Tilia spp. (especially T. cordata Mill., also T. platyphyllos Scop., T. americana L., T. europaea L., T. argentea, and T. platypus.). Flos Tiliae or Tiliae flos (pharmacopeial names)
Linden, lime flowers, lime blossom, lime tree, basswood, beetree, tilia, tilleul, tilo, tiglio, cirimbo, sirimo
Flowers and bracts, charcoal (from the wood), leaf, twigs inner bark
T. americana is native to North America, while T. cordata, T. platyphyllus, T. europea (and others) are native to Europe
Linden flowers are best harvested on a dry day in early to midsummer, immediately after flowering, and dried in the shade.
The linden tree emits a fragrant scent when in bloom. Its fragrance is popular in bath and toilette products, especially in France where it's called tilleul. Linden is known for its calming effects and is used for this purpose in children. Linden blossom infused bathwater is used to calm anxiousness, irritability, or restlessness in adults and children. Internally, linden flower infusion is used in many cultures as a soothing nervine or gentle sedative for anxiety, hyperactivity, or insomnia. Linden has an agreeable aroma and flavor due to its essential oils and tannins, and it blends well with other herbs in tea blends.(1)
Linden, a plant with a rich history of medicinal use in Europe, is recognized by various authoritative sources such as the Commission E Monographs and the World Health Organization’s Monographs on Medicinal Plants Commonly Used in the Newly Independent States. It is also included in the official pharmacopeias of Germany, Switzerland, and Britain. Linden is commonly used to alleviate symptoms of colds, flus, and bronchitis, such as chest congestion and fever. It is also known for its diaphoretic properties, which help induce sweating and reduce fevers associated with colds and flus. The German Commission E has approved linden flower for treating colds and coughs, while the British Herbal Compendium lists its use for irritable coughs, catarrh, and common colds, as well as restlessness and hypertension. Linden is often combined with other herbs such as meadowsweet flower, willow bark, chamomile, orange peel, and elder flower in diaphoretic tea blends for reducing influenza-related fevers in children.(2)
Linden is a versatile herb with a long history of use for various health concerns. It is known for its calming effects on anxiety, nervous tension, and hysteria. Additionally, it has been traditionally used to prevent cardiovascular and circulatory disorders, such as arteriosclerotic hypertension and swollen ankles. Linden is often combined with hawthorn for this purpose. The herb's circulatory benefits can also provide relief for nervous headaches, migraines, and sinus headaches. Linden is also used for gastrointestinal discomfort, with the charcoal made from linden wood being used for dyspepsia or gastric disturbances. It has antispasmodic properties and has been used for urinary infections as well. An infusion of linden blossom may be helpful for cases of nervous indigestion.(3)
Linden, a tree species found in both Europe and North America, was used by Native Americans for a variety of medicinal purposes. The inner bark was used to alleviate gastrointestinal issues, heartburn, and weakness during pregnancy, while the leaves were used to make an eye wash and poultice for dermatological issues. In cases of snake bites or internal bleeding, the bark from a linden tree struck by lightning was employed. The Iroquois even used the inner bark as an emergency bandage. Many of these uses were consistent with the applications of linden in European medicine.(4)
Adult Dose (6)
Infusion: Steep 2.0 grams flower in 150 mL boiled water for 10 to 15 minutes, once or twice daily. One teaspoon blossoms infused in one cup boiling water for 10 minutes, taken three times/day, or 2-3 teaspoons blossoms infused as above for a diaphoretic effect in fever.
Tincture: 10 mL of a 1:5 once or twice per day.* 2-4 mL of the tincture (1:5 in 45% alcohol)1-2 mL tincture three times/day.
In rare cases, hypersensitive individuals may exhibit signs of urticaria (contact dermatitis) or allergic rhinitis. There are some concerns that in high doses linden could be cardiotoxic. (5)
(1)King, J., Felter, H. W., & Lloyd, J. U. (1898). King's American dispensatory. Cincinnati: Ohio Valley Co. Available online at http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/tilia.html
(2)Blumenthal, M., W.R. Busse, A. Goldberg, J. Gruenwald, T. Hall, C.W. Riggins, R.S. Rister (eds.) S. Klein and R.S. Rister (trans.). (2000). Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Austin: American Botanical Council; Boston: Integrative Medicine Communications.
(3)Hoffmann, D. (1998). The herbal handbook: A user's guide to medical herbalism. Rochester, Vt: Healing Arts Press.
(4)Nesom, G. (2002). Plant guide for basswood (Tilia americana L.) USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Retrieved on 11/13/2015 from http://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_tiam.pdf.
(5)World Health Organization. (2010). WHO monographs on medicinal plants commonly used in the Newly Independent States (NIS). Geneva: World Health Organization. (6)Hoffmann, D. (1998). The herbal handbook: A user's guide to medical herbalism. Rochester, Vt: Healing Arts Press.
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