The Lovely Linden Tree
Monograph compiled by Mary Schmidt
Genus: Tilia; T. Cordata, T Americana, T. europae, Tilliaceae
Other names: Basswood, lime blossom
Energetics: cooling, moistening –slightly warm, flowers – moist, leaves-dry
Parts used: Mainly flower, buds and leaves, bark and sap are also used for food and medicine.
*Astringent and demulcent – Relaxing astringent.
- Relaxing nervine – helps to calm tension and irritability in the nervous system
- Anxiolytic – eases anxiety
- Antispasmodic – eases muscle cramping
- Hypotensive – assists in lowering blood pressure
- Vasodilator – helps to dilate blood vessels
- Demulcent – Flowers rich in mucilage which helps to soothe and protect tissues
- Diaphoretic – helps to promote perspiration
- Mild diuretic
- Anti-inflammatory – eases inflammation
- Sedative properties
Linden is a common municipal tree in temperate North America and Europe, with a dense, lush canopy and fragrant late spring flowers, small sun-like lacy blossoms with thin, papery, green bracts attached to the stem. Linden flowers are white to yellowish and they grow in cymes or clusters, followed by a small seed pod in fall, which allegedly taste of carob or chocolate when roasted.
Linden trees grow to be a tall stately deciduous tree, up to 130 feet in height.
The leaves are shaped like a heart and have serrated edges. They form an alternate leaf pattern. Young leaves have a texture much like lettuce and are edible.
In Europe they commonly use Tilia cordata, it’s a small-leaved lime and is considered the most medicinal species of the Tilia genus. In North America we have Tilia americana. It is derived from the Tilia genus of trees, which typically grows in temperate regions of North America, Europe, and Asia. All of the species of tilia can be used interchangeably, there are many varieties and all are edible.
It is delicious and gentle enough for children and the elderly, yet also has been employed for serious acute problems.
Linden is often called the “Bee Tree” because of the hundreds of bees which buzz amongst its blossoms! Famous for its use in perfumes, soap and creams, it has long been infused in honey, teas, syrups and cordials. It has an intoxicating fragrance and is often compared to honeysuckle or jasmine.
Harvest: To dry: The flowers are best picked a couple of days after it has rained. To make sure the sun has not dried up any essential oils, gather the flowers between ten in the morning and noon. They should be fully open and dry. To dry them, place them on paper towels or newspaper until dry, remembering to turn them every day. Once dry and brittle, they can be stored in sealed jars or a paper bag.
To tincture: Pick them and cover with alcohol immediately, you can even take your jar of alcohol out with you to quickly begin preserving the essential oil.
Some reported benefits:
- Sleep disorders (insomnia) Promote sleep
- Calm anxiety
- Headaches including migraines
- Problems with bladder control (incontinence)
- Excessive bleeding (hemorrhage)
- Itchy skin
- Painful swelling of joints (rheumatism)
- Bronchitis, cough, colds and flues
- Bloating, Nervous indigestion
- Causing sweating
- Break fevers
- Heart health, racing heartbeat, palpitations
- High blood pressure
Anti-fungal properties of lime blossom have been reported, and it is sometimes used in lotions for itchy skin. This herb is unique in that it has both astringent and demulcent, making it particularly appropriate for instances of diarrhea, cough/sore throat and congestion due to its ability to simultaneously soothe inflammation, while also drying out excess mucus.
Stress – Anti-anxiolytic
Stress has an overarching influence on our health and happiness, affecting organ system function and stopping it. Linden has a calming, sedative effect.
Researchers have concluded that linden extract mimicked the activity of gaba-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a brain chemical that inhibits excitability in the human nervous system – excitability means anxiety. Thus, linden tea may promote relaxation by acting like GABA.
It is specific for anxiety that is accompanied by tension: tense shoulders, muscle cramping, tension headaches, painful menstrual cramps, etc. Also think of it for difficulty sleeping due to excessive tension.
Linden relaxes tense musculature, bringing relief and calmness. We know how it feels to walk around with our shoulders tense to our ears, jumpy and on edge. It is also a vasodilator, something that dilates blood vessels. This in itself can lower blood pressure.
