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Linden flowers have a pleasant, tangy taste, and for this reason the tree is sometimes called “lime flower.” Besides use in beverages and liqueurs, linden flower has a long history of medicinal use for such conditions as colds and flus, digestive distress, anxiety, migraine headaches, and insomnia. The wood of the linden tree has been used for liver problems, kidney stones, and gout.
Linden flower has been approved by Germany’s Commission E for the treatment of cold symptoms. 1 Unfortunately, there is no meaningful evidence that it is helpful for this purpose. Linden is said to promote sweating, and this in turn has long been presumed to be helpful for people with colds; however, there is no meaningful evidence that sweating helps colds, nor that linden promotes sweating.
Other proposed uses of linden also lack scientific support. Two exceedingly preliminary studies that evaluated linden flower for potential sedative or anti-anxiety effects returned contradictory results. 2 Very weak evidence hints that linden flower might help reduce symptoms of digestive upset 3 4 and protect the liver from toxins. 5 One highly preliminary study...
Linden is widely believed to be a safe herb, but it has not undergone comprehensive safety testing. Numerous texts state that when taken in high doses linden can be toxic to the heart, but this appears to have been a case of authors quoting one another for decades in succession; the original source of this concern is unclear. Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or people with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.