Small-leaved linden

Popular names: Lubnyak, washcloth.

Linden heart-leaved, small-leaved (Tilia cordata Mill.)Deciduous tree of the linden family (Tiliaceae), up to 30 (40) m high, with a tent-shaped crown. Trunks of old trees reach 80 cm in diameter, covered with dark gray bark with longitudinal cracks. Leaves on thin long petioles, alternate, heart-shaped, unequal-sided, at the apex tightened, pointed, sharply serrate, dark green above, bluish green below. Young leaves have stipules, which then fall off. The flowers are yellowish-white, small, fragrant, collected in semi-umbels facing upwards, the bract is leathery, light green, almost half fused with a common longish peduncle. The fruit is a one-, two-seeded oval gray nutlet. Blossoms in June – July, the fruits ripen in August – September (begins to bloom and bear fruit from the age of 20). The duration of flowering ranges from 5 days (in dry years) to 2.5 weeks (in forested areas). Propagated by seeds and shoots. Life expectancy up to 300-400 years (sometimes up to 600). Distributed in the forest and forest-steppe zones of the European part of the CIS, in the Crimea, the Caucasus, the Southern Urals and Western Siberia. Grows on fertile soils in deciduous forests, forms pure and mixed with other forest plantations. It is found in large numbers in parks, roadside plantings and forest plantations. Linden traditionally serves as an indicator of fertile soils; can tolerate temporary excess moisture, but does not tolerate waterlogging. It is very shade-tolerant. The ancient Slavs considered the linden tree to be the tree of the goddess of love and beauty, Lada. Around the old lindens, the girls danced round dances. In Western Europe, the linden was dedicated to the keeper of the hearth, the spring goddess Freya. Virgil, Ovid, Pliny write about the linden in their works, calling it the “golden tree”. In Europe, linden was considered a sacred tree. It was planted in the courtyards of castles, in city squares. Under the lindens, meetings were held at which common affairs were decided.


Linden flowers (inflorescences with bracts) are mainly used as medicinal raw materials. Collection is best done in the flowering phase, when most of the flowers have blossomed, and the rest are in buds. Raw materials collected at a later time, when some of the flowers have already faded, turn brown when dried, crumble heavily and become unsuitable for consumption. The collection of raw materials traditionally lasts within 10 days, in cool weather – up to 2 weeks. It is forbidden to cut down and break large branches, as this not only spoils the appearance of the trees, but also leads to a weakening of their flowering in subsequent years. Inflorescences damaged by rust and pests (leaf beetles) are not subject to collection. It is also impossible to collect inflorescences that have not dried out after rain or dew, since they turn brown when dried. Linden flowers are dried in the attics under the iron, tiled or slate roof, less often under sheds or in a room with good ventilation, spreading a thin layer (3-5 cm) on paper or burlap. Can be tumble dried up to 50°C. It is impossible to dry in the sun, as this leads to a change in color (bracts turn red) and loss of quality. In good weather, the raw material dries out in 3-5 days. Drying is stopped when the peduncles become brittle. The shelf life of raw materials is 2 years. The smell of raw materials is weak, pleasant, the taste is sweetish, slimy, slightly astringent. From 100 kg of raw flowers with bracts, after drying, up to 30 kg of dry raw materials are obtained. Buds are harvested in spring (only in dry weather, otherwise they lose their useful properties when dried), dried in the open air or in dryers. The shelf life of the kidneys is 2 years. The bark can only be harvested with the permission of the forestry or gardeners, early spring, before flowering, or late autumn. Dry in dryers. The shelf life of the bark is 3 years.


