Herb Profile: Lime Flower

IMG_0812Botanical Name: Tilia x europea, Tilia cordata, Tilia americana

Family: Tiliacea 

Common Names: Lime Flower, Linden Flowers

Identification: The Lime Tree is a tall, stately tree with deciduous, heart shaped leaves and drooping fragrant flowers in the summer. It can be found in woods, hedgerows, parks and gardens.

Parts Used: Flowers

Medicinal Actions & Uses:  Antispasmodic, thymoleptic (mood-lifting), cholagogue, emollient, expectorant, hypotensive, nervine, sedative, stomachic, vasodilator, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic

  • Lime Flowers are well known for their calming and relaxing properties. IMG_0813They are able to balance moods and impart a restful sleep by relieving tension
  • Lime is very useful in situations where high blood pressure is caused by anxiety and stress, by relaxing the circulatory system and relieving the pressure on the arterial walls
  • As a mild sedative and relaxant lime helps promote sound sleeping without drowsiness 
  • A hot tea of Lime flowers promotes sweating, and can help break a fever, or speed up colds & the flu
  • A cool tea of Linden cools the body and relieves menopausal night sweats
  • As a stomachic, Lime soothes and relaxes the gut, so is useful in digestive complaints related to anxiety & tension: wind, colic, indigestion, diarrhoea.

History and Folklore: 

English folklore used to tell that if you slept under a Lime tree you could wake in the land of faerie.

Lime Flowers are loved by bees, and it makes a delicious honey that retains their calming, relaxing effects. Some regard this honey as the best flavoured and most valuable in the world, and it used to be used exclusively in medicine.

As the Lime Flower season is short, it can be easily missed. So, if you spot the tree in IMG_0838flower, get out there fast for pickings!

The young leaves of a Lime are edible, and make a nice addition to salads

The flowers, if picked when too old, are said to bring about narcotic intoxication.

Active Constituents: Essential oils, tannins, flavonoids, mucilage, phenols

Contra-indications: No side effects or drug interactions have been reported

References: 

Mrs Grieve’s Modern Herbal [online] www.botanical.com

Plants for a Future   www.pfaf.org

Julie Bruton Seal & Matthew Seal – Hedgerow Medicine

David Hoffman – Medical Herbalism

Anne McIntyre – Complete Herbal Tutor