When I was a child, my maternal grandmother, Irma, always made me a night time drink. Sometimes she made linden flower tea, sweetened with raw honey; and other times she made me warm milk and honey. To this day, I have fond memories of both because it reminds me of my wonderful grandmother. I spent almost every summer of my childhood at her home and I loved her to pieces.
I so wish she could have met my amazing husband and kiddos, but she passed away a few days after my eighteenth birthday. Even though several decades have passed, I still remember the emptiness her passing left inside of me.
My Mamie, as I called her, was a wise woman who lived through not only two world wars–but through the loss of a young son. Yet she remained kind, humble, and loving. My blue eyed grandma came from a long line of strong Celtic women. Strength and gentleness into one small package. I wish I had learned more from her. She knew much about “old folk wisdom.” But I digress.
Linden tea isn’t something I’ve heard much about here in the States. In France, it was known as a sleep aid. My Mamie received her linden flowers from a friend of hers who lived in the south of France and had some Linden trees. The sprite of a woman spent the summer where my grandmother lived and never failed to bring some gifts, linden flowers being one of them. It seems to me that chamomile tea is much more popular in the United States. So, I decided to do a bit of research.
Come to find out, (no surprise here) Mamie was right; linden flowers are a great sleep aid. They are said to help with anxiety by soothing the body, and as such assist with sleeping issues (including insomnia). What I did not know is that these little flowers are so much more than a sleep aid. Here is what I discovered:
- Linden flower tea is known to help with digestive issues including gallbladder issues, digestive issues, and flatulence.
- Another important use of my grandma’s favorite night-time brew is during cold and flu season. Linden tea is said to boost immune system function. This is due to its high amount of vitamins and antioxidant content. In the literature, it has been shown to reduce fevers and to soothe sore throats.
- I also found some positive information about linden flower tea and detoxification, the reduction of inflammation, and the treatment of coughs.
After reading the research and writing this post, (and since I have some on hand) I think I will fix myself a cup and enjoy it by the fireplace with a good book (I am reading a Christy Barritt mystery at the moment).
Making a Cup of Linden Flower Tea
If you are using loose leaves, steep about one teaspoon of linden flowers for 15 to 20 minutes in one cup of hot water. Mamie recommended to leave a small tea plate on top of your cup in order to catch the volatile oils of the flowers. Strain the leaves. Sweeten as desired and enjoy.
If you are using a tea bag, steep one bag in one cup of hot water and proceed as with loose tea (minus the straining).
From the information I gathered, if you are under the weather with a cold or the flu, you may want to drink up to three cups. Before you self-medicate however, make sure you speak with a health professional.
In the summer, the tea can also be enjoyed cold.
Here is to you, Mamie.
Sources for Benefits of Linden Flower Tea:
- Health Benefits of Linden Flowers
- Linden Filled with many Health Benefits
- Linden – University of Maryland
- Pharmacological evaluation of the anxiolytic and sedative effects of Tilia americana L. var. mexicana in mice.
- Linden flower (Tilia spp.) as potential vehicle of Clostridium botulinum spores in the transmission of infant botulism.
- Comparative evaluation of Melissa officinalis L., Tilia europaea L., Passiflora edulis Sims. and Hypericum perforatum L. in the elevated plus maze anxiety test.
- Flavonoids from Tilia americana with anxiolytic activity in plus-maze test.
- Antinociceptive activity of Tilia americana var. mexicana inflorescences and quercetin in the formalin test and in an arthritic pain model in rats.
- Sedative and anxiolytic efficacy of Tilia americana var. mexicana inflorescences used traditionally by communities of State of Michoacan, Mexico.
- Comparative evaluation of the flavonoid content in officinal Tiliae flos and Turkish lime species for quality assessment.
- Hepatoprotective and antioxidant activity of linden (Tilia platyphyllos L.) infusion against ethanol-induced oxidative stress in rats.
- Comparison of antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of tilia (Tilia argentea Desf ex DC), sage (Salvia triloba l.), and black tea (Camellia sinensis) extracts.