Forsythia Bush

Forsythia (Forsythia intermedia) also called ‘Golden Bell’ and is originally from China

Easy Starters – Cut branch and insert in moist soil!

Forsythia was named after British Royal Gardener William Forsyth after  he introduced this bush to England, however it is called Lian Qiao in  China, its native habitat.

When Forsythia blooms on bare branches in early spring it is stunning.  One of the earliest spring bloomers with yellow flowers grouped in clusters.  Each flower has four lobes. The bark is yellowish brown in colour and has raised lenticels (bumps).  It is a fast grow bush and can grow from one to two feet per year to height of 3 meters (10’) tall and 3.5 meters (12’) wide. They can be grown as hedgerows or ornamental’s and they enjoy full sun to partial shade.

Herbal Remedy History:

Seed Pods called Fruit in Chinese Traditional Medicine

After flowering this bushes forms fruit (seed pods)  that are used in Chinese Herbal formulas for treating the common cold, influenza, and allergies.  There are two stages that they pick and use these seed pods.  One stage is when the pods are unripe and green and the other, ripe and  yellow.

In Chinese Traditional Medicine these seeds are a detoxicant for treating toxic and hot conditions like inflammatory and infectious diseases as it clears the body of toxic heat (sore throats, swollen lymph glands, flues, fever and, chills. .  This includes viral and bacterial infections such as; colds, bronchitis, strep throat.  They use it to  give relief to carbuncles (staph abscesses that go deeper and get larger than boils) and more:

  • a diuretic
  • stimulant for blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus
  • reduce fever
  • expel intestinal worms
  • a skin tonic  for chronic skin eruptions, acne or dermatitis and antiscrofulous (Scrofula is a tuberculous infection of the skin on the neck).
  • prevent vomiting
  • protect liver from damage

In Western Cultures, extracts of forsythia fruit has become one common ingredient in many plant based skin-care products and is now used in cosmetic products, hair care (e.g., hair growth liniments and anti-dandruff shampoos), skin care (e.g., acne cream) and foot care (e.g., athlete’s foot) products for their antimicrobial and traditional detoxifying properties.

Edible and Medicinal Benefits


Forsythia seeds can be  made into:

  • teas
  • extract
  • essential oil
  • essences
  • juice

The Flowers have a broad-spectrum antibacterial action and are edible.  The flowers can be steamed and dried, used in decoctions and infusions, and made in syrups and tea.

Young Leaves, Twigs and Roots

The young leaves can be used as a poultice on ulcerated glands and hemorrhoids. can be used in the treatment of breast cancer and the roots are used in the treatment of cancer, colds, fever and jaundice.

Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.