Linden leaf, or Tilia cordata, is a delicious and delicate herb that comes from the Linden tree. The first time that I tried linden, I was experiencing anxiety one particular evening. I had recently purchased some linden leaf to try because I was curious how it would help to regulate my nervous system, as I had heard from a fellow herbalist how soothing it is. When I was going through one of those tough emotional evenings, I decided to make a cup of linden tea in an attempt to calm down. The emotional relief I felt nearly immediately from drinking the linden tea was really incredible. A gentle wave washed over me, steadying my heartbeat, slowing down my thoughts, and regulating my breathing to the point where I felt extreme relaxation in my body and mind, although the issues causing me anxiety were still present. Linden helped me to ground and remain calm in the midst of stress and allowed me to handle the things I was going through with deeper ease and grace.
The linden genus contains over 30 different species of linden that are native to both Europe and North America. Linden trees are a deciduous hardwood species, that can grow up to 90 feet tall and live to 1,000 years old! They have large, heart-shaped leaves, and adorn small pea-shaped fruits, and yellowish flowers when in bloom. The trees have a sweet and pleasant smell that fills the air. Linden trees have a soft bark, making them great for carving or making into fibers.
Lore and traditions regarding linden can be found throughout many different cultures of the world. In Poland, linden trees were often planted in front of homes to ward off evil and invite steadfastness into the home. The linden tree was used in many rituals within Greece and Eastern Europe, where it represented fertility, healing, divination, and marriage. In China, the tree is traditionally recognized for its ability to offer clarity and tame a rebellious heart. In Germany, linden trees are a symbol of justice and peace, while in Romania and other Slavic countries, the linden tree was revered to be the link between otherworlds, or life and death. In Greek mythology, the linden tree represents love, hospitality, and kindness. You can find that many town centers used to (and still do) plant linden trees, as they provide good shade! Alongside the religious and spiritual history of linden, there is an extensive history of medicinal use of the tree, mainly the leaf and flowers. in Serbian folk medicine, there is a long-standing practice of using linden leaf as a diuretic and sedative, as well as to reduce blood pressure and relieve colds and throat irritations.
Linden leaf is moisturizing and astringent and contains many flavonoids, volatile oils, and tannins. Linden leaf is commonly used for aiding in sleep and nervous system support, although it may also help with stomach spasms, diarrhea, and increasing immune and bronchial functioning. Linden leaf may help to lower high blood pressure and can support those with hypertension or nervousness. Some studies show that concentrated samples of linden essential oils contain anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties.
It can be especially beneficial for those who experience hysteria, panic disorders, extreme stress, or for those who are chronically “flighty” and worked up. Linden is a cooling herb, which explains why it is so great for those experiencing emotional states where they are “hot” such as panic, anger, or stress.
Linden is a beautiful and comforting plant ally to have around if you tend to struggle with nervousness, anxiety, or excess heat in the body. Try incorporating a bit of linden tea into your routine to keep your cool! You can find linden in our Comfort Me Tea, Winter Solstice Tea, and Blooming Mate Tea.
Barros, L., et al. “Linden Tea from Serbia – an Insight into the Phenolic Profile, Radical Scavenging and Antimicrobial Activities.” Industrial Crops and Products, Elsevier, 16 June 2020, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0926669020305550#:~:text=Linden%20tea%20has%20been%20used,spasmolytic%2C%20and%20as%20a%20sedative.
Glenn, Lori. “Linden Trees - Myth and More.” Herbalgram.Web, 13 May 2022, www.herbalgram.org/resources/herbclip/herbclip-news/2022/linden-trees-myth-and-lore/.
“Linden Trees.” White Rabbit Institute of Healing, 3 May 2021, www.whiterabbitinstituteofhealing.com/herbs/linden/.