Family • Caprifoliaceae - Lonicera japonica Thunb. - JAPANESE HONEYSUCKLE - Jin yin hua

Scientific names

Lonicera japonica Thunb.
Nintooa japonica (Thunb.) Sweet.
Ren dong (Chin.)

Common names

Honeysuckle (Engl.)
Halls honeysuckle (Engl.)
Japanese honeysuckle (Engl.)
Madre silve (Span.)
Jin yin hua (Chin.)
Woodbine (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Jin yin teng
FRENCH: Chèvrefeuille du Japon
JAPANESE : Suikazura, Suikazura, Suikazura, Suikazura.
KOREAN : In dong deong gul.
RUSSIAN : Zhimolost’ iaponskaia.

The ornamental plant, Japanese honeysuckle, is a hardy, low-climbing or trailing shrub, up to 5 meters or more in length. Leaves are oblong, oblong-ovate, or ovate, 3 to 6 centimeters long, 1.5 to 2.5 centimeters wide, pointed or blunt at the tip, blunt at the base and borne on short petioles. Flowers are tubular, 3 to 4 centimeters long, white, but turning yellow with age, borne in pairs in axils of the leaves on young shoots. Corolla is smooth, the tube slender and widening gradually, the limb has two lips, the upper lip broad, erect and divided into four-strap segments, and the lower lip having one linear-strap-shaped recurved segment. The berries are black.


– Ornamentally cultivated for its fragrant, attractive and profuse flowers.
– A recent introduction.
– Native of Japan.

Parts utilized
Vine, leaves and flowers.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Lonicera japonica – Thunb. / Japanese Honeysuckle / Plants For A Future

(2) Acute and subacute toxicity study of the ethanol extract from Lonicera japonica Thunb / Thanabhorn S et al / Journal of ethnopharmacology, 2006, vol. 107, no3, pp. 370-373

(3) Anti-angiogenic, antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of Lonicera japonica extract / Yoo Hye-Jung et al / Journal of pharmacy and pharmacology, 2008, vol. 60, no6, pp. 779-786

(4) Sorting Lonicera names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher, / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE

(5) Studies on chemical constituents of the extract of Lonicera japonica / Chen QZ, Lin RC, Wang GL, Li FM. / Zhong Yao Cai. 2010 Jun;33(6):920-2.

(6) aporin Inhibits Lonicera japonica-Induced Photokilling in Human Lung Cancer Cells through Cytoskeleton-Related Signaling Cascade / Bang-Jau You, Yang-Chang Wu, Bo-Ying Bao, Chi-Yu Wu, Ya-Win Yang, Yu-Hao Chang, and Hong-Zin Lee / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Vol 2011 (2011) / doi:10.1155/2011/193842

(7) Comparative study on volatile oils in flower and stem of Lonicera japonica / Li H1, Zhang Z, Li P. / Zhong Yao Cai. 2002 Jul;25(7):476-7.

(8) Lipopolysaccharide induced lung inflammation is inhibited by Lonicera japonica / Hyojung Lee, Dugjae Lee, Youngeun Kim, Gihyun Lee, Soo-Jeong Kim, Sungki Jung, Heejae Jung, Hyunsu Bae / Molecular & Cellular Toxicology, March 2011, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 87-93

(9) Cadmium-Induced Physiological Response in Lonicera japonica Thunb. / Zhouli Liu, Wei Chen, Xingyuan He,*, Lian Jia, Yanqing Huang, Yue Zhang, andShuai Yu / CLEAN – Soil, Air, Water, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 478–484, May 2013 / DOI: 10.1002/clen.201200183

(10) Lonicera japonica alters antigen-stimulated T cell functions / Austin Brooks, Jessica Jonkman, Zach Bookmyer, Heather A. Bruns / International Journal of Herbal Medicine 2014; 2 (1): 13-20

• Vine contains saponin, tannin and ash.
• Vine, leaves and flowers considered antifebrile, corrective and astringent.
• Volatile oils in the flower and stems were highly similar to each other – palmitic acid and linoleic acid are the highest principles.
• Study yielded seven compounds: luteolin, luteoloside, quercetin, quercetin-3-0-beta-D-glucoside, quercetin-7-0-beta-D-glucoside, rutin, chlorogenic acid.

• Considered antibacterial, antiinflammatory, antispasmodic, antiviral, depurative, diuretic, febrifuge.

• Flowers and leaves.
• Tea made from leaves, buds and flowers.
• Leaves cooked as vegetable.

• In Chinese medicine, vine, flowers and leaves are used to increase vitality and lengthen life.
• Used for infections and poisoning.
• Considered antisyphilitic.
• Infusion of stems and flowers used for common colds, upper respiratory infections and flu-like symptoms.
• Infusion used in lotions for ulcers and abscesses.
• Flowers applied as wash for skin inflammations, rashes and sores.
• In Brazil, used as depurative and to facilitate childbirth.

Study Findings
• Biflavonoids / Anticancer: Biflavonoids isolated from Lonicera japonica and Benincasa hispidadisplayed different patterns of growth inhibition among the human cancer cell lines.
• Acute and Subacute Toxicity Studies: The ethanol extract of leaves of Lonicera japonica showed no toxicity on hematologic, blood chemistry and gross and histopathologic parameters.
• Luteolin / Anti-Inflammatory: Luteolin, isolated from the flowers of Lonicera japonica, inhibited the induction of inflammatory cytokines, exerting a regulatory effect on mass cell-mediated inflammatory diseases, such as IBD, RA and allergy diseases.
• Antipyretic: Study showed L japonica to have obvious antipyretic effects on IL-1ß-induced febrile rabbits and acts by inhibiting expression of EP3 mRNA in the POAH.
• Anti-Angiogenic / Antinociceptive / Anti-Inflammatory: Study on the ethanolic extract of L japonica showed antiangiogenic, antinociceptive and antiinflammatory activities.
• Growth Hormone Release: Study showed induction of rat growth hormone (rGH) by addition of methanol extract in rat pituitary cell culture.
• Rottlerin / Apoptosis: Study results suggested the photoactivated Lj extract-induced apoptosis is mediated by change in distribution of cytoskeleton. Rottlerin inhibited the photoactivated Lj-induced decrease in protein expressions of various kinases of prosurvival signaling pathway. Pretreatment with rottlerin prevented actin microfilaments and microtubules from damage during the photoactivated Lonicera japonica-induced CH27 cell death. Results indicate the cytoskeleton is the potential target in the photoactivated Lonicera japonica extract-induced CH27 cell apoptosis.
• Volatile Oils / Flowers and Stems: Study for volatile oils in flowers and stems of Lonicera japonica yielded 36 constituents. Palmitic acid and linoleic acid are the highest principles.
• Inhibition of Lipopolysaccharide Induced Lung Inflammation: Study showed a protective effect of L. japonica against lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced lung inflammation, which resembles a COPD-like acute disease.
• Phytoremediation / Cadmium: L. japonica has been reported as a new Cd-hyperaccumulator. Study investigated he effect of Cd stress duration on growth, photosynthesis and mineral nutrition of L. japonica was investigated. Study showed L. japonica could be used for phytoremediation contaminated soils by Cd.
• Alteration of Antigen-Stimulated T Cell Functions: Studies investigated the effect of L. japonica dried herb extract on T cell function in vitro. Lj inhibited proliferation, altered protein expression, and increased death of antigen-stimulated T lymphocytes. Lj may serve a role in regulated T cell function, but may also contribute to an ineffective immune response if used inappropriately.

• Leaves contain saponins; although toxic, are poorly absorbed and cooking, changing the water once, remove most of the saponins.