Chinese Linden

Chinese Linden | Duan Hua
COMMON NAME (Chinese Name)

Chinese Linden (Duan Hua)


Tilia chinensis; other Tilia variants


Linden teas have a long history of use as alternative therapies for head colds, coughs, and fevers. Aqueous extracts of linden plant parts are believed to have some anti-inflammatory and diuretic effects, as they seem to act as fever-reducers while also causing sweating. There isn’t much empirical support for these properties, though. The exception to this is its diuretic effect, which has been demonstrated in some other studies.

There is empirical support for the potential for linden teas to promote relaxation and sedation. Consequently, some researchers have suggested that drinking linden tea may be a possible treatment for mild to moderate anxiety. Animal studies and small human clinical trials also support the idea that linden extracts have pain-relieving properties (tied to anti-inflammatory activities among the primary bioactive compounds in such extracts).

Linden flower tea has long been considered safe for use even for infants, since its gentle sedative effects could help soothe colicky babies and help get them to sleep for longer durations. In Chinese medicine linden is categorized as an herb that calms the Spirit. It is classified as slightly sweet, aromatic, slightly astringent, moist, and slightly warm. Linden is said to primarily affect the Lung and Liver meridians.


Linden flower, leaf, and fruit are all available for use in medicinal preparations. Each must be dried — then subjected to hot-water decoction — prior to use. Though topical use is not known to be problematic, there are far more potential uses for linden teas.


Linden flower decoctions may contain Clostridium botulinum spores, which can present health risks when ingested (especially to babies and people with compromised immune systems). Additionally, some of the bioactive compounds in linden extract or teas may impact blood pressure. As a result, people who are taking blood pressure medication or who have a history of blood pressure related medical conditions should avoid taking linden supplements. Anyone interested in adding the linden flower supplement to their diet should consult with a physician, certified herbalist or other qualified healthcare professional.


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