[Linden] also cleans the blood and makes it more fluid. This means that it is a valuable defense against arteriosclerosis, phlebitis, angina and heart attacks. Naturally one must not expect much from it after these troubles have already occurred: I am recommending [it] as a preventative, and as this you cannot start taking it soon enough.
– Maurice Mességué, Health Secrets of Plants and Herbs
Herbs such as Tilia [Linden] and Trifolium [Red Clover] added to a bath as an infusion will have a calming effect and will prove useful before bedtime. – David Hoffman, Medical Herbalism
The Doctrine of Signatures tells us that the heart-shaped leaves give us a hint at linden’s benefits for the cardiovascular system and its ability to “gladden the heart,” uplift us emotionally, and soothe heartache and grief (Groves, 2016, p. 159). Yet, linden benefits the physical heart as well, which is evidenced in its long use for assisting with conditions such as atherosclerosis, angina, and heart palpitations especially when there is nervous tension or stress involved (McIntyre, n.d.; Groves, 2016), and, “can help to relax the body while soothing an irritable and tense mind which enables the person to unwind and rest” (Holmes, 1997).
As a relaxing nervine, linden has been used to assist folks struggling with insomnia, nervous and muscle tension, anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, digestive issues originating from emotional unrest, and even hysteria and mania (The Herbal Academy, n.d.; Holmes, 1997). It was “historically used to soothe nerves and treat health problems associated with anxiety” (McIntyre, n.d.). Further, its calming nervine, antispasmodic, and helpful circulatory properties are used to help ease spasms and cramps that contribute to headaches, tight muscles, and migraines as well as menstrual cramps (Tilgner, 1999; Holmes, 1997). Historically, linden is listed for use during mild hysteria and even for epilepsy and convulsions.
Linden flower and leaf is a special herbal friend of children. Its gentle nature makes it a safe herb to share with children and it has been used for centuries to help soothe children. For a restless child who isn’t interested in bedtime, take David Hoffman’s advice of linden for a bedtime bath. It is an old French remedy for hyperactive children. Linden is used for excessive heat in children which manifests as hyperactivity or fever (Wood, 2008). You know, the kid who is so wound up and hot that they just can’t relax? Make them a cup of linden tea, a nice linden bath, or even a linden popsicle and watch them settle down. Combine linden with lemon balm to help a child during viral infections. Other good linden combinations for children are offered to us by Matthew Wood, who says, “yarrow, elder and linden are particularly good when we are dealing with children that are already over-active and hot to begin with—hyper-active. Elder, linden, and hawthorn will usually, in my experience, totally cure hyperactivity and often, attention deficit” (Wood, n.d., p. 27). So, when a nervous tummy, headache, or troubles with sleep pop up, offer your child a cup of linden tea and perhaps a kind ear to talk to.
Linden flower tea is both demulcent and astringent, making it a perfect remedy for excessive dryness. The demulcent qualities add moisture to the body, while the astringent qualities tighten and tone tissues, helping to keep moisture in.
Think of linden flower tea for dry and irritated rashes. Besides taking it internally as a tea it can also be applied externally as a poultice or used as a bath herb. Messegue recommends it for any type of skin inflammation such as burns, boils and abscesses.
As a summertime drink, linden is cooling and moistening, quenching thirst while aromatically heavenly, linden flower and leaf help us to cool down, soothing away the heat of the day and the hyper-reactive heat of seasonal allergies says Matthew Wood.
As an aromatic herb that is also anti-spasmodic linden can be used for indigestion or even stagnant digestion. It is especially useful for those high strung, type A people with a red face, hot skin and a boisterous demeanor who have trouble digesting foods due to excitement or stress.
As a mild astringent linden can be used for diarrhea, especially diarrhea accompanied by cramping and other painful digestive symptoms.
The liver can benefit from the inner bark or sapwood of the tree. In France it is used to help stimulate the flow of bile, and assure the non-aggressive drainage of the liver.
Colds and the Flu
The heat and restless energy of many colds, flus, and seasonal allergies can be eased by linden’s flower’s cooling and calming properties, which increase blood flow to the skin and induces sweating, lowering the body temperature. Further, a soothing mucilage found in linden helps to relieve tension in tight tissues in the chest, throat, and sinuses (McIntyre, n.d.).
