Linden: properties, benefits and contraindications - Guide

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The consumption of linden tea is widely spread thanks to its medicinal properties. For this reason, surely, linden tea has been recommended to you to heal some ailments and, also, quite possibly at some point you have tried it. However, how true is there in terms of its healing properties?

From Ecologist Verde we want to highlight those healing properties that have been studied by scientists and, in addition, we want to encourage the responsible consumption of linden, in order to avoid unwanted effects. If you are a frequent consumer of linden, you cannot miss this article in which we will develop everything about linden, its properties, benefits and contraindications.

Properties of linden

The linden, or also called linden, is actually a group of about 30 species of plants belonging to the genus Tilia. Its use is widespread worldwide due to its medicinal properties. The use of them is made through infusions prepared with their flowers and leaves. One of the most used species is American tilia var. mexican, a species native to Mexico that grows particularly in high altitude forests.

The active ingredients of linden, which are what make it have specific properties, are:

  • Essential oils: geraniol, eugenol and farnesol.
  • Mucilages.
  • Flavonoids: rutoside and quercitoside.
  • Tannins
  • Coumarins.
  • Glycosides
  • Acids: caffeic and chlorogenic.

In natural medicine from different parts of the world such as, for example, oriental medicine, mainly Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and Mexican medicine, among others, attribute to this plant various properties that help cure various ailments, such as gastroenteritis, enterocolitis, liver and kidney colic, among others. Thus, according to natural medicine, with thousands of years of practice, indicates that the properties of linden or linden are:

  • Sedative
  • Hypotensive
  • Vasodilator
  • Diuretic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Antiseptic
  • Sudorific
  • Digestive
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Detoxifying
  • Antirheumatic
  • Healing
  • Anticoagulant
  • Antioxidant
  • Demulcent

Instead, the scientific community focused on Western medicine has only tested its sedative and tranquilizing properties, but studies continue on this plant, as well as many others. In the next section we will tell you what benefit these particularities bring.

We recommend you read this other article about Phytotherapy: what is it and how to use medicinal plants?

Linden benefits

In the previous section, we mentioned that the science of Western medicine proved that linden tea has sedative and tranquilizing properties and that many more are attributed to it, as proven by natural medicine. Nevertheless, What is linden for? What benefits can be obtained from its properties? We indicate which are the main ones in the following list:

  • Decrease anxiety levels.
  • Helps reduce stress.
  • It serves to relax muscles and spasms.
  • Lowers blood pressure.
  • It helps to relieve pain, especially rheumatic and headaches or migraines.
  • It helps to sleep.
  • Improves the general condition of the skin.
  • It is used to relieve indigestion and gastritis.
  • It helps to eliminate retained fluids, which together with more guidelines can help to lose weight, and accumulated toxins.
  • Helps prevent some coronary problems, thromboembolism and arteriosclerosis.
  • It is used for the treatment of colds and flu, especially to relieve nasal congestion, sore throats, irritating coughs and throat clearing.

How to prepare linden tea

As we have seen, linden is an excellent natural remedy that we can prepare at home. Its use is mostly in the form of infusion or tea, so here we will tell you how the linden infusion is prepared. However, apart from taking linden like this, there are other ways to incorporate the properties of linden and we will also tell you about them. The linden tea or linden infusion typically consumed are those made with the inflorescences or flowers of the plant. To prepare this decoction you must follow these steps:

  1. Prepare the linden flowers crushing them so that they are undone and leave them in a glass or bowl.
  2. Heat water and bring it to boiling point.
  3. Pour the boiling water over the previously crushed flowers.
  4. Cover the infusion and wait approximately 5-10 minutes.
  5. Uncover the infusion and filter the liquid, setting aside the flowers and other remains and keeping the liquid. Ready! You can now consume your linden tea.

Regarding the proportions, it is recommended to use 30 grams of linden for 1 liter of water, which would be approximately 5 grams per cup. Finally, a curious fact about linden infusions: depending on the species of linden you use, you can also make tea with its leaves. Fascinating!

