In Praise of Limeflowers

The lime trees are in full bloom now, humming with insects and full of heavenly scent. On the continent, limeflower tea – Tilleul in France, Linden in Germany – is highly prized, and yet here you’ll rarely find it among the prepackaged herb teas in the shops. It’s a shame, because it’s one of the best-tasting herb teas, and its virtues are many.
Like Chamomile and many other aromatics, Limeflowers (Tilia europea) are gently relaxing, but that’s just the beginning. They stimulate circulation and lower blood pressure, and have a traditional reputation for helping to stop, or even reverse, hardening of the arteries. The bioflavonoids they contain will certainly help to maintain the health of the blood vessels, while the volatile oils reduce tension and anxiety. Before effective drugs were developed, Limeflowers were used to treat epilepsy, and they are certainly effective at easing stomach cramps and menstrual pains.
Above all, the quality I associate with Limeflowers is a gentle yet powerful sense of being mothered, or enveloped in love. One of my teachers put it very well: ‘I give Limeflowers’, he said, ‘to people who need cuddles.’

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