Linden Tea: A Holiday Stress Busting Herbal Remedy for Year Round Relief
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If there is one herb which is known and used for its stress relieving qualities, it’s Linden, commonly consumed world-wide as a tea.
With the stress and social burdens of the coming holidays, this particular herb, Linden, can be used safely year round to help bring relief to mild forms of nervousness and anxiety. It is a stress-buster to many persons and to others, it is a mild and pleasant form of relief for nervousness.
Primarily known for it’s anxiety sedative qualities, it is an herb well known in many cultures, especially of European origins. There were always four major medicinal herbs and plants in my family backyard, and still are. Linden, Chamomile, Anise, in the kitchen if little glass jars and the aloe vera plant right outside of my kitchen door. There were others to be sure but it was these four that were always grabbed first whenever the need arose.
Linden, A Little Overview and Background:
In actuality, there are different plant species, yet, they are considered by many persons as one. Linden is an herb that comes from various species of Tilia, or lime tree. It many times is confused with other species such as Common lime; European lime; Tilia cordata; and Tilia platyphyllos. For centuries, it has been known for it’s therapeutic value and has been used in European folk medicine to treat a tremendously wide range of health problems.(1)
Flowers from two Linden species (Tilia cordata and Tilia platyphyllos) were historically used to soothe nerves and treat health problems associated with anxiety. These flowers were steeped as a tea to relieve anxiety-related indigestion, irregular heartbeat, and vomiting.
In various ethnic folklore throughout the world, it is said that the Linden tree, or Tilia Americana, stores the warming rays of the sun in its honey-sweet blooms (also called lime blooms). When the delicious tea prepared from these flowers is drunk, it instills the sun’s warmth in the body, causing one to break out in perspiration: hence, its use for lowering body temperatures.
Yet, while widely known throughout Europe, Native Americans also used Linden flowers for treating ’sick headaches’ and nervous stomachs. They were also well aware of the diuretic, diaphoretic, antispasmodic and sedative properties of the flowers and herbs of this very versatile tree.(2)
The Linden is a medium-sized tree that usually reaches a height of 60 to 120 feet and specimens have been known to grow to upwards of 1,000 years in longevity. Commonly found in North America and Europe, the Linden tree has large, deep roots and smooth, reddish twigs. It has a gray-colored bark and the flowers have a pleasant apple-smelling quality and are of a yellowish-white tint.
The many uses for Tilia has been studied in only a very few test tube and animal trials. In these test, Linden appears to mildly have antispasmodic (reducing muscle contractions); astringent (drying); diuretic and sedative properties.
It is interesting and important to note that different parts of different Tilia species are used in treating different specific conditions and symptoms. What is good for one ailment with one species, does not necessarily mean it is good for another ailment with the same species of Linden. Some knowledge of herbal plants is thereby indicated when using this therapeutic plant herb.
Linden has been used over the years for it’s various beneficial applications of which a few are as following: for those suffering from high blood pressure, (especially the kind caused by emotive reasons). It has also been used in cases of treating arteriosclerosis, palpitations and heart diseases. It has shown to be especially effective in treating colds; bronchial infections (as a decongestant); and in the reduction of fevers and cough. Another use for Linden has been to induce perspiration; reduce sore throats; and especially in bringing relief to those suffering from colitis or intestinal inflammation. Indeed, it is an effective antispasmodic and it has even been used to induce urination to help in clearing the toxins from the body.
However, it is as an aid in reducing nervousness, stress, and anxiety for which it is most widely known and used. And it is for this purpose for which this little herb can be put to use best during the hectic times of the holiday season. It is indeed a sedative remedy which can be a help to relieving tensions, sinus headaches, and helping calm the mind and induce sleep easily and mildly.
For many persons, Linden tea is traditionally drunk as a digestive or, like chamomile, as an after dinner drink to induce peaceful sleep. It has an apple flavor, is caffeine-free, and is easily bought at many grocery, health food and drug stores. Many come in easy to use tea bags although this writer prefers the actual flowers prepared as mentioned below.
The best preparation method for Linden when dealing with cases of acute anxiety, stress or nervousness, is to drink 1 – 3 cups of Linden tea daily for up to seven days in order to accustom the body to the relieving effects of the tea.
Upwards of this amount can be drunk, however, there are certain precautions in preparing and taking Linden tea, as there is with every natural herb that God created for man. When preparing Linden tea for children, it is best to consult with the family physician before administering it to the child. With pregnant women, it is also wise to hold off on it as it may affect the unborn child.
However, also when dealing with heart patients, it is also wise to consult with the doctor first of all. Whereas, Linden does have a calming effect on heart palpitations, because there is another heart condition already manifested, the herb may counter act with prescribed medication. However, it would behoove this writer to also not state that one would have to drink an awfully large amount of Linden for it to adversely affect an individual.
Linden tea comes in three forms for consumption. They are tincture; the actual Linden flower (in capsule or tea); and in fluid form. To start with, let it be emphasized that the recommended adult doses of course can vary but in general, the following is the recommended adult dose for tea and flower forms. A knowledgeable health practitioner can better indicate the proper dosage for tinctures and fluid forms. It bears repeating that for children, it is best to check with their doctor first.
As a tea: Put 1 – 2 tsp. flowers in 8 oz of boiling water. For an added aid, 1 tsp. seet chamomile flowers and a delicious star of anise may be added while boiling. Steep covered for 20 minutes. Drain tea liquid through a small strainer or colander and drink three cups of hot tea daily, as hot as one can tolerate it. Honey added may enhance the curative ability of the combined flowers. Stevia may also be added in place of sugar.
The use of this apple smelling tea is an attractive and healthy alternative to the use of alcohol, valium, or other means of dealing with stress levels. Especially the high tension created unnecessarily sometimes during the festive holiday season.
Linden’s fame precedes it and it’s historical background and popularity throughout much of the world certainly warrants an investigative experience with the use of this healthy, effectual, and safe herbal plant. This holiday, it would be a good idea to at least try this herbal tea once or twice and perhaps permanently become a “stress busting” enthusiast of Linden tea.
Photograph:Courtesy chloesbeautyrooms.com UK
Authored by: Beverly Anne Sanchez, 2010