Linden flowers have been used to combat anxiety for a long time. Linden flowers come from a tree (genus Tilia). The flowers are dried and seeped in hot water to make a “tea”.
Linden flowers contain antioxidant chemicals called flavonoids, including one called quercetin. Quercetin and other linden components called kaempferol and p-coumaric acid are also diaphoretics, chemicals that cause you to sweat, while some volatile oils in the flowers may have sedative, calming properties.
Linden tea is recommended to combat anxiety and promote relaxation. A study published in the July 2008 issue of the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” found that feeding laboratory animals an extract of linden flowers reduced their anxious behavior when placed in a maze, compared to controls. Another study published in the March 2008 issue of the same journal found that linden extract lengthened the sedation time in animals who received sleep-inducing drugs. It also calmed the animals when administered to them by itself, but these potentially significant effects still need confirmation in studies with human subjects1.
Other reported (but scientifically unverified) benefits of Linden Tea include:
Soothe Membranes When You Have a Cold
A study published in the February 2000 issue of “Planta Medica” found that some polysaccharides, or complex sugars, in linden flowers adhere to the type of membrane that lines the mouth and respiratory tract. The authors concluded that linden polysaccharides may soothe these membranes when they become irritated, although this possibility still needs testing in clinical studies.
For those who suffer from tension headaches and other inflammatory conditions, including arthritis and gout, linden tea can help eliminate those painful symptoms. Just as it reduces the inflammation in the respiratory tracts, it also helps to lower blood pressure and remove inflammation in the blood vessels, thereby preventing the small capillary back-ups that so commonly lead to headaches, as well as the swollen tissue of arthritis sufferers.2
The blend of compounds and chemicals found in linden can reducing gastrointestinal discomfort and stimulate the proper digestion and excretion of food.
You can buy the tea already in tea bags, or you can buy the loose, dried flowers. If you get the flowers, put about 1 teaspoon in a steaming hot cup of water and let them seep for 15-20 minutes. Use around 3 cups of tea daily.
Linden Tea is generally regarded as safe, but some people may be allergic to the flowers. Don’t use linden tea if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding, or if you have heart disease. Always check with your health care professional before taking linden flower tea.