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by Rosalee de la Forêt
I recently spent a month in France to meet my husband’s family. Like most herbalists on vacation, I viewed this trip as a great opportunity to see lots of different plants!
We traveled all over France, staying with different friends and family, and everyone very generously took us to medieval herb gardens and other botanical sanctuaries.
One “herb” we didn’t have to go searching for was linden trees.
These incredibly beautiful and aromatic trees are EVERYWHERE in France. They line the streets of Paris, drape across the boardwalks at lakes in the alps, and shade the castles in the south.
Walking through the villages of France I quickly learned that you can often smell the sweet scent of linden before you find them with your eyes. More than once my nose caught the perfume of linden and we were off to find the culprit.
Just by coincidence this is the herb that we are currently focusing on at HerbMentor.com, so it was especially exciting for me to spend time with a tree that doesn’t commonly grow where I live.
Linden flowers and leaves have been used as food and medicine for thousands of years. It has a wide variety of uses, from being a relaxing nervine to a relaxing diaphoretic, and is even often used for people with high blood pressure.
Linden tea is cooling, soothing and delicious!
Linden is very well known in France for its medicinal qualities. After meals, especially dinner, we were always offered a ‘tisane’ or herbal tea and, you guessed it, linden was the most frequent tea on the menu.
At grocery stores I would prowl the “natural health” section just to see what it was like. Without fail linden flowers and leaves were sold as tea and, frequently, we also saw the bark being sold as a laxative.
Another linden product we occasionally came across was linden honey.
Linden honey is famous for its aromatic taste as well as medicinal qualities. So, of course, we HAD to buy some and it does taste pretty spectacular.
Once home, where our own linden trees were blooming, I thought it would be fun to actually infuse linden flowers with honey. And it is this honey that truly knocks my socks off!
I made the following infused honey with fresh linden flowers. If you don’t have access to fresh flowers you can certainly try dried flowers and leaves from Mountain Rose Herbs.
I also highly recommend making linden tea. Linden is one of my favorite summertime drinks. It is cooling and moistening, quenching thirst while tasting aromatically heavenly.
To make linden-infused honey you’ll need
- a handful of linden flowers
- honey to fill a small jar
- and a small jar
Begin by selecting the most scrumptious linden flowers to be infused.
Place them in a small jar and cover with honey. Stir well.
Let this sit for a minimum of three days, but longer works as well. I turn the jar upside down every day to help “stir” the mixture.
When the honey is done you can use this in a number of ways (There is no need to strain the herbs from the honey).
Enjoy it on pastries or in hot breakfast cereals.
Try a teaspoon to flavor your teas.
A spoonful can be taken to soothe sore throats and coughs and promote rest.
Linden also makes a delicious tea!
Again, if you want to get yourself some dried linden flowers, simply go to Mountain Rose.