- It is specific for a higher fever accompanied by tension and restlessness.
- It is also used as a pectoral herb for catarrhal symptoms such as bronchitis, coughing, congestion, etc.
- Think of its soothing mucilaginous textures for sore and irritated throats.
- Some herbals refer to linden being used for people with asthma.
- Sharol Tilgner reports its use has been shown to shorten the duration of infectious viral conditions such as cold sores and other herpes virus outbreaks.
Antioxidants are compounds that help fight inflammation, potentially lowering your risk of disease. Flavonoids are a type of antioxidant in Tilia flowers, whereas tiliroside, quercetin, and kaempferol are specifically associated with linden buds. Tiliroside is a potent antioxidant that acts by scavenging free radicals in your body. Free radicals can cause oxidative damage, which can lead to inflammation Kaempherol may fight inflammation as well. Plus, some studies show that it may provide cancer-fighting properties
In France the bark was commonly sold as a gentle laxative. Christophe Bernard regularly uses linden bark as a depurative herb for the liver.
Greenmedinfo.com sites studies showing it inhibits proliferation of lymphoma cell lines, reduces pain and does not affect motor function when used as a relaxing nervine.
Traditional folk herbalists have used linden to address the concerns of “high blood”, indicated by redness about the face and chest, restlessness, nervous eating, weight gain, and overall sense of heat. Medically, these symptoms are often associated with high blood pressure. Linden also seems to have a positive impact on anxiety and nervous palpitations and may clear away the distracting mental clutter, and induce a calm focus. Linden is useful to address migraine, tension headache, and nervous indigestion.
Linden trees have been an important source for workable wood. It boasts a light soft wood that lends itself to carving.
Sometimes, the wood is burned, and the charcoal from it is ground up into a fine powder to be used either internally or externally.
The wood is especially valuable for carving, being white, close-grained, smooth and tractable in working, and admits of the greatest sharpness in minute details. Grinley Gibbons did most of his flower and figure carvings for St. Paul’s Cathedral, Windsor Castle, and Chatsworth in Lime wood.
It is the lightest wood produced by any of the broad-leaved European trees, and is suitable for many other purposes, as it never becomes worm-eaten. On the Continent it is much used for turnery, sounding boards for pianos, in organ manufacture, as the framework of veneers for furniture, for packing cases and also for artists’ charcoal making and for the fabrication of wood-pulp.
The inner bark or bast when detached from the outer bark in strands or ribands makes excellent fibres and coarse matting, chiefly used by gardeners, being light, but strong and elastic. Fancy baskets are often made of it. In Sweden, the inner bark, separated by maceration so as to form a kind of flax, has been employed to make fishing-nets.
The sap, drawn off in the spring, affords a considerable quantity of sugar.
The foliage is eaten by cattle, either fresh or dry. The leaves and shoots are mucilaginous and may be employed in poultices and fomentations.
The fall seeds allegedly taste of carob or chocolate when roasted.
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
One source stated “It has very few, if any, side effects, and there are no known drug interactions. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration believes that it may even be safe for women who are pregnant or nursing, and for children. This tea is growing in popularity since it can be used by just about anyone for extended periods of time.”
The only problem was reported in the German Commission E report, where it was found that ingestion of large quantities of lime blossom could possibly lead to heart problems in some people. However the report concluded that this only happens in a small percentage of people, and only after massive ingestion.
So, considerations should be taken for long term and excessive use of linden having a cumulative negative effect on the cardiovascular system. Extended use should be avoided by those currently on heart and blood pressure medication. As always make considerations for pregnant or nursing women.
Linden is generally considered to be a safe herb. However, an interesting caution found on the internet agreed with the opinion that “preparations made from flowers that are old may cause issues such as symptoms of narcotic intoxication”, (Grieves, n.d.). Also, while rare, linden may cause an allergic reaction in the form of “contact dermatitis” or “allergic rhinitis,” and large amounts of linden may be “cardiotoxic” (“Linden,” n.d., para. 30). Additionally, people taking certain medications, those with heart problems, and pregnant or nursing women should avoid it. It’s best to drink this tea in moderation and not every day.
