released in September 2020 and has been a #1 new release in holistic medicine, naturopathy, herb gardening, and other categories. Find out more and grab your copy here.
When I was growing up, my parents had honeysuckle in their back yard. Now I wish I had some. Would love to try these recipes out.
Hope you can find some near you!
Can you use dried honeysuckle for all these recipes? Or do they have to be fresh blossoms.
Carol Little R.H. @studiobotanica says
I make honeysuckle syrup every year from the bounty growing along my back fence!
Such a joyful project! Thanks for the great post!!
Lucky! I don’t have any near me 🙁
Can you use any color flower honeysuckle?
Color isn’t enough to determine if you’ve got an edible species rather than a toxic one. Consult the list in the linked post and use a foraging guide that covers the ones in your region.
I made this last week and followed the directions to the letter. I ended up with a mildly honeysuckle-scented syrup. I made it again, using twice the amount of flowers. It came out a little too powerful, with a soapy flavor.
My house is air conditioned and the kitchen is not overly hot – 70 degrees at all times, pretty much.
However, both containers started to grow mold on my kitchen counter after a week. Why would that happen?
I checked with Michelle (the author of the post) and she replied:
Honeysuckle blossoms will vary in aroma and sweetness depending on the time of harvest, as well as other factors like sun, temperature, and rainfall. They are sweetest when the blooms first open. Syrups should be stored in the refrigerator. It’s also nice to freeze some in ice cube trays for a quick treat on a hot summer day!