Lime or linden Tree Uses
Tree Healing Therapy
Botanical name Tilia cordata / Family Malvaceae/Tilioideae
Tilias are generally called 'lime' in Britain and 'linden' in North America and parts of Europe. T cordata, the small-leaved lime, is native to much of Europe and western Asia. A lofty, elegant tree, it was used to line broad avenues and boulevards in many cities in Europe. It has mostly hairless leaves, small and heavily scented, yellow-green flowers and its fruit is a dry downy drupe that becomes smooth at maturity.History, mystery and spiritual healing Both the ancient Greeks and the Slavs considered the lime to be the abode of their goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite and Lada respectively. Homer, Horace, Virgil and Pliny mentioned the linden and its virtues. In Roman mythology the lime tree was a symbol of conjugal love and fidelity.
The linden tree was (and is) regarded as the tree of all peoples with Slavic ancestry. Its golden branches grace the flag of the Czech Republic's presidential flag and became fixed as a national symbol after the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In Germany, the linden was used by communities as a meeting place for dance, celebration and dispensing judgement, and so became associated with peace and harmony.
Bast obtained from inner bark of lime trees has been used by the Japanese Ainu, a people of prehistoric origin, to weave their traditional clothing, the attus. Its fibres can also be used to make ropes, nets and bags.
In folkloric medicine, because of its heart-shaped leaves, the lime tree was dedicated to Venus and was said to cure all diseases classified under the goddess and the planet named after her. In ancient Indian Ayurveda, Venus's diseases were bronchial problems, whooping cough, asthma, dyspepsia and so on. Linden's use also corresponds to mercurial complaints, such as nervous diseases, restlessness and irritation.
Lime flowers have been used in bath infusions for hysteria, and the sweet sap made into wine. Herbal tea made from the dried flowers is considered good for nerve-related conditions, such as headaches, restlessness, insomnia and anxiety. The German Commission E has approved linden flowers for colds and cold-related coughs. The British Herbal Compendium indicates its use for upper respiratory catarrh, common colds, irritable coughs, hypertension and restlessness.
In 2008 two sets of Mexican scientists demonstrated the fresh or stored flowers of the Mexican linden (T Americana var. Mexicana) to be non-toxic and supported their use as a tranquillizer in traditional medicine, as well as confirming the anxiety-reducing effect of a rich flavonoid component, without affecting motor activity.
No safety information is available for linden-blossom absolute.