Yesterday's travels took us to the Hans Herr House in Willow Street, PA. The homestead was built in the mid 1700's and has been well preserved. We were delivering soap to the giftshop, and also wanted to talk about the possibility of photographing the working walk-in fireplace for our upcoming book - By the Hearth.
As we drove in, we were greeted by a beautiful 80 year old Linden tree that was in full bloom. The tree was alive with bees. Wide and welcoming, walking under the shade of the tree was a
fragrant experience. Linden flowers have a luscious scent.
My gathering basket was in the car, so I asked if it would be okay to take some of the flowers. Linden is said to have sedative properties, and is both relaxing and helpful for anxiety. Used as a tea, it is also diaphoretic, slightly raising the body temperature and encouraging perspiration. This is useful for helping hurry viruses on their way out of the body. It is used for coughs and colds, is expectorant, helpful for digestion, and good for headaches - among other things.
I've been looking for linden this year and it is very commonly planted along streets in our little town and also in Lancaster. Those trees are not suitable for harvesting because of their location. This one was perfect.
The flowers and leaves can also be used in bathing herb blends or alone. They are also used in various skin care recipes, and the scent (available typically as a synthetic) is used in all sorts of preparations and products.