Dr. Pan's Clinic of TCM


Jin Yin Hua C Lonicera japonica


Chinese Name:                      Jin Yin Hua

Alternate Chinese Names:    Ren Dong Hua, Jin Hua, Er Hua, Shuang Hua


Latin Name:                           Lonicera japonica, Lonicera japonica

Similar species:                      Lonicera japonica Thunb. (Ren Dong Hua);

Lonicera hypoglauco (Hong Xian Ren Dong); Lonicera confusa (Shan Yin Hua); Lonicera dasystyla (Mao Hua Zhu Ren Dong)


Pharmaceutical Name:          Flos Lonicerae


English Name:                        Japanese Honeysuckle flower

Parts used and

method of preparation:          Flower buds are gathered in the beginning of summer and dried in the shade[i].


Chemical Constituents:         luteolin, inositol, saponins, chlorogenic acid, isochlorogenic acid, lonicein, germacrene D, linalool and linalool oxide C,

Note: the active ingredients of the Lonicera family of herbs are in the highest concentrations within the japonica species.

Lesser Chemical

Constituents:                          eugenol, pinene, 1-hexene, cis-3-hexen-1-ol, -terpineol, geraniol, benzyl alcohol, -phenylethanol, carvacol, loganin, tannin, aromadendrene, octanal, -pinene, -pinene, mycrene, 1,8-cineole, -terpinene, hexenol, neral, linalyl acetate, geranyl acetate, citronellol, terpinyl acetate, -eudesmol, -copene, patchoulene, -caryophyllene, -caryophyllene, iso-bornyl acetate, farnesol, nerolidol.


Pharmacological Effects:

1.      Antibiotic:                   Chlorogenic acid, isochlorogenic acid and luteolin are the

chemical constituents directly associated with the antibiotic effect of Jin Yin Hua.  This herb has a proven effective broad-spectrum inhibitory effect on the following bacteria:

o       Staphylococcus aureus

o       Streptococcus -hemolytic

o       Escherichia Coli

o       Bacillus dysenteriae

o       Vibrio cholerae

o       Salmonella typhi

o       Diplococcus pneumoniae

o       Diplococcus meningitidis

o       Pseudomonas aeruginosa

o       Mycobacterium tuberculosis

The fresh herb (just soaked in water) has a stronger antibiotic action than herbal decoction.  The leaves have stronger antibiotic properties than the flowers.[ii]


2.      Anti-inflammatory:     Jin Yin Hua works in two ways to reduce inflammation. 

Firstly, it increases blood neutrophil activity and promotes the neutrophil phagocytosis.      Secondly, the aqueous extract of Lonicera japonica flower selectively regulates NFB activation[iii].  NFB is a major transcription factor involved in cellular response and the triggering of the inflammatory response. 


3.      Antipyretic:                Similar in action to the anti-inflammatory function. 


4.      Cytoprotective

Effect for the Liver:   Chronic exposure to carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) can cause liver and kidney damage. Carbon tetrachloride was widely used as a dry cleaning agent, a refridgerant, and in fire extinguishers[iv]. When exposed to CCl4, the liver swells, and the hepatic cells can be damaged or destroyed.  The methanol extract of Lonicera japonica has protective effects against this destruction of hepatic cells. 


5.      Antilipemic:                Jin Yin Hua has the effect of reducing the amount of

cholesterol absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.  One study determined the necessary dose to be 2.5g/kg (in rats) for this function.[v] Large doses of Jin Yin Hua have shown to increase both bile and gastric acid secretion to break down lipids.  This combined effect can be seen as a regulatory action of lipid absorption.  There is an increase in lipid bio-availability but a decrease in the absorption of cholesterol, a substance damaging in excessive quantities.


6.      CNS stimulant:           Mild stimulating effect on the central nervous system. 


7.      Gastrointestinal:        Large doses of Jin Yin Hua have shown to increase intestinal

motility.  This herb has also shown to have histamine-blocking function.[vi]


8.      Contraceptive:           Decreases pregnancy rate.  Jin Yin Hua was found to have an

                                          anti-implantation activity in clinical trials.[vii]


Modern Therapeutic Indications and Clinical Trials:

1.      Common Colds, Influenza and Pneumonia:       

100 mg of Jin Yin Hua extract is the dose per tablet, and the standard dose is 2-3 tablets taken every 4 to 6 hours.  An injection solution is also available.[viii] 


