Linden is the other name for Genus Tilia trees comprising of 30 species called lime trees or basswood.
Linden is native of British Isles and occurs in Europe and North America. Though sometime referred to as lime tree, it is not related to lime fruit. Linden tree has a sturdy trunk with heavy branches subdivided into small branches with thickly populated leaves. The tree grows up to a height of 20 to 40 meters and the leaves grow up to 6 to 20 cm across.
The shape of the tree has ornamental value. The flowers of the tree produces nectar and hence the trees are protected by beekeepers. The honey produced by the flowers is pale, aromatic and monofloral. In addition to this, the flowers are used to prepare herbal tea and tinctures by herbal medical practitioners.
The dried flowers are somewhat sweet in taste and sticky. The fruit from the tree is also sweet and mucilaginous. The flowers contain an aromatic oil and flavonoids which are antioxidants. Many parts of the tree are used in herbal medicine. The flowers, wood, leaves and charcoal obtained from the wood are all used in medicine. The plant also contains tannins used as astringent.
Even though many parts of the tree find their use in herbal medicine, the most important and common use of linden tree is from its flowers in the form of linden tea.
Health benefits of Linden tea
The high level of phytonutrients, flavonoids and diaphoretic substances in linden tea make it a richly beneficial herbal tea. Some of the prominent health benefits of linden tea are:
Elimination of free radicals
Free radicals are harmful substances are produced as by product during metabolism. Such free radicals are detrimental to health and can create many health hazards including cancer. Quercetin and kaemferol are the two antioxidants in linden tea which eliminates the free radicals and prevent many diseases. The antioxidants are also effective as anti-aging agents and protect from the exposure to sun’s heat.
Inflammatory conditions, particularly gout and arthritis are painful and even unbearable. Linden tea helps to relieve such pains and symptoms. By reducing blood pressure, linden tea reduces inflammation in the blood vessels and consequently cures headaches. Linden tea is useful in reducing the swelling in the tissues in arthritis patients.
By eliminating the free radicals from the body, the antioxidants in linden tea prevents growth of cancerous tissues. Quercetin and coumarin are the two antioxidants that prevent free radicals from causing apoptosis. Apoptosis is the mutation of healthy cells prompting them to cause growth of cancer.
P-coumaric acid is a diaphoretic present in linden tea which induces sweating thereby releasing harmful toxins and foreign substances from the body in addition to removing excess water, salt and fat. People suffering from fever can consume linden tea to induce sweating which helps speedy recovery from fever.
Boosts functioning of immune system
Linden tea helps to remove congestion in the respiratory system. It is an anti-inflammatory agent that relieves swollen membranes and the respiratory tract due to which cold, flu and cough are cured. By removing congestion, sore throat is also cured.
Consumption of linden tea relaxes the body and mind. The soothing properties of linden tea reduces mental stress and anxiety and relieves the nerves. Linden tea instantly addresses mood swings and chronic anxiety. It also possesses a sedative quality which induces sleep and is helpful in stress reduction.
Intestinal disorders are removed by consuming linden wood charcoal. You can also use linden wood to cure liver and gall bladder diseases. It also clears infections and swelling below the skin.
How to make Linden tea?
- Boil a cup of water.
- Add a teaspoon of dried linden flower powder to the boiling water.
- Switch off after a minute.
- Let the linden flower powder steep for about 15 minutes.
- Filter it using a tea strainer.
You can consume the tea hot, warm or cold depending on your preference. Linden tea bags are also available in the market and you could use these for preparation of the tea. You can also add a little honey to the tea to make it mildly sweet.
We suggest that you restrict the intake of linden tea to three times a day though there is no set dosage.
Linden tea is not suitable for pregnant women, breast feeding mothers and people on medications for other ailments. Some people are allergic to Linden tea. Hence stick to minimal dosages.
Research on the ingredients in linden tea and its accruing benefits to humans are still in initial stages only. Hence it is advisable to consult a health care professional before consuming linden tea.