Galenic products from linden inflorescences increase diuresis, enhance the secretion of gastric juice, increase bile formation and facilitate the flow of bile into the duodenum, and have diaphoretic properties. They have a mild sedative effect on the central nervous system, somewhat reduce blood viscosity. Infusions of linden flowers have an anti-inflammatory effect due to bioflavonoids, mainly delay the exudative phase of inflammation in various models of aseptic inflammation, and contribute to an earlier delimitation of the inflammatory process from the surrounding tissue. Accelerate the processes of regeneration and organization of granulation tissue. Linden flower juice has diaphoretic and antipyretic properties. Use in medicine. Wood. Coal from dried wood – for pulmonary tuberculosis. Powder from coal – with bloating, diarrhea, belching. Tar lubricates the skin with eczema. Bark. Decoction – for burns, hemorrhoids, gout. Mucus from the bark lubricates wounds, ulcers, burns, sore joints with gout, rheumatism, make lotions for hemorrhoids. The bark is applied for erysipelas. Kidneys. Crushed – with boils. Kidneys, leaves. Fresh crushed – for burns, mastitis. Leaves. To prepare a vitamin drink; externally with boils. Powder is sprinkled on wounds, ulcers to stop bleeding. Juice – as an analgesic, emollient and anti-inflammatory agent; externally (in the form of lotions) – for boils, burns, mastitis, inflammation of hemorrhoids, ulcers, rheumatism, gout. Inflorescences (with bracts). Decoction, infusion – as a diaphoretic, also for rinsing the mouth and throat. In homeopathy, tincture is used for flatulence, an upset of the gastrointestinal tract. It has a calming effect similar to valerian roots. In folk medicine, decoction, infusion, juice – for colds, cough, headache, rheumatism, pneumonia, measles, tonsillitis, mumps, bleeding, infertility, neurosis, urolithiasis, cysto-urethritis, fainting, convulsions, epilepsy, nephritis, bronchial asthma. Fruits. Externally in the form of a powder – for bleeding from wounds, nose, mouth.


Infusion of linden flowers (Infusum florum Tiliae): 10 g (3 tablespoons) of raw materials are placed in an enamel bowl, pour 200 ml of hot boiled water, cover with a lid and heat in boiling water (in a water bath) for 15 minutes, cool at room temperature for 45 minutes, filter, the remaining raw material is squeezed out. The volume of the resulting infusion is adjusted with boiled water to 200 ml. The prepared infusion is stored in a cool place for no more than 2 days. It is taken hot, 1-2 cups 2-3 times every day after meals, as a diaphoretic, diuretic and antimicrobial agent for colds. Linden blossom (Flos Tiliae) is also available in the form of briquettes. One slice of the briquette is brewed in a glass of boiling water, boiled for 10 minutes, filtered and drunk hot, 2-3 glasses per night. Diaphoretic collection consists of a mixture of equal parts of linden flowers and raspberry fruits. ♦ Linden flowers decoction: 20 g of raw material is poured into 250 ml of boiling water, boiled for 10 minutes, then filtered. Take 1 tablespoon of juice with honey in a glass of hot water at night. ♦ Linden leaf juice is taken with honey (1:1), 1 tablespoon 3 times every day before meals.


The wood is used to make plywood, pencils, furniture, tubs, beehives, and other products. Linden shavings are a good packaging material for fruits. Waste wood is ground and fed to livestock (they contain a lot of starch). Tar from trunks and branches has bactericidal properties, is effective in the treatment of eczema in animals and their complications with pyoderma. The bast (bast) is used for the manufacture of mats, matting, washcloths. Lime blossom is used in cosmetics to soften the skin, to reduce sweating. It is used in the perfume industry (for aromatization), in the production of liqueurs, Curacao and Benedictine, also instead of tea. Salads are prepared from young leaves and blossoming buds in spring, marinated. The seeds give the cookies a nutty or almond flavor. Seed oil is edible, close in quality to Provence. Honey plant. From one tree, a bee family collects up to 5.5 kg of honey every day, and for the entire flowering time – up to 50 kg. One linden flower gives 0.15-0.20 mg of nectar with a sugar content of up to 35%.


Linden Salad.

Rinse young linden leaves (100 g) with cold water, scald, chop, add chopped sorrel leaves (50 g), plantain (50 g), green onions (25 g), salt (to taste). Season with mayonnaise (vegetable oil, tomato sauce) (25 g).

Lime leaf drink.

Leaves (100-150 g) brew with boiling water (500 ml), leave for 30 minutes, strain. Add sugar, jam or honey, cool. Drink as a refreshing, thirst-quenching drink.

Linden tea.

Dried inflorescences (1 tablespoon) brew with boiling water (400 ml), leave for 10-15 minutes. Add sugar (to taste).

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