Linden grows in temperate climates of Europe, Asia, and North America. There are many different species of linden that are used medicinally. Regardless of species, the flower of the plant is the part that is most frequently used in medical preparations. While sometimes referred to as a lime flower, linden is not related to the lime fruit. Linden has been used in European folk medicine for centuries for a wide range of health conditions.
Today linden is used by some cultures in connection with anxiety, although no clinical trials have confirmed the herbs effectiveness for anxiety. Some trials have produced results indicating that linden flower tea can help people with mild gallbladder problems, upset stomach or dyspepsia, and excessive gas causing the stomach to press against the bottom of the heart (also known as the gastrocardiac syndrome).
When taken as a hot tea, linden flowers act as a diaphoretic. Diaphoretics induce a mild fever, thereby possibly helping to increase the immune system's ability to fight infections. The fever usually does not go very high because the diaphoretic also causes sweating, which in turn cause the body to cool off. In a few European countries, linden has received approval for the treatment of colds and cold-related coughs.
Different parts of the linden are used in connection with specific conditions and symptoms.
Dosage and Administration
- Flowers: colds, cough, bronchitis, infectious diseases, and headache (particularly migraine), and as a diuretic (increases urine production), antispasmodic (reduces spasm), and sedative
- Leaves: internal use-intestinal complaints; external use-ulcers in the leg
- Wood: liver and gallbladder disorders, cellulitis (inflammation of the body's connective tissue)
To prepare linden tea add 1 to 2 tsp flowers in 8 oz of water and steep cover for 20 minutes. Tea is to be taken 3 times daily. As a liquid extract linden is to be take 3 times daily in doses of 3 to 4 mL. Similarly, as a tincture linden should be taken 3 times daily in doses of 4 to 10 mL.
Adjust the recommended adult dose to account for the child's weight. Most herbal dosages for adults are calculated on the basis of a 150 lb (70 kg) adult. Therefore, if the child weighs 50 lb (20 to 25 kg), the appropriate dose of linden for this child would be 1/3 of the adult dosage.