Linden flowers as natural cold and flu relief

Linden or Lime trees are native to Europe and are part of the Basswood family. They have been known to reach astonishing ages with some of these Tilia species thought to be around 2000 years old. They are a welcomed sight in Europe with their fragrant clusters of small cream flowers and heart-shaped leaves. Poets have been known to visit them for inspiration and deities of love, luck, fertility and fate have been associated with the Linden tree. Let’s explore some of the health benefits of this historic trees and its lovely flowers. 

The Linden flowers have antispasmodic, sedative and sweat-inducing actions. Most notably, these qualities have been used to help relieve symptoms of cold and flu. Antispasmodic action helps to soothe the throat and chest while sweat-inducing action can reduce fever. Compounds within these fragrant flowers help to sooth the throat and sinus by decrease catarrh. Its sedative action promotes a good night’s sleep and has a calming effect on the nervous system, including the mind. Linden can therefore also help to calm the mind and reduce stress or anxiety. Anti-inflammatory action further promotes health of the respiratory tract and assists the immune system. These properties also aid the relief of headaches, particularly tension headaches, migraines and headaches associated with blocked sinuses.

Compounds within Linden, such as kaempferol, further promote the anti-inflammatory effects and may also aid to fight other types of condition affected by inflammation, including rheumatism and cancer. Furthermore, some research found that tiliroside found in Linden has pain reducing qualities and may assist to reduce swelling and mild pain. Mild diuretic actions further assist detoxification and can help soothe the digestive tract. 

A variety of Lime tree species exist and are used sold for medicinal purposes. Depending on the species there will be a slight variation on the types and amounts of compounds contained within. The species with the strongest known medicinal effects is the Tilia cordata, which is available at the Herb Shed. 

So, buckle up for this coming winter with a nice cuppa of sweet Linden flower tea – and if you’re not fighting a nasty cold, you’re at least getting a restful, energizing good night’s sleep to power you up for the next day.