Scientific Name:Tilia Americana
About this Herb:Native to eastern North America, Asia and Europe this tree can grow to heights of 120 feet. Basswood’s bark is gray to light brown with narrow well defined fissures. Its long broad leaves are coarsely serrated and notched at the base. The branches and the leaves contain mucilaginous sap. Basswood’s flowers are small, fragrant, yellowish-white blooms that are clustered and drooping. These 5 pedaled blooms appear in early to mid-summer. The fruit or seed is about the size of a pea, it’s hard, dry and cream colored, sometimes called monkey nuts.
Common Names:American basswood, American Linden, Bast Tree, Common lime, Lime Tree, Linden, Linden Flower, Spoonwood, Wycopy
Uses:Leaves and flowers are edible. The flowers, leaves, wood, and charcoal (obtained from the wood) are used for medicinal purposes. The flowers act as an antioxidant and are used to treat cold and flu symptoms as well as infections, hypertension, headaches especially migraines. The flowers ingested either as a tea or eaten in a salad act as a diuretic, antispasmodic and a sedative. Flowers tea also relieves anxiety-related indigestion, irregular heartbeat, and vomiting. The leaves are used to promote sweating to reduce fevers. Wood burned to charcoal is used topically to treat edema or infection, such as cellulitis or ulcers of the lower leg. The sap makes a soothing application for skin irritations, boils, wounds, sores, and burns.
Applications:Sap: Apply to afflicted area.
Tea: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 6 to 10 flowers and steep for 5 minutes. Drink 1 cup to 2 cups per day. (See uses)
Eating: Add flowers to a salad or eat alone. Leaves may be eaten or brewed into a tea, drink 1 cup. (See uses)
Poultice: Made from the charred wood and applied to afflicted area. (See uses)