Linden Flower (Tilia spp.) and its Uses

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American and European Bass trees, or linden trees, grow throughout my neighborhood.  They line the streets and when they blossom, the wonderful heady fragrance of the linden flowers is enough to get our family taking walks twice a day just to enjoy them.  I remember my European mother-in-law sneaking a few of the flowers to take home for tea.  While the flowers lose their intense aroma when dried, after the tea is brewed the scent of summertime is revived in my mug. 

Found: Rich wooded areas, suburban neighborhoods from New Brunswick to Florida and Texas to Manitoba. 

Identifying:  Grows 60 – 80 feet, sometimes even over 100 feet.  The leaves have fine sharp teeth and are somewhat heart shaped.  Unique winged stalks help propel the seeds.  

Parts Used: Flowers and bark

Medicinal Use:  Sedative, anti-spasmodic, hypotensive, diuretic, doaphoretic, mild astringent. American Indians made a tea of the inner bark for lunk ailments, heartburn, and weak stomach. A poultice of the bark was used for boils.  Tincture of the leaves, flower, and/or buds is traditionally used as a remedy for nervous headaches, painful digestion, or restlessness.  Sedative; useful for panic attacks, anxiety attacks, nervous headaches, migraines and dizziness, nervous vomiting.  Ancient use was for epilepsy and convulsion.  Europeans often use linden with hyperactivity or fevers in children. Cooling to herpes.  Also used for uterine pain and pelvic inflammatory disease.  Fevers, chills, shivering with sweating, colds and flu.  For itching skin with sores, herpes, shingles the bark can be used as a poultice.  High blood pressure. diarrhea.  Many herbalists use linden as a children’s remedy for fevers, cold and flu.

Preparation:  Dried linden flowers can be used as a tea, or a tincture may be used.  As tincture 30 – 40 drops 2 – 4 times daily.  For fevers, take drops in hot water to induce sweating. For poultice, bark should be well-beaten and then simmered in cream or milk.  

Allergic Reactions/Warnings: None known

Note: These posts are not meant to be a medical guide but an overview.  Consulting an herbal specialist is always recommended.

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