Botanical Name: Justicia Spicigera
- Common Names: desert honeysuckle, firecracker bush, moyotli, trompetilla
What parts of Muicle are used?
The bark, flowers, leaves and fruit are all used.
How do you identify Muicle and where is it grown?
Justicia spicigera or the Mexican honeysuckle is a beautiful herb that has lovely orange or red tubular-shaped flowers that add a tropical look to any garden. This plant, which also goes by the name of the ‘desert honeysuckle,’ or the ‘firecracker plant,’ is one of those rare herbs which can withstand intense heat and grow well even with minimum water supply.
Importance of honeysuckle in Hispanic Culture
Native to Mexico, Central and South America, this herb has always been a part of Hispanic culture. Many centuries ago, it was found that the leaves of the muicle when boiled, first turned black and then later took on a deep shade of dark blue. Artists and painters used extracts derived from this plant to make dye, which was then used as a means for creative expression. The indigo dye which was made from the Mexican honeysuckle was used to add color to clothes, paintings, baskets, weaves and other handmade crafts.
And what about the smell?
The fragrant leaves and flowers of the Mexican Honeysuckle can be brewed and enjoyed as a hot delicious tea. Mexican honeysuckle honey has a delicious taste to it and the scent of the flowers adds a sweet fragrance as well. You can also make honeysuckle jelly from the flowers. Many add lemon juice and elderflower and enjoy the jelly straight from the bottle. Isn’t it time that the Mexican Honeysuckle found a place in your kitchen and home as well?
Muicle tea is generally prepared by cutting the herb, then steeping two teaspoons with eight ounces of water. Simmer covered on low heat for ten minutes.
Usually Prepared With:
Muicle is combined with a variety of different herbs depending upon the individual needs. Some popular herbs that is combined with include: Elder, Hawthorn Berry, Licorice Root, Marshmallow Root, Oregon Grape Root, Rosehips, Thyme, Sage and Senna to name a few.