Botanical Name: Tilia europaea
- English: Linden
- Also, known as: Lime Tree, Basswood, Small-leaved Lime, Common Lime, and European Linden
Parts Used: Leaves and Flower
Tilia europaea, commonly called European linden, is a hybrid cross between two native European lindens, Tilia cordata, and Tilia platyphyllos. It is perhaps most like its Tilia platyphyllos parent. Linden is also known as a lime tree and basswood.
The tree grows to a height of about 30-40 meters and has clusters of fragrant yellow-white flowers, followed by green fruits. The leaves are heart-shaped, dark green on the upside, the underside is a little yellowish-green. Leaf buds are red, with one small scale and one large scale, resembling a boxing glove, and form on long leaf stalks. The leaves are 3-6-inch-long and 2.5-5 inch wide. Fall colour is an undistinguished pale green to pale yellow. The flowers are white-yellow, five-petalled, form cymes with up to 10 flowers and have a drooping habit. The hanging cymes are up to 5-7 cm long. The flowers smell strong. Limes are hermaphrodite, meaning both the male and female reproductive parts are contained within one flower. When a tree is in full bloom, bees often visit in such abundant numbers that humming can be heard many feet from the tree. The fruits are green spherical nutlets, once pollinated by insects, they develop into round-oval, slightly ribbed fruits, with a pointed tip. The bark is pale grey-brown and irregularly ridged, with characteristic large burrs and leaf shoots at the base of the tree. Twigs are slender and brown, although they become red in the sun.
How to use:
The basic method for dried herbs and flower is, take 2-3 tablespoons of dried herb in a cup or teapot. Pour hot water over it and cover it with lid for 10-30 minutes. Hot water is needed to draw out the antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, flavonoids, and volatile oils from the botanicals. Strain and squeeze out as much as liquid as possible and enjoy it!
- You can sweeten your herbal tea with a bit of honey, natural fruit juice, stevia leaves powder and or licorice root powder.
- You can make ice cubes or pops by freezing tea in ice trays or pop molds.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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