Honeysuckle is great.

It’s honeysuckle time again! I have been harvesting the flowers and unopened flower buds. It is slow work, as each individual flower gets harvested and put into the basket but I find it rather meditative. I mean, I’m surrounded by sweet-smelling flowers, outside,  with various pollinators buzzing all around, watching my basket fill up and I’m getting all pollened up–it is the kind of moment which, as a wildcrafter, I live for.

(Never mind the insects and scratchy thorns and rain and sun….mere hazards of one of the best and most ancient jobs ever. I take pride in my lineage of muddy pants and clay-dabbed blackfly bites.)

So, Honeysuckle. You know, there isn;t a ton of information available on herbalist uses. It is a member of Caprifoliaceae, the same family as Elder–and I do think of the uses of Elder flowers as a jumping-off point for my uses of honeysuckle. However, (caution tiny rant) I do NOT consider it a “substitute” for Elder, as I don’t believe in substitutes. Each plant can stand or fail on its own merits, and sub means under- so let’s not undervalue plants! In fact, when I hear Dandelion-or-whatever is a “coffee substitute” I want to say “stop turning nice people away from herbalism!”  So, OK, not a substitute. BUT.

What I am saying is I use Honeysuckle flowers in a similar way to how I use Elder flowers, and more: to support the body during a flu, fever or infection, clear heat, move energy. I see it as clearing emotional heat too, soothing on several levels.  It’s quite tasty, I love both the taste and smell and use it in oils externally just for the pleasure. I am interested in the use of Honeysuckle to help support Lyme but I don;t have enough experience with this yet to share, other than that Honeysuckle told me (weirdo alert)  “tincture my stem for Lyme”…I then found some support for that in the book Invasive Plant Medicine by Timothy Scott so I am experimenting. I would LOVE to hear others’ experiences with this application. 

It is a very abundant plant here, so I have been able to make some elixirs this year too-mixing fresh Honeysuckle flowers and buds with fresh grapes, sweet cherries, raw honeycomb, cognac, brandy, blending it with other flowers such as Violets, Hawthorne and Wild Roses…and I also make a super-strong tincture of both flower and fresh green stem (separately) in grain alcohol, I dry it, I infuse it in a carrier oil. I carry it in my larger first aid kit, as it is not widely available as a medicine outside of the brief flowering phase. Additionally, sometimes I don’t know what the heck Culpeper was talking about.

More info:

American Extra Pharmacoepia by David Winston

Herbal Antivirals by Stephen Harrod Buhner

Invasive Plant Medicine by Timothy Scott

Earthwise Herbal by Matt Wood












A brief review of current cholesterol rebels.

Lard. Butter. Bones and cream….do they lead to certain, horrible death? Have we as a culture fixed ourselves with Low-fat Oreos ™, margarine and dry toast? Is everything better now? Some would say no. In fact, some studies and statistics don’t seem to show that we have fixed much at all. We may actually be causing more problems. Some doomy types might even suggest that we are riding an evil raft of treadmills, statins and Cool Whip(tm) straight to hell.

Now I am not about to say you should take your Egg Beaters(tm) and your soy bacon and shove them where the sun don’t shine. But there are some folks out there who are saying just that–and they’re backing such recommendations up with big-ass books. The purpose of this review is merely to provide you with some resources to check out, whereupon you can make your own decisions. NOTE: I make NO claim that this blog is balanced or well-researched, as it is actually a personal opinion blog ONLY and is not medical advice!!

OK, shall we begin:

+Fat: an appreciation of a misunderstood ingredient, with recipes

by Jennifer McLagan

When I first read this book (2008) I was slightly shocked. Like a lot of us, I’d felt confused about fats and health. Fat is presented as  a celebration more than anything else, and the recipes are truly delightful, even for a person like me who is inherently unable to follow a recipe. (It’s genetic)

+The Great Cholesterol Myth

by Jonny Bowden PHD CNS and Stephen Sinatra MD FACC

This is the most accessible of the cholesterol books I’ve read lately, more entry-level than radical. I would call it fairly balanced, as the authors seem to have based it on actual experience, which is nice. And they were on Dr. Oz! So they must be OK! (Yes that is sarcasm.) The writing is quick and snappy but they are not afraid to use big words and big concepts.


+Eat the Yolks

by Liz Wolfe, NTP

OK, so this one isn’t for everyone. It is definitely Paleo-oriented. (that can be great or wacko, depending on the situation) But it is a fun book with some humor and lightness throughout, which makes for a quick read. This book is really for those who want to be convinced, though- those who aren’t already shaking in their booties over alleged hardening arteries. The author is a great champion of the egg, which I appreciate as it is the perfect food.


+Death by Food Pyramid

by Denise MInger

I admit to being slightly surprised at how much I liked this book. I saw the photo of the young researcher and didn’t immediately realize what a powerhouse of brains she is. This is currently one of my favorite books on the subject and it seems very well-researched, very well-written with a strong voice and a sharp wit.Lots of critical thinking, Highly recommended.


As always, I must caution against extremes and fear-mongering in the world of diet, health, fitness, or…heck, anything.

Here are some further links, as I suggest that you do your own research! What do you think? How do you feel? What has been your experience? Remember, no other “expert” lives inside of YOUR body, or has to live with your decisions…just you!