Small-leaved linden flowers of Tilia cordata. The small-leaved lime or small-leaved linden is a tree (20-35 m tall with a trunk up to 1.5 m diameter) native to Europe. Most medicinal research on linden trees has focused upon Tilia cordata. The flowers, leaves, wood, and charcoal (obtained from the wood) are used for medicinal purposes. Active ingredients in the lime flowers include flavanoids (which act as antioxidants), volatile oils, and mucilaginous constituents (which soothe and reduce inflammation). The small yellow-green hermaphrodite flowers are produced in early summer and have a rich, heavy scent. Linden flowers are used in the form of tea in colds, cough, fever, infections, inflammation, high blood pressure, headache (particularly migraine), as a diuretic, antispasmodic and sedative. New evidence shows that linden flowers may be hepatoprotective, that is, liver protecting. The leaves are used to promote sweating and to reduce fevers. The wood is used for liver and gallbladder disorders and cellulitis (inflammation of the skin and surrounding soft tissue). The wood burned to charcoal is ingested to treat intestinal disorders and used topically to treat edema or infection, such as cellulitis or ulcers of the lower leg.
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