Though it is generally considered safe, avoid linden tea if you are allergic to linden or its pollen.
- Nourishing infusion
- Syrup from sap
- Simple syrup
- Compress, bath
- Oil for topical use.
Linden Flower Tincture
Fresh linden flowers or dried linden flower and leaf and 100 proof Vodka
- Fill a jar with fresh linden flowers.
- Cover the flowers with vodka and place a tight-fitting lid on top.
- Store the jar in a cool, dry place for 6 weeks.
- Shake daily.
- Strain the flower out, store in a dark bottle and label.
Take 30 drops up to 4 times per day as needed.
Note: Linden’s tannin content indicates it would be a good choice for a glycerin extraction and you might even try it in vinegar.
Fresh linden flowers and Honey. Clean, dry jar with a tight fitting lid.
- Loosely fill your jar with freshly harvested linden flowers.
- Cover with honey. Check back on your honey after a couple of hours and add more if needed to keep herb submerged.
- Infuse the honey for a couple of weeks turning the jar occasionally to make sure that the flowers stay coated in the honey.
- You can strain the flowers out if you wish or just leave them in the honey and eat them. Spread your linden honey on baked goods and toast or use it in tea.
For external purposes use a poultice of the bruised fresh leaves and/or flowers or a compress dipped in a strong infusion.
You may also infuse Linden into oil for use in salves or creams.
Linden can be eaten; flowers are great on salads. The leaves are edible, and when young and tender are delicious tossed into salads. They can be added to stews as a thickening agent, even dried and ground into a flour substitute. The leaves and flowers can be pounded into a flour that can then be mixed with other flours such as wheat to make baked goods. The inner bark is also edible. The sap can be boiled down into a syrup. Herbalist Ananda Wilson tells “the green fruits can be eaten as well”.
Linden makes a wonderfully refreshing flower tea. Steep one teaspoon of the leaves and flowers in a mug for 15 minutes, covered. This is a pleasant and slightly mucilaginous tea.
You can also make it into a nourishing herbal infusion by steeping one ounce of the leaves and flowers in a quart of room temperature water for four hours or overnight. This will have a stronger therapeutic action than the tea. Some people prefer to only use the flowers for teas and infusions. Try it poured over ice for a refreshing beverage.
Linden “Under Pressure” Tea
- 1oz dried linden
- .5oz dried vervain
- .5oz dried chamomile flowers
- .25oz dried holy basil
- .25oz dried rose petal
Combine dried herbs in an airtight container. Store in a cool dry place.
To prepare tea, steep a generous teaspoon of herbs in recently simmer water for 5-7 minutes, or longer for stronger infusion. Strain and enjoy.
Excellent as an after work or before bed tea, or working on a deadline as it seems to help refine your focus to the task at hand.
Refreshing Summer tea
Brew this tea to drink on a hot summer day and serve over ice! You can also blend it with some fruit such as peaches or berries and freeze into tasty popsicles!
6 teaspoons linden flower and leaf
4 teaspoons spearmint leaf
4 teaspoons lemon balm leaf
4 teaspoons hibiscus flowers
2 teaspoons rose petals
½ gallon of water
Honey to taste
- Combine all the herbs together in a ½ gallon jar or a pot.
- You can make this tea with boiling hot water or as a sun tea.
- If you are making with hot water, boil the water and then cover the herbs with water. Place a lid on top of the jar/pot and steep for at least 30 minutes before straining.
- If you are making a sun tea, place the herbs in a jar so the sun’s rays can reach them. Cover the herbs with water and place a lid on top of your jar. Set the jar in the sun for 4 hours before straining the herbs out.
- While your tea is still warm, sweeten it with a bit of honey and then let it cool before serving!
Grief healing Tea
Make this heart-soothing infusion when you need some TLC during times of grief and sadness. From The Gift of Healing Herbs, by Robin Rose Bennett
1 cup linden blossoms
1 cup violet leaves
½ cup hawthorn berries, leaves, and/or flowers
½ gallon of boiling hot water
- Place the herbs in a big jar or pot.
