My church friend gave me a packet of this dried flowers with chrysanthemum and kum choe (liquourice bark). I did not catch the Chinese name of it but managed to Google out what it is:
Honeysuckle flower (Jinyinhua)
Pharmaceutical Name: Flos Lonicerae
Botanical Name : 1. Lonicera japonica Thunb. L.; 2. Lonicera hypoglauca Miq.; 3. Lonicera confusa DC.; 4. Lonicera dsystyla Rehd.
Common Name : Honeysuckle flower, Lonicera flower
Source of Earliest Record: Mingyi Bielu
Part Used & Method for Pharmaceutical Preparations: The flower buds are gathered in the beginning of summer and dried in the shade.
Properties & Taste: Sweet and cold
Meridians : Lung, stomach and large intestine
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Detoxicate; Clears away toxic substances.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Kills or inhibits the action of germs.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Cools and reduces fever and heat.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Reduces ulcers, swell, sore throat, skin infection.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Clears the lungs and strengthens general health.
Functions : To clear heat and release toxins (source from Herbal Shop)
I had used chrysanthemum with licorice all the while but this honeysuckle is new to me. My church friend told me that during the SARS outbreak, the honeysuckle flower was in great demand and sold out. It is rather cheap, at RM1 for a large packet. She gave to me for my family to ‘cool’ down due to the current hazy season and also unpredictable weather which cause my children and I to cough. (Yeap, see a doctor first, this Chinese herbs is just complementary)
I added some rock sugar and boil the bunch of flowers and barks in a pot of water over slow fire. Nice drink! So, the next time you go to your favourite herbalist, ask for Jinyinhua to be added to your chrysanthemum.
There is an extensive write up here about prevention of the flu using Chinese herbs. But still, see a doctor first if you are sick and enjoy sipping the tea just for that extra pick-me-up. And do not allow your sick little babies and children to be treated with Chinese herbs because their health are fragile. I know of one Chinese sinseh who gives out a standard powder for children with any kind of ailments and parents love it because the medicine put the children to sleep! Scary, man!