Lonicera japonica Thunb.

Last updated: 10 June 2016

Scientific Name

Lonicera japonica Thunb.


Caprifolium chinense S.Watson ex Loudon, Caprifolium japonicum (Thunb.) Dum.Cours., Caprifolium roseum Lam., Lonicera brachypoda Siebold, Lonicera brachypoda var. repens Siebold, Lonicera fauriei H. Lév. & Vaniot, Lonicera japonica var. japonica, Lonicera japonica f. macrantha Matsuda, Lonicera japonica var. repens (Siebold) Rehder, Lonicera japonica var. sempervillosa Hayata, Lonicera shintenensis Hayata. [1]

Vernacular Name

English Gold and silver flower, honeysuckle, Japanese honeysuckle, woodbine [2]
China Chin yin teng, jen tung, jin yin hua, ren dong teng [2]
Vietnam Kim ngan, nhan dong [2]
Japan Nindô, sui-kazura [2]
Bolivia Madre selva [2]
Hawaii Honekakala [2].

Geographical Distributions

Lonicera japonica is native of East Asia but is widely cultivated and naturalised throughout the world. [3]

Botanical Description

L. japonica is a member of the Caprifoliaceae family. It is a climbing shrub with tomentose young leaves and stems. [3]

The leaves are simple, opposite and without stipules. The leaves blade is elliptic, 3-8 cm x 2-3 cm with base obtuse. [3]

The flowers form at the leaf axils, white and turning yellow upon maturity. [3]

The fruits are globose and black. [3]


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

L. japonica has been reported to contain trans-nerolidol, caryophylene oxide, linalool, p-cymene (7.43%), hexadecanoic acid, eugenol, geraniol, trans-linalool oxide, globulol, pentadecanoic acid, veridiflorol benzyl alcohol and phenylethyl alcohol. [4]

Plant Part Used

Flower, leaves [4]

Traditional Use

In traditional chinese medicines, L. japonica is known as Jinyinhua. The flower part of the plant is either fried or charcoaled and used as some specific medicinal purpose. Jinyinhua had been used for the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections. 1500 years ago, in TCM practices, Jinyinhua had been used for the treatment of exopathogenic wind-heat, epidemic febrile diseases, carbuncles, sores, furuncles and infection disease. [5]

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

Toxic parts

Buds and flowers [6]


The buds and flowers of L. japonica contain saponin (lupine-triterpene, glycosides, iridoid glycosides, loniceroside C), flavones and phenolic compounds. The herbal preparations where the flowers form a component have the following compounds: chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, loganin, sweroside, secoxyloganin, rutin and luteolin 7-O-glucoside. [6][7]

It also contains carotenoid tetraterpenoids such as webbiaxanthin and loniceraxanthin, and triterpenoid saponins lonicerarosides A, B and C. These compounds have the potential to irritate the mucosa of the digestive tract, though it is not confirmed. Some of the phenolic compound (methyl caffeate,3,4-d-O-caffeolquinic acid, methyl 3,4-di-O-caffeolquinic acid and 3,4-d-O-caffeolyquinate) inhibit ADP-induced platelet aggregation in vitro. [6][7]

Risk management

The risk of poisoning of this plant is minimal and the adverse effects had been isolated. The plant would be safe to grow even with the presence of toddlers. They are not attractive enough to command the attention of those curious individuals. [3][6][7]

Poisonous clinical findings

Contact with the sap had resulted in pruritic, maculopapular rash. There has been report of development of mydriasis, myalgias and mild gastrointestinal irritation manifested as nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea in people consuming the berries. [6]


Treatment is usually supportive and is directed towards prevention of absorption of toxicant by giving activated charcoal and then towards relief of any persistent vomiting [6].

Topical steroids and antihistamines would provide sufficient relief of contact dermatitis as a result of contact with L. japonica [6].

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Lonicera japonica Thunb. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 May 5]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2339716
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume III E-L. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 817.
  3. Koh HL. A guide to medicinal plants: An illustrated scientific and medicinal approach. Singapore: World Scientific Publications, 2009; p. 89-91.
  4. Rahman A, Kang SC. In vitro control of food-borne and food spoilage bacteria by essential oil and ethanol extracts of Lonicera japonica Thunb. Food Chem. 2009;116(3):670-5.
  5. Liu Y, Wang Z, Zhang J, editors. Dietary Chinese herbs: Chemistry, pharmacology and chemical evidence. Wien, Austria: Springer-Verlag, 2015; p. 697.
  6. Barceloux DG. Medical toxicology of natural substances: Foods, fungi, medicinal herbs, plants and venomous animals. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2008; p. 863-864.
  7. Burrows GE, Tyrl RJ. Toxic plants of North America. Ames, Iowa: John Wiley & Sons, 2013; p. 320-321.