Linden is a large tree of the Tiliaceae family, with approximately 30 species, and is one of the most popular trees. What is at the heart of its popularity and why it is worth using?
The linden is found not only in forests and parks, but also in our homes in many forms.
Although lindens are common in Europe, Poland has only two wild species: little-leaf linden (Tilia cordata Mill.) and large-leaved linden (Tilia platyphyllos Scop.).Linden wood is soft and cleavable so it is easy to sand, dye and process. These particular features mean that linden wood has been long used to make furniture, floors, tableware for everyday use or musical instruments!
Lindens do not have special soil requirements, so they are found not only in forests, but also in parks and along roads. Lindens are melliferous plants, highly valued by beekeepers!
Who does not associate their yellowish-white, intensely smelling flowers, as an essential part of the landscape in July?
So, what about linden and our health?
Linden inflorescences are the raw material, and they are composed of 3-6 flowers. The harvested inflorescences with bracts are dried in thin layers under natural conditions (only in shade and ventilated places) or in special drying rooms at a temperature of up to 35°C.
The effects and modern usage of linden in phytotherapy: when and why?
Both species of linden play an important role in phytotherapy, and their use in Europe has an extremely long history. The inflorescences with bracts, called the flower, are particularly valued for flavonoids, mucus, tannins, phytosterols, essential oils or mineral salts.
Linden and it multitasking nature:
- There is nothing better as a diaphoretic agent that an extra blanket and a linden infusion, thanks to its flavonoids. In cases of fever, a linden infusion or a linden flower decoction gently stimulates sweating, which is especially important in upper respiratory tract diseases associated with an elevated body temperature.
- Linden inflorescences alleviate sore throat thanks to their oil content. Infusions of the raw materials, due to mucous compounds coating the throat, will also alleviate dry cough.
- The terpenes found in linden increase the production of gastric juice, stimulate the bile flow to the duodenum, and the mucous compounds have a protective effect, which makes linden infusions beneficial for the gastrointestinal tract and digestion.
- Linden also helps to relieve nervous tension through its essential oils that also have a soothing effect on our bodies. It contributes to restful sleep, reduces anxiety and relaxes.
In Poland, the popularity of linden has significantly affected its natural occurrence.
The proportion of linden trees in many forest complexes in our country has been substantially reduced due to the economic activities of humans; therefore today, it is mostly planted. What demonstrates the historical occurrence of linden trees? Just look at the administrative map of Poland, and there are around 120 towns, such as Lupa, Lipce, Lipia Góra, Lipinki, Lipiny, Lipowiec, and even St. Lipka in the Warminsko-Mazurskie province, where you can see the historic baroque Jesuit monastery!
In some countries, the linden flower is used externally to soothe and alleviate itching and to treat cracked and dried skin and insect bites!