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Plant Family: 



Habitat & Cultivation: 

 The two Tilia species that are used medicinally are:

  • Tilia cordata (small leaved linden)

  • Tilia platyphyllos (large leaved linden)


They are preferred because the tannin and mucilage content in the flowers of these specific species are considered to have more flavor in teas and extracts. (American Botanical Council, 2013).


These species are native to Europe, but it is cultivated also in North America. The littleleaf (T. cordata), can grow in hardiness zones 3-7 if we refer to this map. It does not seem to grow well in very hot zones.

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Parts Used/Collection: 

Dried Flower


Herbal Actions: 

Nervine, mild sedative, cardiotonic, antispasmodic, peripheral vasodilator, hypotensive, diaphoretic (reduce fever), diuretic, anti-inflammatory, astringent. (This week’s lesson - Mood disorders in pregnancy; Hoffman, 2003; Mills & Bone, 2005)



  • Indications:

    • Nervous tension

    • Anxiety

    • Hypertension

    • Migraine

    • Cough

    • Fever due to cold or flu
      (AHPA, 2013; Riccio & Zollinger, 2018)


  • Contraindications:

    • None known

(AHPA, 2013; Hoffman, 2003)



The standard preparation for Tilia platyphyllos is tinctures and infusions.  The recommended dosage by tincture is 2.5 to 5 mL 3x daily (1:5 in 40%).  The recommended dosage for an infusion is 1 tsp of blossoms for every 1 cup of boiling water 3x daily (Hoffman, 2003).


Plant Constituents: 

Carminative, Antispasmodic, Antimicrobial, Aesthetic, Nervine, Antioxidant


System Affinities: 

  • Nervous

  • Integumentary

  • Respiratory

  • Cardiovascular

  • Urinary

(Hoffman, 2003; AHPA, 2013)


Tilia spp is also known with the common names of Linden flower, Lime blossom, small leaf lime tree.

  1. the herbal actions of linden flower are due to the combination and interactions among the wide variety of constituents present including flavonoids, phenols, tannins, mucilage and essential oils (and probably others we don’t know about!). The concentration of these constituents varies depending on environmental quality and pollution. (Kosakowska et al., 2015)

    1. Nervine - both the anxiolytic and sedative effects of linden are presumed to be due to the concentration of flavonoids, quercetin, kaempferol, essential oils (fernasol), and their derivatives. (American Botanical Council, 2013; Kosakowska et al., 2015)

    2. Cardiotonic - I could not find any mechanisms for this herbal action in our readings for this week. Although, hypotensive and vasodilative actions have been observed in animal studies, showing an increase in heart rate and relaxation of cardiac muscle tone (American Botanical Council, 2013).

    3. Antispasmodic - the antispasmodic effects of linden are presumed to be due in part to the essential oil (fernasol) concentration, which has been shown to have a calming effect when inhaled (American Botanical Council, 2013).




The energetics of Tilia platyphyllos are bitter, cooling, and moistening.  The constituent that would benefit best from these energetic effects is Pitta due to its cooling and bitter effects.  Pitta’s tend to do better in cooler environments.

It can be aggravating used alone for people who already have too much cool or moist in them. For these folks, it can be formulated along with warming and/or drying herbs. I see that a lot of the formulas mentioned are doing this.



According to Mills and Bone (2005), in pregnancy linden flower is a category B2 “No increase in frequency of malformation or other harmful effects on the foetus from limited use in women. Animal studies are lacking.”

In lactation it is rated as a category C and is compatible with breastfeeding (Mills & Bone, 2005).


Personal Experience: 



American Botanical Council. (2000). Lemon balm. Accessed 2 Feb 2018.

Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press. 


Kosakowska, O. K., Bączek, K., Przybył, J. L., Ejdys, M., Kuźma, P., Obiedziński, M., & Węglarz, Z. (2015). Intraspecific variability in the content of phenolic compounds, essential oil and mucilage of small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata Mill.) from Poland. Industrial Crops and Products, 78, 58-65.

Mills, S., & Bone, K. (2005). The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.



Linden or Limeflower (Tilia)

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