- Cover with the water and place a cap or lid on top.
- Steep overnight, then strain and sip throughout the day.
- Store extras in the refrigerator
Cool down and relax tea
This blend is helpful drunk hot during fevers and respiratory illness.
1 part dried linden
1 part dried elderflower
1 part dried calendula
1 part dried mint or lemon balm
Honey to taste
- Blend up the herbs and store in a jar until ready to use.
- To make the tea steep 1 to 3 teaspoons of the herb mixture in 1 cup of boiling hot water for 5 to 15 minutes. This can be doubled or quadrupled to make more tea at a time so you will have it on hand to sip throughout the day. Simply reheat when you are ready to drink.
- Strain out the herbs, add honey to taste and drink hot.
- Use fewer herbs and steep for less time when making this or other teas for children.
To make a strong infusion of linden flowers and increase the anti-inflammatory effect, do a second brew on the same linden flowers with cold water to pull out that mucilage, because many plant mucilage are more soluble in cold water.
Take a quart jar and put half an ounce by weight of linden blossoms in the quart jar, fill that to the top with water, put a tight lid on it and I let that sit overnight.
After a couple of hours, it can be use but overnight strengthens its effect. Strain the liquid away from the linden blossoms and put them in a pan with two cups of cold water, and bring to boil. Put a lid on it, turn the fire down and let that sit for at least two hours, it will be much more slippery. And that slippery ness, is mucilage, it has an anti-inflammatory effect.
Lovely Linden Bathtub blend
Enjoy this bath before bed or anytime you need a to wind down and relax.
1 handful of dried linden flower and leaf
1 handful of dried rose petals
1 handful of dried lavender blossoms
1 handful of dried chamomile flowers
1 handful of Epsom salt
Optional essential oils such as lavender, rose geranium, sweet orange, or clary sage
- Place the dried herbs in a big pot of water on the stove.
- Heat to a simmer. Turn off the heat, place a lid on top of the pot to keep any aromatic essential oils from escaping into the air.
- Let steep for at least 30 minutes, the longer the stronger.
- Strain the herbs from the liquid in the pot, adding the liquid directly to the bathtub.
- Toss in the Epsom salt. Or if you are using essential oils, place the Epsom salt in a bowl and add a total of 5 to 6 drops of essential oils to the Epsom salt. Mix with a spoon and then add the salt to the tub. If making this bath for young children either skip the essential oils or use only a couple of drops of the essential oil to create a child-safe dilution.
- Step in and relax!
Semolina Sun Cake w/ Linden Blossom Syrup
This cake is made with semolina, a grainy textured “flour” made of durum wheat. Semolina is a traditional part of Latvian cuisine and was served in the form of a pudding with fresh berry compote at many midsummer feasts. (If you want to go non-gluten you can also use cornmeal or rice farina.) Semolina is also a common ingredient in dry crumbly Middle Eastern cakes meant to be infused with syrup or honey.
The syrup is simple to make, you just need a couple of cups of linden blossoms with the papery bracts removed. These will be infused into a simple syrup of sugar and water – you could also use honey which I’ve done before – but I think the flavor of the blossoms comes out more nicely in the syrup.
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1/2 cup of semolina
- 2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 2/3 cup of soft butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- whipped cream to serve
- 3/4 cup Linden Syrup
Linden Blossom Syrup Ingredients
(Makes about 1 cup)
- 1 &1/2 cups sugar
- 1 & 1/2 cups water
- 4 cups of linden blossoms
- 2 tablespoons of finely grated lemon zest
Directions for Linden Blossom Syrup
- Start by separating the linden blossoms from their papery tracts.
- Boil an equal amount of sugar and water together until it thickens into a syrup.
- Once the simple syrup is ready, pour into a bowl and add the flowers and lemon zest.
- Give it a stir. Put it aside and let sit overnight (or at least a few hours) to allow the flavor of the flowers to infuse the syrup. Strain off the flowers before using.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Brush a round pan with butter to grease. Dust with flour.
- Sift the flour, semolina and baking powder into a bowl.
