With so many helpful plants to choose from to help us with sleep one of the most interesting and little known plants , belongs to the family of Tiliaceae and is called Tilia tomentosa or the Linden tree, which includes over 300 species of trees. It is a large tree that can grow up to thirty to thirty-five meters high from temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The young bark is smooth and turns darker with age. The leaves are heart-shaped and disposed alternately on the same plane. It has yellowish or whitish flowers that grow clustered in the axil of leaves, with an incredibly beautiful and relaxing fragrance.
This tree medicine is used to help bring sleep to anxious children and adults, and to gently lower blood pressure. The herb is a great ally in times of stress. Linden calms the nervous system, soothing the nerves for sleep, can relieve a tension headache, or ease an upset stomach.
This is because the flowers contain an essential oil composed partly of an alcohol sesquiterpene called farnesol which is antispasmodic and sedativein nature.
The herb is also known to ease menstrual cramps. Further, it is considered a heart medicine, where it protects the heart through its antioxidant actions and ability to dilate & heal blood vessels.
- Ideal paediatric remedy
- Drainage, sedative, balancing action on the nervous system
- Calming effect for the nervous system
- Anxiolytic, sleep inducer, antispasmodic
- Detoxifies the nervous system, general detoxifier
- Regulator of neurohormonal metabolism in obesity
How to use it
You can obtain the dried flowers from a health food store or herb shop and they are even available in tea bags. Use a heaped teaspoonful (2-4 g) of the crushed flowers (with the bract) per cup of boiling water. As with all herbal teas, it is important not to allow the steam to escape. This is crucial when using linden flowers because the relaxing properties depend on volatile oils which can easily evaporate and be lost in the steam. That’s why you should carefully cover the teapot or make linden tea in a jar with a screw top lid. They should be steeped for about 10 minutes. Drink three cups each day for an indefinite period. A typical course of treatment would last three months.
1-2 hours before bedtime, take 1-2 tablespoons of Linden Honey with lukewarm water.
Bathe in Flowers
For the ultimate in nourishing self-care, treat yourself to a linden blossom bath:
- Place a few cupfuls of linden blossoms in a piece of muslin or cheesecloth, tied to keep the herbs from escaping into the bath water. Add to bath and fill with hot water. Steep, enjoy.
- Brew a very strong pot of linden tea, strain, add to bath.
The tincture is available as a 1:5 preparation in 25% alcohol. Dose should be 2-4 mils taken three times a day. You can also use a fluid extract (1:1) in 25% alcohol and the dose is 2-4 mils three times a day.
COLLECTING YOUR OWN LINDEN FLOWERS
Collecting linden is a pleasant summer day’s occupation. It should be done between 10 a.m. and noon on warm days before the hot sun has caused the evaporation of the essential oils. Try to avoid blossoms that are covered with dust. You can time your collection to a day or two after rain. The flowers themselves must be fully opened and dry. Once collected, the flowers with keel attached should be spread out on a clean sheet or paper towels out of the sun until dry. You will have to turn them over every day. Once brittle, you can store them in jars with tight-fitting lids or sealed paper bags.
Curiosities and Historical background
In France, linden tea it’s a popular drink served in the evenings, in people’s homes as well as at five-star restaurants.
Can you see your self sipping a nice linden tea on the Champ Elysees in a fresh evening of June? Relaxing uh! It already works!
The majestic tree has long been part of the herbal medicine chest in both Europe and North America. And it turns out that Linden (Tilia spp) grows widely on both continents. Linden is a common choice for planting along city streets, and graces many a park, helping unaware stressed citizens with its scent.
When Linden blossoms in late June or early July, you can you can find the trees by their sweet scent, as well as by their distinctive lopsided heart-shaped leaf, with flowers attached to them.