In one study, 80 individuals were divided into two groups, one group given single doses and the other given multiple doses of aqueous extract from Lonicera japonica.  The results of the clinical trial were that doses up to 100 mg were safe and well tolerated.  As dosage increased from 50 to 100 mg the pharmacokinetic action of the herb increased linearly.  The half-life of this herb was found to be between 1.4 to 1.6 hours with a very low accumulation index.  There were seven cases of mild adverse effects in the single dose group and fourteen cases in the multiple dose group. [ix] 


In another clinical trial, it was found that aqueous extract of Lonicera japonica had a strong anti-inflammatory effect on PAR2-mediated hind paw edema in lab mice.  The most effective concentration was found to be 100mg/kg.  It was found that this herb has an effect to inhibit edema through reducing vascular permeability, neutrophil infiltration and blocking TNF- expression.[x]


This herb has also been shown to be effective in the prevention of common colds, influenza and other upper respiratory infections.  During the influenza season, administration of 1.2ml of an herbal formula via inhalation of herbal vapor or instillation of herbal drops on the throat showed marked prevention in 393 children.[xi]


2.      Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS):

In the treatment of 11 patients with varying stages of SARS the administering of formulae that included Jin Yin Hua proved effective for allaying fever, restoring lymphocyte levels and improving absorption of inflammation.    The study grouped the patients and data into 5 groups: Incubation, Pyretogenic, Cough & Grasp, Collapse and Convalescent.  The Pyretogenic stage was treated with two different formulae and only used during the initial stages of infection when major symptoms included fever, inflammation and increased lymphocyte levels. 

The treating principle for SARS Prescription 1 was to dispel the wind and heat, remove toxins and dampness in order to relieve fever and inflammation caused by initial onset.  SARS Prescription 2 was designed for the strong fever sub-stage of pyretogenic stage.  The toxic heat from the virus had gone deeper into the lungs causing cough and dryness.  Treating principle was to clear away heat, ventilate the lungs, remove toxins and promote blood circulation.  These formulas achieved 100% effective rate for lowering body temperature, clearing inflammation and avoiding relapse.[xii]


3.      Inflammatory Bowel Disease:

Human colonic epithelial cells (HT29 cells) were stimulated with TNF- in the presence or absence of luteolin (an isolate from Lonicera japonica).  It was found that luteolin had the effect of inhibiting TNF- induced IL-8 production thus blocking the inflammatory cascade usually stimulated by this cytokine.[xiii]


4.      Food Allergies:           Aqueous extract of Lonicera japonica has showed immunoregulatory effects during in vitro studies on BALB/c mice.  40 female mice aged six weeks were injected with ovalbulmin (OVA).  Three different groups were treated with different concentrations of extract solution: 100mg/kg, 50mg/kg, and 25mg/kg with a fourth group for control.  The trial showed that in the two higher dosages inflammation was significantly inhibited, release of histamine in the gut was reduced and OVA specific IgE (the immunoglobulin associated with allergic response) in serum were also reduced.  The mast cells within the gut were left intact showing that the allergic response had been blocked before degranulation and release of histamine.  From these observations it was concluded that the extract had an immunoregulatory effect rather than simply just suppression.[xiv] 


5.      Acute Appendicitis:

Using 62 to 93g of Jin Yin Hua and 9 to 10g of Gan Cao (Licorice) to treat this condition.[xv]  (Case study not available)


Ionic penetration of Jin Yin Hua for 30 minutes daily for 10 to 20 treatments achieved significant results in 159 patients with appendicitis.[xvi]


6.      Mastitis:                     Formula containing 45g of Jin Yin Hua, 15g of Lu Jiao Shuang, and 12g of Wang Bu Liu Xing, all mixed in a base of grain alcohol.  This formula showed improvement in 10 patients with mastitis.[xvii]



Other indications include:

viral conjunctivitis, carbuncles and other skin suppurations.  These are related to the inflammatory effect of Jin Yin Hua.

[i] Geng J. et al.

[ii] Chen, K.J. and Chen, T.

[iii] Tae, Jin et al.

[iv] Wikipedia.org

[v] Chen, K.J. and Chen, T.

[vi] Li, F.

[vii] Chaudhury, R.R.

[viii] Huang, K.C.

[ix] Kim, J.W.

[x] Tae, J. et al.

[xi] Chen, K.J. and Chen, T.

[xii] Tong, X.L.

[xiii] Kim, J.A.

[xiv] Li, F.

[xv] Huang, K.C.

[xvi] Chen, K.J. and Chen, T.

[xvii] Chen, K.J. and Chen, T.


Last modified: 12/13/10