As a family of foraging fans we have become accustomed to trying lots of herbal remedies from daisy tea to dandelion fritters, we will give most things a try. my husband passes under a lime tree on his way to work and told me that we should give linden tea a try.
So the linden (as it is known in the US) to us Brits it is called the lime tree, or the Greek word is tilia and it can be easily identified by its heart-shaped leaves, with prominent veins and a bumpy outline.
The leaves are green and the flowers are small and honey-yellow coloured and in June they are loaded with pollen. The flowers have a sweet honey scent to them.
You can forage a few bunches of the slender leaves and flowers to make a herbal tea which supposedly has lots of benefits.
We tied our bunch and hung it upside down for a couple of days to dry out.
To make the tea we ground down the flowers and slender leaves in a coffee grinder and then added them to disposable draw string tea bags. We have used these before for passion flower tea and they work well.
Or you could just boil up the flowers and leaves in a pan leave it to steep for a few minutes and then strain it through a tea strainer or a small sieve. To me it tasted of green tea - my husband prefers to sweeten his with honey but I find that is too sweet for me.
Linden claims to have many magical medicinal benefits. I do love a bit of potion making and folklore, so here are some statements:
Linden tea has been used as a cure-all for hundreds of years, it can apparently reduce congestion, suppress coughs, and alleviate the symptoms of cold and flu. It is also regularly drank for its anti-anxiety properties and can be used as a mild sedative to help with insomnia and as a day-time drink to alleviate stress and anxiety. It is also said to assist in reducing stomach as well as lowering blood pressure.
It is not personally something I would drink every day but for a calming tea in the evening once in a while it is really worthwhile.