Weeping Forsythia plant, Lian Qiao (Chinese) - Forsythia Suspensa (Oleaceae)

Medicinal Use of Weeping Forsythia, Lian Qiao (Chinese) – Forsythia Suspensa (Oleaceae)


Deciduous shrub growing to 16 ft (5 m). Has toothed leaves, bright yellow flowers, and woody fruit.

Habitat & Cultivation

Native to China and Japan, weeping forsythia is grown for its bright yellow blossoms in temperate gardens all over the world. The fruit is harvested in autumn, just before it is fully ripe.

Part Used



The fruit contains flavonoids, including rutin, lignans, glycosides, and forsythin. Research suggests that forsythin is antimicrobial, anti-emetic, and anti-inflammatory.

History & Folklore

Weeping forsythia was first listed in the Divine Husbandman’s Classic (Shen’nong Bencaojing), written in the 1st century CE. Weeping forsythia features in a remedy for infections devised in the 18th century.

Medicinal Actions & Uses

A bitter-tasting, pungent herb with antiseptic and antiviral activity, weeping forsythia is used to treat infections such as colds, flu, sore throats, and tonsillitis. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is used to treat a range of other conditions (including boils, swollen glands, and skin infections). The American herbal scientist James A. Duke recommends it be taken as a warm tea, combined with honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.) and lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), at the onset of colds and similar viral infections.


Not advisable in pregnancy.