Scientific Name/Common Name: Tilia cordata / Linden
Part(s) Used: Flower
Constituents/Active Ingredients: More than 1% flavonoids including hyperoside, quercitrin, myricetin, galactoside, kaempferol, 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.
Overview: The flowers of linden trees, otherwise known as lime tree flowers, are used for various medicinal purposes. Linden flowers can be used to make a pleasant tasting tea that is listed in the German Pharmacopoeia as a diaphoretic (an agent used to induce sweating) in the treatment of feverish chills and colds in which a sweat cure is desired. Flavonoids, volatile oil, and mucilage components are known as the active ingredients. It is recommended that large amounts of the infusion be drunk as hot as possible to help ‘sweat out’ a fever. Linden flowers were also used traditionally in the treatment of catarrh (mucous of the respiratory and digestive tracts) and as a gargle for sore throats and irritated mucous membranes of the mouth and throat. Studies have shown that the mucilage of Tilia cordata binds to mucous membranes. The closely related American linden tree, Tilia americana, was used traditionally for treating nervous headaches, restlessness, and painful digestion.
Traditional Use/Benefits/Body Systems: Traditionally used in Herbal Medicine as a nervine to help relieve nervousness and restlessness and to help relieve coughs and irritation of the throat in colds and catarrh of the respiratory tract.
Clinical Studies/Scientific Research/References:
Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J, editors. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Boston (MA): Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000.
Hoffmann D. 2003. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester (VT): Healing Arts Press.
Wichtl M (ed). 1994. Tiliae flos – Lime tree flower. In Herbal Drugs and Phyto-pharmaceuticals. (English translation by Norman Grainger Bisset). CRC Press, Stuttgart, pp. 496-498.
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