Flowers of Linden tree, Lime - Tilia spp. (Tiliaceae)

Medicinal Use of Linden, Lime – Tilia spp. (Tiliaceae)


Deciduous trees growing to a height of 100 ft (30 m), with smooth gray bark, heart-shaped leaves, and clusters of pale yellow flowers with wing like bracts.

Habitat & Cultivation

Native to Europe, linden is found in the wild, but is also much planted in gardens and along roads. The flowers are collected in summer.

Parts Used

Flowers and bracts.


Linden contains flavonoids (especially quercetin and kaempferol), caffeic and other acids, mucilage (about 3%), tannins, volatile oil (0.02%-0.1%), and traces of benzodiazepine-like compounds. The flavonoids improve circulation.

History & Folklore

Greek myth recounts how Philyra, a nymph, was raped by the god Cronus in the guise of a horse, and eventually gave birth to the famed centaur, Chiron. Philyra was so devastated that she begged the gods not to leave her amongst mortals. The gods granted her wish by transforming her into a linden tree.

Medicinal Actions & Uses

Linden is an antispasmodic, sweat-inducing, and sedative remedy. It relieves tension and sinus headaches, helping to calm the mind and allow easy sleep. Linden is an excellent remedy for stress and panic, and is used specifically to treat nervous palpitations. The flowers bring relief to colds and flu by reducing nasal congestion and soothing fever.

Linden flowers are commonly taken to lower high blood pressure, particularly when there are emotional factors involved. The flowers are used over the long term to treat high systolic blood pressure associated with arteriosclerosis. Because of their emollient quality, linden flowers are used in France to make a lotion for itchy skin.