Linden flowers contain flavonoids, potent antioxidant substances that help prevent free radical-induced damage in your body. Linden also contains tannins that act as an astringent, and it has mucilage properties, meaning that it coats your throat and intestines and soothes and reduces inflammation. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, linden has antispasmodic properties, meaning it helps to reduce muscular contractions. Linden tea also works as a diuretic, helping to reduce fluid retention. In addition, linden has sedative properties and helps to induce relaxation, making it a potentially effective sleep aid.
Traditional Uses and Benefits
Linden tea has been traditionally used to sooth nerves and treat anxiety-related health problems. It has anti-inflammatory properties and was also traditionally used to treat digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome. “Nursing Herbal Medicine Handbook” states that linden tea is also used to treat headaches and incontinence, which is an inability to control urine output. The NutraSanus website states that linden is also used to help treat mild gallbladder problems, upset stomach and indigestion, and to ease nasal congestion, lower high blood pressure and reduce excessive gas. These are based on anecdotal reports and historical uses, however, and not on scientific evidence.
Infections and Upper Respiratory Health
When taken as a hot tea, linden acts as a diaphoretic, which means that it helps to slightly raise your body temperature and promote sweating. This is beneficial because harmful microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria cannot survive in elevated body temperatures, and linden therefore helps your body’s immune system to fight against infections. Due to its diaphoretic and soothing properties, linden tea is commonly used to treat bronchitis, cough and colds and throat irritation.
Preparation and Precautions
To prepare linden tea, add 1 to 2 tsp. of linden flowers to 8 oz. of water and steep for 20 minutes. For medicinal purposes, drink linden tea three times daily. Aside from drowsiness and contact dermatitis, no side effects have been reported from drinking linden tea. Linden may interact with certain medications, however, and it is not recommended for people with heart disease.