- Beat the butter and sugar in another large bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Stir in the flour mixture. Add the yogurt and stir until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let cool. Then using a toothpick or a skewer, pierce holes all over the surface of the cake. Pour 1/2 cup of syrup over the cake. Let sit a few minutes. Transfer the cake to a serving plate. Pour over the remaining syrup and serve with whipped cream.
P.S. This recipe is a preview from Gather Victoria’s Midsummer Herbal & Magical Cookery E-book for Gather Patrons!
Some say dried flowers have more flavor, others say less…start with slightly less dried flowers than the recipe recommends, give your syrup infusion a taste and see if you want to add more blossoms to make stronger
Linden Monograph by the Herbal Academy
The Energetics of Western Herbs by Peter Holmes
Body Into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self-Care by Maria Groves
Tilia europea/americana/ platyphyllos/cordata: Lime flowers by Anne McIntyre.
Wood, Matthew. (2016). The earthwise herbal repertory: the definitive practitioner’s guide. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/linden
Bennett, Robin Rose. (2014). The gift of healing herbs: plant medicines and home remedies for a vibrantly healthy life. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.
Grieve, Mrs. M. (n.d.). A modern herbal. Retrieved on 5/3/16 from http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/limtre28.html
Groves, Maria. (2016). Body into balance: an herbal guide to holistic self-care. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing, LLC.
Holmes, Peter. (1997). The energetics of western herbs. Boulder, CO: Snow Lotus Press.
McIntyre, Anne. (n.d.). Tilia europea/americana/ platyphyllos/cordata: lime flowers. Retrieved on 5/2/16 from http://annemcintyre.com/tilia-europeaamericana-platyphylloscordata-lime-flowers/
The Herbal Academy. (n.d.). Monograph: Linden, Tilia spp. The Herbarium [Online Herbarium]. Retrieved on 5/04/2016 from http://herbarium.herbalacademyofne.com/monographs/#ID=4084
Tilgner, Sharol, N.D. (1999). Herbal medicine from the heart of the earth. Creswell, OR: Wise Acres Press, Inc.
Wood, Matthew; Bégnoche, Francis Bonaldo; & Light, Phyllis D. (2015). Traditional western herbalism and pulse evaluation: a conversation paperback. Lulu Publishing Services.
Wood, Matthew. (2008). Earthwise herbal: a complete guide to old world medicinal plants. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.
Wood, Matthew. (n.d.). The view from Sunnyfield. Retrieved on 5/3/16 from http://www.woodherbs.com/TC_Wellness_Articles.pdf
Plant constituents / phytochemicals
The healing properties of the lime blossom is attributed mainly to flavonoids. Flavonoids are water-soluble plant pigments that give flowers their yellow, red, or purple colors. They help attract pollinators, such as bees, and also protect the plant from microbes, insects, and fungi. Mucilage, tannins, acids, glycosides, and volatile oils are also in lime blossom, and help produce its medicinal qualities.
One study found giving 45.5 mg of tiliroside per pound (100 mg per kg) of body weight to mice with swollen paws reduced swelling and pain by nearly 27% and 31%, respectively (6).
Another 8-week study in 50 women with rheumatoid arthritis, which is characterized by painful and stiff joints, found that supplementing with 500 mg of quercetin, an antioxidant in linden tea, significantly improved pain symptoms and markers of inflammation (9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).
However, keep in mind that 500 mg of quercetin is a lot. Adults in the United States consume 10 mg of this antioxidant daily, on average, though this number varies greatly depending on your diet, with 80 mg per day being considered a high intake (10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).
The amount of quercetin or other flavonoids in linden tea differs greatly depending on the brand and the proportions of buds, leaves, and bark in a particular blend.
As a result, it’s impossible to know how much of these antioxidants you may be getting in a single cup of tea. Additional research is needed to determine how much of this beverage is needed to relieve pain.
SUMMARY Tiliroside and quercetin — two antioxidants in linden tea — may help reduce pain. Still, more research is needed to determine how much of the tea you would need to drink to reap this potential benefit and whether the amount would be safe.
Since it is a diuretic when taken as a cool infusion, lime blossom can help ailments that affect the urinary tract.
