Linden

Linden

Large-leaved Linden, Tilia platyphyllos, and Small-leaved Linden, Tilia cordata) are trees sacred in many eastern European countries. They grow to 30 meters tall and are often planted in alleys. The crown as well as the leaves are heart-shaped. They belong to the Linden family, Tiliaceae and are native to Europe.

Medicinal use of Linden

Tilia flowers are a very important diaphoretic herb commonly used to soothe cold symptoms such as fever. The flowers promote sweat which lowers the body temperature stopping the fever.

It is important to drink warm Linden tea at the very first sign of a cold. You can also give yourself a foot bath with the tea to trigger sweating. A foot bath is particularly nice before going to sleep. Keep your feet warm through the night by wearing wool socks.

The flowers contain mucus which soothes irritation especially throat irritation caused by excessive coughing. Furthermore, they relieve pain, warm the body and act as a mild laxative.

In folk medicine, the tea is also used to calm the nerves and improve sleep.

Externally, the flowers are used in baths to promote sweating, calm the nerves of babies and relax very tired people, especially the elderly.

The French take a Linden flower bath to relieve migraines.

The flower tea also soothes irritated skin and stabilizes normal skin function. Use it as a band-aid to soothe burned skin and as an eye compress to refresh tired, swollen eyes.

Internally, Linden:

  • Promotes sweating (diaphoretic) to lower fever
  • Stimulates the immune system
  • Soothes throat irritation
  • Calms the nerves
  • Improves sleep

Externally, Linden:

  • Helps regenerate the skin
  • Is an excellent “band-aid” on wounds
  • Lowers inflammation of the skin (abscesses, boils, etc.)
  • Refreshes tired, swollen eyes
  • Is a great mouthwash in cases of periodontal diseases
  • Sedates, especially babies and the elderly
  • Relieves migraines (French folk medicine)
Constituents

Arabinogalactan, flavonoids, tannins, essential oils (linalool, 1,8 cineol, farnesol), caffeic acid, sex and growth hormones, vitamin C, tocopherol (vitamin E)

Daily dose

2-4 g flowers with adjacent leaves

Homemade preparations
  • Infusion
  • Bath
  • Mouthwash
  • Liqueur
Cultivation

Tilia sp. prefers a loose and deep soil in full sun.

Harvest

For the highest medicinal grade, harvest the flowers with their leaves in a sunny morning.

Drying

Lay the flowers on a flat surface in a dark and well-ventilated room. The fastest you dry them, the better. I prefer to use a dehydrator at 30 degrees Celsius (86 F)

Side effects of herb:

None

Contra-indications of herb:

In a study, scientists have concluded that ingesting Linden tea can represent a risk factor for infant botulism. Therefore, avoid giving Linden tea to babies. Instead, pour the tea in the baby’s bath.

Culinary use

Try the young Linden leaves in a salad, cooked as spinach, on a slice of buttered bread, added to both for added flavor and nutrients.

Row of Linden trees

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