Linden (lime blossoms)

Tilia spp.

The common lime is a large deciduous tree 40-50m with reddish bark and buds. The leaves are broadly ovate, alternate to 10cm long. Dull green above with axillary tufts beneath. The flowers are fragrant, yellowish, drooping cymes, the fruit globose, 1-3 seeded faintly 5 ribbed. Flowers harvested early summer.

Family: Tiliaceae

Which probiotic is it in?: Linden is a key herb in Sleep

Habit and cultivation: Originally from Europe and grows well in the cooler areas of New Zealand and Australia. Grown from seed, cuttings or grafting and needs cool deep soils in open sunny situations. Frost resistant but drought tender. Often planted in parks.

Actions (known for): Diaphoretic, relaxant, diuretic, hypotensive, anti-spasmodic, mild astringent and sedative.


Lime trees were planted by royal decree along many roads to ensure a plentiful harvest, since they were valued for medicinal properties. Sitting under a tree was said to cure epilepsy and other nervous illnesses. Used to treat headaches and insomnia. The sweet sap was made into wine. Many Northern hemisphere countries consider it sacred and mythical. It has figured in romantic poetry since mediaeval times.

Parts used:

Flowers with their bracts harvested early summer.

Constituents (bio available chemicals):

Volatile oil, up to 0.1%, containing farnesol. Flavonoids: hesperidin and quercetin. Saponins. Tannins approx: 2%. Mucilage approx 3%.

Nutritional constituents:

Hesperidin and quercetin.


Anxiety, common cold, arteriosclerosis, hypertension, insomnia, migraine and nervous tension.


Liquid extract (1:2): 15-30ml per week. Infusion of dried herb: 2-4g 3 x daily.

British Herbal Pharmacopoeia

Cautions for therapeutic doses

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