The inner bark of the Tilia tree has been associated with diuretic and diaphoretic effects. A diuretic is a substance that encourages your body to excrete more fluid, while a diaphoretic is a substance that’s used to cool a fever by encouraging sweat (12Trusted Source, 13).
Linden tea has been used in folk medicine to promote sweating and productive coughs when a minor illness like a cold takes hold (1).
In Germany, 1–2 cups (235–470 ml) of linden tea at bedtime is approved for use as a sweat-promoting infusion in adults and children over 12 years old (1).
These effects may be caused by the combination of its plant compounds, specifically quercetin, kaempferol, and p-coumaric acid. At this time, scientific evidence directly linking linden tea and its chemical properties to diuretic effects is insufficient (1).
The bulk of the available data regarding this association is anecdotal, though it spans back to the Middle Ages.
Lower blood pressure
One mouse study found that tiliroside, an antioxidant in linden tea, affected calcium channels in the heart. Calcium plays a role in your heart’s muscular contractions (6, 14Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).
Mice were injected with doses of 0.45, 2.3, and 4.5 mg of the antioxidant per pound (1, 5, and 10 mg per kg) of body weight. As a response, systolic blood pressure (the top number of a reading) decreased (6, 14Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).
This may help explain why linden tea has been used to reduce blood pressure in folk medicine.
Yet, this effect is not yet fully understood and needs further scientific investigation. Linden tea should never be used to replace heart medications.
SUMMARY Folk medicine has used linden tea to lower blood pressure. The mechanism behind this effect is unknown and needs to be studied further.
Linden tea is readily used in folk medicine to promote sleep. Its plant compounds have strong sedative properties, which may encourage relaxation that leads to sleep (1, 12Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).
One mouse study found that extracts from Mexican Tilia trees caused sedation. Researchers believe that the extract depressed the central nervous system, causing drowsiness (2Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).
Soothes your digestive tract
Like any hot tea, linden tea delivers gentle heat and hydration. Both soothe your digestive tract, as water can help food move through your intestines. Folk medicine touts the use of linden tea in times of stomach discomfort.
In one small study in children with antibiotic-resistant diarrhea, tiliroside showed potent antibacterial properties. While this antioxidant was extracted from a different flower, it’s found in linden tea as well (19Trusted Source).
SUMMARY In times of gastric distress, linden tea may soothe your digestive system. Tiliroside, one of its plant compounds, has been shown to help fight infectious diarrhea.
The European Medicines Agency finds that moderate intake, which is defined as 2–4 grams of the tea blend per day, is safe. However, you should not drink the tea in excess (1).
A typical 8-ounce (235-ml) mug of linden tea contains about 1.5 grams of loose tea. Still, there is some variability in how much you may ingest after it infuses hot water. It’s a good idea to limit your intake to no more than 3 cups a day, as needed (1).
Long-term use is linked to heart disease
Linden tea and other products derived from the Tilia tree family should not be used by those with a history of heart conditions.
For this reason, it’s best to drink it in moderation. Those with heart disease or other heart issues should talk to their healthcare provider before regularly consuming this tea (12Trusted Source).
Can interact with certain medications
People who take medications containing lithium should not drink linden tea, as the beverage can change how your body excretes this element. This can affect dosing and may have serious side effects (21).
SUMMARY While linden tea may offer many health benefits, frequent, long-term use may cause heart damage. It should not be used by children or people who have heart problems, take certain medications, or are pregnant or nursing.
Chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of many conditions, including type 2 diabetes and cancer (3Trusted Source).
Antioxidants are compounds that help fight inflammation, potentially lowering your risk of disease. Flavonoids are a type of antioxidant in Tilia flowers, whereas tiliroside, quercetin, and kaempferol are specifically associated with linden buds
Tiliroside is a potent antioxidant that acts by scavenging free radicals in your body. Free radicals can cause oxidative damage, which can lead to inflammation
Kaempherol may fight inflammation as well. Plus, some studies show that it may provide cancer-fighting properties (5Trusted Source).
SUMMARY Linden tea contains powerful antioxidants like tiliroside and kaempferol that help fight inflammation. Chronic inflammation is associated with many diseases, including diabetes and cancer.