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Linden, oh linden, you flowering tree
You know how to soothe so much nervous in me
I pick your sweet flowers to make a nice tea
Then you help to soothe me and set my mind free

Tilia americana, my sweet smelling trees
Your lime blossom qualities really are the bees knees
All the stress I experience and trauma I see
Duan Hua is that reliable true friend to me

Tilia americana | Duan Hua

Linden: It's a Tree

Next time you decide to take a walk, look up. Take time to notice the trees around you. If you live in plant hardiness zones 3-8, you have Linden trees near you.

Linden, also known as Basswood, European Linden, Silver Linden, Lime Blossom, Winter Linden, and Summer Linden have a distinctive sweet smell. They bloom in late spring and the trees are usually filled with bees! 🐝

They are easily identified by the unique leaves. Shown above is part of the flower on the tree. The leaf-looking parts are called bracts. A bract is a modified leaf with a flower or cluster of flowers in its axil, or space along the shoots. The bracts are light green and elongated, where the tree leaves are dark green on top and silvery on the underside, shaped like a heart.


  • Linden trees can grow to a size ranging from 75 to 130 feet in height and three to four feet in diameter.
  • Their root span is wide-reaching and can support a lifespan of 100 to 150 years.
  • They are the national symbol of Slovenia with their mythology holding the tree sacred.
  • The American Linden is native to North America.

According to @BlackForager on Instagram, the seeds taste like chocolate. Check out her fun videos here (both on Facebook):

Linden Leaves, bracts, and flowers

Evening Calm

In my experience, this tea has calmed my spirit and helped me sleep calmly through the night. I hope it can support you too.


  • 1 tsp dried chamomile flowers
  • 1 tsp dried linden flowers
  • 1 pt. hot water


  • Boil a pint of water
  • Combine the linden and the chamomile in a tea ball or bag
  • Pour the boiling water over the ball/bag and steep for 10-15 minutes
  • Enjoy!
Cup of Calm
Linden in teh food process

From Tree To Cup

Making a cup of tea is more than popping a tea bag into a mug. It is not hard, but it does take time and a bit of planning.

As I mentioned above, the tree only flowers in late spring, so you’ll need to plan to collect the flowers then. Only pick what you need and be respectful to the tree. You’re not the only one who will need what it has to offer! 🐝

Remove the flower and bract as one – both are beneficial. Lay them out to dry, turning them regularly so they don’t sit and get moldy (it took mine about 10 days to air dry).

Note: Someone shared with me that there can be larvae in the tree, so best to finish off your drying in a dehydrator or an oven* to rid yourself of the little buggers. 

Once dry, put them in a food processor and grind them up until everything is evenly sized. There will be thin small stems from the bracts, but don’t worry about that.

Store the ground linden in a glass jar and use in your teas.

*170°F – lay herbs flat on a cookie sheet or pizza tray and check dryness every 10 minutes until crispy

The Importance of Autonomy

If you are feeling that you’d like to reclaim a bit of control over your own life, starting with self care, there are simple things you can do to reclaim your autonomy (ownership and self-governance). Those in positions of authority don’t always have all the answers and egos can get in the way, so learn to listen again to your gut, your heart, and your sense of self. Sometimes it takes time to hear it, but its there.

Start simple. Take a walk. Listen to the sounds around you – laughing children, birds chirping, the wind blowing through the leaves. While you’re on that walk, take time to notice your “neighbors,” the plants all around you. I live in an urban area and have found SO many medicinal and nutrition-packed plants in my neighborhood. If you have a smartphone, I recommend downloading the app, “PictureThis.” You don’t have to buy anything (there’s a free version) to start recognizing your plant and tree neighbors. There’s a world of support out there willing and able to support you.

Herbal Actions & Medicinal Uses

Below is some basic herbal information based on Western Herbalism and Chinese Medicine (TCM). Linden is generally considered safe, but caution is advised if you are using heart medications.

With any herbs and supplements, always consult with a licensed health professional before use.

Parts Most Frequently Used: Leaf, Flowers

Flavors: Sweet, Astringent, Pungent

Linden trees against wooden wall

Eastern (TCM)

Primary Organs: Lung, Liver

  • Clears Wind Heat
  • Moves Qi,
  • Relieves Stagnation
  • Calms Shen
  • Promotes Urination
  • Softens Nodules
  • Clears Liver Heat
Linden trees in a parking lot


Primary Organs: Lungs, Nerves, Skin

  • Antispasmodic
  • Astringent
  • Expectorant
  • Diaphoretic
  • Diuretic
  • Nervine
  • Relaxant
  • Sedative
  • Vasodiolator

Horticultural Information

This is a sun/partial shade loving tree, needing a minimum of four hours of direct sunlight a day. Many municipalities planted them to line their streets – my neighborhood is a perfect example of this. They are medium-fast growers, growing at a rate of between 13″ and 24″ a year.

USDA Hardiness Zone(s): 3-7

USDA Hardiness Zone Map


According to the Arbor Day Foundation:

There is evidence of the littleleaf linden being planted and used for social purposes as early as 760 A.D. In the Germanic and Norse countries, the tree was known as a favorite of Freya (the goddess of love) and Frigga (the goddess of married love and the hearth). Maidens would “dance wildly” around the village linden, and women hoping for fertility would hug the tree or hang offerings in its branches. In Scandinavia, it was a good tree to avoid after dark because it was thought to be a favorite haunt of elves and fairies.