Other ways to consume linden is from linden oils and even pills or linden capsules, among other presentations. The disadvantage of both products is that they cannot be prepared at home as is the case with infusions. Both the oil and the tablets must be purchased in a pharmacy or store authorized to market this type of product and must be consumed following the instructions on the container and the doctor.

Linden contraindications

Although its properties bring many benefits, there are some linden contraindications that you should know:

  • Linden tea is not recommended if you have to drive. In this way, you will avoid putting your physical integrity and that of other people at risk.
  • This plant should not be consumed by people with hypotension or hypertension but who are undergoing treatment with drugs or other plants that serve to lower blood pressure.
  • Neither in case of taking anticoagulant drugs or preparations with plants with this effect.
  • Nor is the consumption of linden tea recommended in patients with cardiological problems.
  • It is advised to avoid its consumption by pregnant women.
  • People who are allergic to any of its components should not take this plant or use it externally.
  • Nor is its consumption recommended to people with obstruction in the bile ducts.

In any case, but especially in these cases, you must consult the doctor before to start taking this plant, especially if you want to consume it on a regular basis.

In addition, it is recommended to verify the origin of the linden. Sometimes it is often confused with plants of the genus Ternstroemia that are also commonly known as linden or linden and that can cause poisoning.

Linden side effects

Considering that linden tea is prepared directly with the parts of the plant and that we have no way to regulate the amount of active substances it has, its effect can vary and can even be adverse, so you have to take great care the amounts that are taken, as with any other plant, food or medicine. We can say that, in general, excesses are never good for health, so when linden is consumed in excess, side effects appear:

  • One of its main side effects is due to the presence of mucilages, since in large quantities they reduce the absorption of the active principles of drugs, thus reducing their effect.
  • Other side effects are the presence of nausea, body heaviness, rapid heart rate and dermatitis in allergy sufferers.

Now, there is nothing to be afraid of, limiting the excess of infusions and following the recommendations you will avoid all kinds of side effects. So, how many infusions of linden can be taken per day? The most advisable thing is to take some 2 infusions of linden tea per day, so there is no risk of suffering adverse effects; except in cases of allergy, which must be avoided completely. However, at most it is indicated that you can consume 4 cups a day if it is not done for many days in a row.

After having discovered the properties of linden, its benefits, how it is taken and its contraindications and side effects, we hope you get to know it better to decide whether to include it in your health care, always talking to your doctor. In addition, we encourage you to continue discovering the use of plants for health in a responsible way and we offer you these other informative articles:

  • Ginkgo biloba: properties, what it is for and contraindications.
  • Matico plant: what is it for, properties, benefits and contraindications.
  • 50 Mexican medicinal plants and what they are for.
  • 60 medicinal plants of Peru and what they are for.

If you want to read more articles similar to Linden: properties, benefits and contraindications, we recommend that you enter our category of natural remedies.

  • Aguirre-Hernández, E., González-Trujano, M., Terrazas, T., Herrera Santoyo, J., & Guevara-Fefer, P. (2016). Anxiolytic and sedative-like effects of flavonoids from American tilia var. mexican: GABAergic and serotonergic participation. Mental Health, 39 (1), 37-46.
  • Pérez-Ortega, G., Guevara-Fefer, P., Chávez, M., Herrera, J., Martínez, A., Martínez, A. L., & González-Trujano, M. E. (2008). Sedative and anxiolytic efficacy of American tilia var. mexican inflorescences used traditionally by communities of State of Michoacan, Mexico. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 116 (3), 461-468.
  • Sollozo-Dupont, M. I., Camarena, E. E., & López-Rubalcava, C. (2011). Traditional medicine: preclinical studies of plants with anxiolytic properties. The resident, 6 (2), 78-84.
  • Cebrián, J., (2012), Dictionary of medicinal plants, Barcelona, Spain, Integral RBA Libros.
  • Esquivel-Gutiérrez, E., Noriega-Cisneros, R., Bello-González, M., Saavedra-Molina, A., & Salgado-Garciglia, R. (2012). Plants used in traditional Mexican medicine with antidiabetic and antihypertensive properties. pdf
  • Villalobos, A. U., Blanco, D., & Chaverri, E. A. Tilia cordata vs Justicia pectoralis: Comparative study for the identification of its main secondary metabolites.
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