Medicinal Trees: Linden – Good Witches Homestead

Tilia americana or Tilia Europea or Tilia cordata

Also, Known As:

  • American Basswood
  • American Linden
  • Basswood
  • Bast Tree
  • Common Lime
  • Limeblossom
  • Lime Flowers
  • Lime Tree
  • Linden
  • Linden Flower
  • Spoonwood
  • Wycopy

Linden is a tree belonging to different species of the genus Tilia, also known as lime or basswood tree. This herb has been used in European traditional medicine for long to cure an assortment of health conditions. In fact, the majority of the linden products available commercially are obtained from the species T. platyphyllos Scop. and T. cordata Mill. Linden is basically a huge deciduous tree belonging to the plant family Tiliaceae that generally grows more than 100 feet tall. While T. cordata Mill. is generally denoted as the small-leaved European linden, T. platyphyllos Scop. is generally known as the large-leaved linden. The fragrant flowers of this genus have a whitish or yellowish hue and are collected during the summer. They are dried soon after collection in a shady location. It is important to conserve the dried out linden flowers carefully, as even a little amount of humidity is enough to lessen the aromatic attributes as well as the actions of the flowers.

An herbal tea prepared with dried linden flowers has been employed in the form of a diaphoretic (any medication that stimulates sweating) since the later part of the Middle Ages. In fact, the flowers of linden are prescribed for two opposing purposes – as a nervine (a sedative or medication for the nerves) and also in the form of a stimulant. Apart from these, linden flowers are regarded to be very effective in treating indigestion, headaches, diarrhea and hysteria. There was a time when people believed that linden flowers were so useful in treating epilepsy that any individual enduring this medical condition could be cured just by sitting beneath a linden tree.

Linden flowers enclose several flavonoid compounds, especially derivatives of kaempferol and quercetin accompanied by p-coumaric acid. The effectiveness of linden flowers as a diaphoretic is attributed to these compounds. In other words, these compounds enable the flowers to stimulate perspiration. The flowers also enclose an aromatic volatile oil in conjugation with varied amounts of mucilage and tannin.

Findings of a number of researches undertaken with linden flowers have revealed that the comparative quantities of mucilage and tannin are vital to the flavor of the herbal tea prepared with the flowers. The taste of linden flower tea is important, as people require drinking comparatively large quantities of the tea to promote sweating. Linden flowers containing high tannin content (about 2 percent or more) and comparatively less amount of mucilage help to produce an herbal tea that is high in flavor compared to those prepared with flowers containing a lesser amount of tannin and more quantities of mucilage.

It may be noted that mucilage has a propensity to be somewhat bland and this possibly elucidates the reason behind the blooms of T. platyphyllos and T. cordata being preferred as the main source of this herb. These two species of genus Tilia have comparatively more tannin and less amount of mucilage in comparison to the flowers of other species of the genus, for instance, T. tomentosa Moench – commonly known as silver linden. As a result, herbal teas made with the flowers of T. platyphyllos and T. cordata have a superior flavor. Usually, authorities concur that the herbal tea prepared with linden flower not only has a pleasing flavor, but the beverage is also effective as a diaphoretic. It is advisable that if you desire to have the most excellent flavored linden product, you should opt for the flowers of either T. platyphyllos or T. cordata. It might not be very effortless for any individual to depend on the commercially available supplies of the herb that usually fail to ensure the botanical source. It is essential to store the flowers in a light-resistant and sealed container to conserve their utmost aroma.

It has been reported that very frequent use of the herbal tea prepared with blossoms of linden may harm the heart. While this only happens rarely and owing to drinking the beverage in excess, it is advisable that people having known cardiac disorder would be better off by keeping away from using linden flowers. In effect, the flowers of linden are an excellent medication for treating tension and nervousness. At the same time, they also promote sleep (cure insomnia), alleviate restiveness and excitement in children as well as facilitates in unwinding the tensed muscles. Blossoms of linden are also effective for treating a medical condition related to tension, such as headaches, colic, menstrual pain, and cramps.

The bioflavonoids present in linden flowers have soothing properties, which coupled with their favorable actions on the arteries make them an effective medication to lower high blood pressure as well as treat arteriosclerosis (a degenerating disease of the arteries). In addition, the flowers of linden also comfort/ unwind the arteries of the heart, which make them helpful in treating palpitations and coronary heart ailments.

When taken in the form of a hot infusion, linden flowers promote sweating and improve blood circulation to the skin. The flowers of linden are also an effective medication to reduce fevers, especially in children, to clear catarrhal blocking. When ingested along with elder flowers, the blossoms of linden facilitate in treating colds, coughs as well as flu. When taken in the form of an infusion that is either cool or warm, linden flowers have a diuretic action and facilitate in getting rid of excessive fluid accumulation as well as toxic substances from the body by means of urination.

Plant Parts Used:

Flowers, young leaves, inner bark. […]

Source: Medicinal Trees: Linden – Good Witches Homestead

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