One of the main uses of Lime Flowers is to treat colds, coughs and flu. It contains mucilage – a sticky substance that can help to soothe irritated membranes of the throat and it is known to decrease mucus production. The Linden Flower is actually listed in the German Pharmacopoeia and is approved in the German Commission E monographs, where it is used in common cold and antitussive (cough remedy) preparations.
Lime Flowers are also rich in antioxidant flavonoids and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help to reduce cold and flu symptoms such as inflamed membranes in the respiratory tract.
If a cold or flu turns into a fever, Linden Flowers can induce a bout of sweating which can often break the fever.
Lime Flowers are known as a “carminative” herb, an aromatic bitter tonic that can be used to aid in digestive upset. The blend of phytonutrients found in Lime Flowers can stimulate proper digestion whilst reducing gastrointestinal discomfort. The mucilagous substance produced by this herb lines the digestive tract, allowing food to move through the body more easily.
Studies show that Linden tea can be especially useful for “gastrocardiac syndrome”, a condition caused by excessive gas causing the stomach to push up and put pressure on the heart. The anti-spasmodic action of Lime Flowers works by relieving spasms in the intestinal tract.
Linden Flowers are classed as a nervine and have a long history of use as a folk remedy for improving mental function, moods and sleep. One of the active ingredients in Linden is an essential oil called farnesol, a sedative which helps relax the cardiovascular system, which in turn helps to curb stress.
The sedative effects of Lime Flowers make them useful in treating nervous palpitations and insomnia. Lime Flower tea was said to be drunk by World War II soldiers to bring about calmness whilst the doctors during this time used this herb as a tranquiliser.
Atherosclerosis, when the arteries lose their flexibility and elasticity, is a well known cause of heart disease. French phytotherapists and physicians Drs. Lapraz and Duraffourd, demonstrated that Linden helps to maintain the smooth inner surface and elasticity of the blood vessel walls.
A stroke occurs if plaque accumulates and blocks an artery. When plaque blocks an artery inside the heart muscle, part of the heart muscle dies. The doctors also found that Linden works against the aggregation of plaque whilst being an anticoagulant and a vasodilator.
Folklore and history
In ancient Greece and Rome, the Linden tree was a symbol of friendship and tender faithful love. Many European peoples, especially those of Slavic origin, elevated this tree to a ritual tree that became an object of worship.
Up until the age of enlightenment, judicial meetings of the Germanic people were held under a Linden tree. Verdicts often came back sub tilia, meaning “under Linden.” It was a common belief that the tree helped unearth the truth in certain matters. Sitting under the Linden tree was also believed to cure epilepsy in some cultures.
"Linden opens the emotional and spiritual heart even as it improves cardiovascular circulation… Linden has a divinely inspired way of opening you to the bliss of your true multidimensional nature – the larger reality we’re all part of."
– Robin Rose Bennett, The Gift Of Healing Herbs
Also known as Linden Flowers, Lime Flowers have a long history of use in European Traditional Medicine. Linden Flower tea has been called the "nectar of kings" since ancient times, due to its comprehensive and impressive health benefits. These delicately sweet scented flowers were used as an expectorant to treat colds, flu and coughs and were extensively used in the Middle Ages as a diaphoretic (to promote sweating to break a fever).
Said to “Gladden the Heart”, Lime Flowers are a well known anti-depressant, sedative and relaxant, and as such have been used for centuries to treat anxiety, sleep disorders and “hysteria”.
Linden Flowers were also used topically to treat skin ailments such as eczema, rashes, wounds and bruises.
To make Lime Flowers tea steep 1 to 3 teaspoons of the herb mixture in 1 cup of boiling hot water for 5 to 15 minutes.
Lime Flowers Tincture: 2-3ml up to 3 times a day. Can be added to water or fruit juice.
Lime Flowers contain: More than 1% flavonoids including hyperoside, quercitrin, myricetin galactoside, kaempferol, farnesol, kaempferol glycosides including astragalin and its 6-p-coumaric acid ester tiliroside), myricetin and quercetin glycosides; approximately 10% mucilage largely comprised of arabino-galactans; proanthocyanidins; caffeic, chlorogenic and p-coumaric acids; up to 0.02% essential oil containing alkanes and monoterpenes including geraniol and eugenol.
Lime Flowers have generally been regarded as being safe.
Avoid taking Lime Flowers together with medications to increase blood pressure, as their effects could be decreased.
If you are taking any prescription medications, please consult your health care professional before using this herb.