Linden tea: uses, benefits and contraindications

Linden tea is associated with relaxation, so it would help you fall asleep and even relieve pain. We show you everything you need to know.

Last update: 04 December, 2021

If you are a lover of infusions, you probably enjoy the taste, between sweet and floral, of linden tea. This one prepares from the fruits of a genus of trees called Tilia, well known to have sedative effects. In fact, the species Tilia cordata, also named as northern linden or small-leaved linden, is considered the most powerful of all in this sense.

Now, thanks to these properties, it is not surprising that folk medicine uses linden tea for this and other purposes. For example, to lower blood pressure, relieve indigestion, and calm anxiety. Let’s see what science has to say about this brew.

Uses and possible benefits of linden tea

Traditional medicine also uses other parts of these trees, like leaves, flowers and bark. In addition, these concoctions are usually prepared with at least two different species of trees.

In general, T. cordata and T. platyphyllos are the chosen ones, whose alternative names are common linden and big-leaved linden. We show you how this concoction can contribute to your health.

1. Promotes relaxation

For hundreds of years, linden tea has been an ally of relaxation. It has even been used to relieve anxiety symptoms. According to a study published in Journal of Ethnopharmacology, the extract of the species T. tomentosa (silver linden or Hungarian linden) has strong sedative properties.

In fact, research found that it can act like gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a substance that suppresses neuronal excitability. However, more research is still required to explain this phenomenon.

Among the infusions for anxiety, linden is one of the most recognized in the world.

2. In a natural anti-inflammatory

Oxidative damage caused by free radicals can lead to inflammation. Fortunately, some parts of the trees of Tilia, like flowers and buds, have antioxidants called flavonoids.

To be more specific, the yolks contain tiliroside, quercetin, and kaempferol. First, it has been shown that tiliroside is capable of inhibiting free radicals.

Second, there is scientific evidence that kaempferol can reduce inflammation, as well as contributing in the fight against cellular mutations. However, more studies are still needed in this regard.

3. Relieves mild pain

The antioxidants in linden tea may reduce pain. According to a study in rodents with swollen legs, taking 100 milligrams of tiliroside per kilogram of weight reduces swelling by 27% and pain by 31%.

Likewise, a study in women with rheumatoid arthritis found that supplementation with 500 milligrams of quercetin reduces pain and inflammation markers. Now, if you consider that 80 milligrams of quercetin a day is a high dose, 500 milligrams is extremely high, so more research is required for its clinical application.

4. Has diuretic properties

In traditional medicine, linden tea is used to induce sweating and productive coughing in minor respiratory health problems, such as colds. Likewise, in Germany it is approved to take 1 to 2 cups of linden tea before bedtime to stimulate sweating in adults and children over 12 years of age.

These effects are believed to be caused by a combination of plant compounds. To be more specific, quercetin, kaempferol, and p-coumaric acid. But more studies are still required.

5. Could lower blood pressure

Some plant components in linden tea, including tiliroside, rutoside, and chlorogenic acid, are associated with lowering blood pressure. In fact, the study in rodents showed that injecting 1, 5 and 10 milligrams of tiliroside per kilogram of weight lowered systolic blood pressure.

6. It would improve the quality of sleep

This is one of the best known popular uses for linden tea. But what does the research say? According to a study published in Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, the plant compounds in this infusion have sedative effects that promote relaxation.

In the same way, an investigation in rodents showed that the extracts of the trees of Tilia from Mexico were capable of causing sedation. The scientists concluded that the extract was able to depress the nervous system and lead to drowsiness.

7. It would relieve an upset stomach

In folk medicine, linden tea is an effective remedy against stomach problems. A study in children with antibiotic-resistant diarrhea found that the tiliroside in this plant has antibacterial properties, which could work in bacterial gastroenteritis. However, more evidence is still needed to support this benefit.

If the gastroenteritis is of bacterial origin, the effect of linden tea would be beneficial. Although the required doses are not yet clear.

Risks and recommendations for the use of linden tea

According to the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the intake of linden tea as long as it is moderate is safe. In figures, this translates to between 2 and 4 grams of tea mix daily. Keep in mind that an 8-ounce cup contains approximately 1.5 grams of tea, so it is not recommended to drink more than 3 a day.

Likewise, people who meet the following characteristics should always avoid it:

  • Kids.
  • Pregnant or lactating women.
  • Allergic to trees of the genus Tilia.
  • Heart disease patients.
  • People taking medications that contain lithium or diuretics.

Linden tea: always in moderation

Linden tea is prized in folk medicine for its myriad of health benefits. From inducing relaxation and helping you fall asleep to relieving stomach pain and upset. Of course, given its sedative effects, should be ingested in moderation. It is not recommended to drink more than 3 cups a day.

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