Lime flower (Tilia cordata) also known as Linden, comes from a large deciduous tree and strangely has nothing to do with citrus fruit, it has also been called 'the nectar of Kings' due to its excellent benefits.
It is native to Europe and Britain, and you may have a tree on your doorstep, as these trees are often found dotted around towns, cities and parks and of course many woodlands. If you have parked your car under this tree, you may find it covered in sticky nectar, especially in June/July when the tree is in flower! It goes without saying that due to its sweet fragrance and sweet, rich sticky nectar and pollen, bees and insects love it!
But it's not just the insects that love lime flowers…
Coughs and Colds
Lime flowers have been used for centuries in traditional herbal remedies, especially for children, one of its uses is to treat coughs and colds. It contains mucilage, that can help to soothe irritated membranes of the throat. It is also known to decrease mucus production, so it is great for coughs and colds. Lime flowers also contain little helpers called flavonoids which aid as an antioxidant to fight toxins in the body.
But that is not all, lime flowers may help manage a fever as these are a good diaphoretic which can have the effect of increasing blood flow to the skin, to encourage perspiration, which in turn allows the body to cool.
Most of us are familiar with the relaxation properties of chamomile, but lime flower is also a great flower to aid relaxation. One of the active ingredients in lime flower is an essential oil called farnesol, a sedative which helps relax the cardiovascular system helping reduce stress and aid sleep and like chamomile, is great for children as well as adults. Or is that supposed to be great for adults if you have children… only joking!
For these soothing and calming properties we knew we wanted to include Lime Flower in our Winter Wellness Healthipops so as to help soothe those winter snuffles.
Perfect Lime Flower Recipes
You can make a tea using fresh flowers (be sure to pick flowers in full blossom) or purchase dried flowers from a health store.
Infuse by adding a small handful of flowers to a teapot and add hot water for 5 – 10 minutes. Perhaps had some lemon balm and maybe some honey. Simple!
I also came across a recipe that I can't wait to try out; it's lime flower cordial. Unfortunately, I am going to have to wait until June to make this beauty, but thought I would share with you now so you can add it to your diary too…
About 150g of lime flowers, not the green leaves (which equates to half a standard size carrier bag) I will be using a basket lined with muslin to collect mine! So I get the full foraging effect, including a great photo opportunity.
500ml of boiling water
Juice of 1, average lemon
1. Shake the flowers to make sure there aren't any insects hiding in amongst the petals.
2. Put them in a large ceramic bowl and cover them with boiling water.
3. Cover and leave to infuse overnight or a bit longer if you can. Once cooled you can pop the bowl in the fridge.
4. The next day, strain the liquid through a sieve, lined with muslin, into a large saucepan. Be patient and, however much you want to push it through, let it seep through on it its own, and try and avoid the temptation to give it a squeeze.
5. Add the saucepan of lovey lime flower liquid to the hob, heat to bring it to the boil. Add the sugar and lemon juice and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved this should take about 5 minutes.
6. Pour the hot syrup into sterilised bottles or jars and close the lids, once cooled pop in the fridge and it should keep for a couple of weeks. Ready for you to call upon for a nice cold glass of Lime Flower Cordial, or you can casually pop it out of the fridge and impress your friends, with an "oh yes I made that up the other day"…
Or perhaps just add some lime flowers to a jar of honey, and spread on a thick slice of fresh bread, or nicely toasted crumpet!
However you use your lime flowers, I'm sure you will agree these beautiful little flowers have lots of great benefits.