Jin Yin Hua (Flos Lonicerae)

Jin Yin Hua also known as Flos Lonicerae is the flower bud and early flower of honeysuckle. It is a relatively practical and common Chinese herbal medicine, which first appeared in <Mingyi Bie Lu> around 420-589 AD.

Honeysuckle commonly known as Lonicera is a semi-evergreen shrub of the Caprifoliaceae family. There are about 180 species of this genus, which are distributed in temperate and subtropical regions of North America, Europe, Asia and Northern Africa. Most of them are for ornamental use, and only some plants have medicinal value.

The Jin Yin Hua referred to herein is the flower bud and early flower of Lonicera japonica, Lonicera hypoglauca, Lonicera confuse, or Lonicera dasystyla.

Lonicera japonica is highly adaptable and often grows in shrubs or sparse forests below 1,500 meters above sea level. It can be found in China, Japan, North Korea, and North America.

Lonicera hypoglauca often grows in shrubs or sparse forests at an altitude of 200-700 meters. It is distributed in Anhui, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Fujian, Hunan and Hubei provinces in China.

Lonicera confuse often grows on hillsides, thickets, or plains below 800 meters above sea level. It is distributed in Nepal, Vietnam, and China.

Lonicera dasystyla mainly grows in waterside shrubs below 300 meters above sea level. It is distributed in Guangdong and Guangxi in China and northern Vietnam.

In the early summer of each year, people gather the flower buds and flowers of Honeysuckle, remove their impurities, dry them in the shade, and make them into Chinese herbs.

Jin Yin Hua contains chlorogenic acid, isochlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, luteolin, flavonoids, triterpenoid saponins, iridoid glycosides, and volatile oil. The Light-colored Jin Yin Hua with fresh fragrance is the best.

According to <Compendium of Materia Medica>, the medicinal property of Jin Yin Hua is relatively cold, with a sweet taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the lung, heart and stomach meridians.

In Chinese medicine, Jin Yin Hua is often used to clear heat and remove toxin, dispel wind and heat, treat upper respiratory tract infections, pneumonia, acute pharyngolaryngitis, recurrent aphthous ulcers, periodontitis, psoriasis, hyperlipidemia, acute bacterial dysentery, acute enteritis, chronic prostatitis, and vaginitis.

About 200 kinds of traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions contain Jin Yin Hua, such as Shuang Huang Lian, Yin Qiao San, and Zhong Gan Qing Pian.

Health benefits of Jin Yin Hua

  • Anti-inflammation, anti-virus, and anti-tumor.
  • Anti-oxidation and scavenging DPPH radical.
  • Exciting the central nervous system and having an antipyretic effect.
  • Inhibiting platelet aggregation and preventing atherosclerosis and thrombosis.
  • Enhancing macrophage phagocytosis and lymphocyte transformation, improving immunity.
  • Inhibiting the activity of alpha-glucosidase and lowering blood sugar and blood lipids.
  • Promoting bile secretion and enhancing the contraction of gallbladder smooth muscle.
  • Reducing the activity of aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase, and alleviating the liver injury caused by acetaminophen or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.
  • Clearing the external heat, relieving local tissue swelling and pain, and treating sores and carbuncles in the early stage.
  • Clearing the internal heat and treat acute appendicitis and lung abscess.
  • Dispelling wind and heat, relieving fever, headache, sore throat, and thirst caused by wind-heat or warm diseases.
  • Clearing heart and stomach heat, alleviating irritability, insomnia, bright red tongue, delirium caused by heat entering nutrient-blood.
  • Relieving fever, thirst, and headache without sweat caused by febrile diseases in summer.
  • Purging toxic heat and treating dysentery with bloody stool caused by heat toxins.
  • Inhibiting Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, dysentery bacilli, Candida albicans, Bacillus subtilis, Streptococcus B, Dicoccus pneumoniae, Aspergillus niger, and Leptospira.
  • Its distillate can relieve sore throat, infantile boils, prickly heat, and polydipsia caused by summer heat.

Jin Yin Hua is used with other Chinese herbs

Side effects of Jin Yin Hua

Jin Yin Hua has been used clinically for many years, with few side effects. Overdose or long-term use of it may cause decreased appetite.

A small proportion of people touching it may cause allergic reactions.

Precautions of Jin Yin Hua

  • The dosage of Jin Yin Hua should be controlled between 6-15g.
  • It can be made into decoction, powder, pills, distillate, or tea.
  • The unprocessed Jin Yin Hua recommended for clearing the internal heat, and the carbonized Jin Yin Hua recommended for cooling blood and stopping dysentery.
  • It should not be used to treat sores and abscesses caused by qi deficiency.
  • People with deficiency-cold in spleen and stomach should not take it.
  • People with chronic osteomyelitis or chronic lymphatic tuberculosis should not take it.