You know how your mind sometimes keeps memories in scents rather than pictures? I’m talking about that moment when you smell something and it will instantly remind you of a childhood moment or a favourite time on holiday. For a few years now, I’ve smelled this sweet scent in the air in the summer, more like a dessert than a flower although I could recognise it was coming from a plant nearby.
I’ve wondered and wondered which one it was and why it was so enthralling and so comforting. I’ve finally realised: I was smelling the flowers of a linden tree or as it’s called in Romania: tei. I mention Romania because that’s where I grew up and linden or basswood was a part of my life without realising it.
In front of my home, someone planted two linden trees when I was little which I didn’t really take much notice of at the time. Now they’ve grown into imposing trees which you can see from the windows upstairs and which dominate the air with their sweet smell in the summer, only to grow stronger after a thunderstorm.
In sickness and in health
Now that I think of it, linden tea is probably the closest thing to the British idea of tea. Not for the taste, far from it, but for fulfilling that need of comfort and refreshment, in sickness and in health. Romanians don’t really drink much tea (not caffeinated anyway), but linden tea is a firm favourite from the herbal category. It’s always the tea you can rely on whether you have a cold or you’re feeling down.
So what is it good for?
First, you’ll be surprised to find out you can make tea from linden tree wood as well as its flowers. The wood tea is anti inflammatory so it’s said to be good to alleviate symptoms of arthritis, rheumatic issues, migraines and it helps flush out toxins from your body.
Linden tea made from flowers, on the other hand, is said to help with depression, digestive problems, blood circulation, blood pressure, migraines, fever and diabetes. I think that has something to do with the flavonoids, which are a type of antioxidant.
Now, don’t expect to drink gallons of it and make all your troubles go away. But drinking it regularly and up to 3 cups a day could help alleviate some of your problems. Mother Nature knows best so why not give it a go really? If you’re looking for places to buy it, your best bet will be your local health shop or online as it’s quite a rare find. Which is strange to me as in Romania you can buy it anywhere from a corner shop to the pharmacy or the supermarket.
If you try it, let me know on Twitter or Instagram by tagging @whiteduckling. And would you like more natural tea remedies on the blog?
Thanks for reading,