Lime Tree Flowers Of (_tiliaceoe_)
Though not a native of Great Britain, yet, because of its common
growth in our roadways and along the front of terraced houses, and
in suburban avenues, the Lime Tree has become almost indigenous.
In the old Herbals it is called Lyne or Line, Tillet, Till tree, and
Tilia, each of these names bearing reference to the bast or inner bark
of the tree, which is used in the North for cordage. Others say the
is an alteration of Telia, from telum, a dart, alluding to the
use of the wood. Tilia is more probably derived from ptilon, a
feather, because of the feathery appearance of the floral leaves.
Now, tell me thy name, good fellow, said he,
Under the leaves of lyne.
The n in later writers has been changed into m.
Its sweet-smelling and highly fragrant flowers blossom in May, and
are much sought after by bees, because abounding with honied
nectar. A medicinal tincture (H.) is made from them with spirit of
wine; and when given in doses of from five to ten drops with water,
three times in the day, it serves to relieve sick  bilious
giddiness, with depression of spirits, and a tendency to loose
bowels, with nervous headache. The sap of the Lime Tree (Tilia
Europoea) abounds in mucilage, from which sugar can be elaborated.
A tea made from the blossoms and leaves with boiling water,
is admirable for promoting perspiration. It is because of a
long established reputation for giving relief in chronic epilepsy or
the falling sickness, and of curing epileptiform headaches, whilst
proving of indisputable usefulness in allied nervous disorders, that
the flowers and leaves of the Lime or Linden Tree occupy a true
place among modern medicinal Simples. Gilbert White made some
Lime-blossom tea, and pronounced it a very soft, well-flavoured,
pleasant saccharine julep, much resembling the juice of liquorice.
This tea has been found efficacious for quieting hard coughs and for
The flowers easily ferment, and being so fragrant may be used for
making wine: likewise a fine flavoured brandy has been distilled
from them. The fruit contains an oily substance, and has been
proposed, when roasted, as a domestic substitute for chocolate. The
sap may be procured by making incisions in the trunk, and branches.
The flowers are sedative, and anti-spasmodic. Fenelon decorates his
enchanted Isle of Calypso with flowering Lime trees. Hoffman says
Tilioe ad mille usus petendoe.
The inner bark furnishes a soft mucilage, which may be applied
externally with healing effect to burns, scalds, and inflammatory
swellings. Gerard taught, that the flowers are commended by divers
persons against pain of the head proceeding from a cold cause;
against dizziness, apoplexy, and the falling sickness; and not only
the flowers, but the distilled water thereof.  Hoffman knew a
case of chronic epilepsy recovered by a use of the flowers in infusion
drunk as tea. Such, indeed, was the former exalted anti-epileptic
reputation of the Lime Tree, that epileptic persons sitting
under its shade were reported to be cured.
A famous Lind or Lime Tree, which grew in his ancestral place,
gave to the celebrated Linnaeus his significant name. The well-known
street, unter den Linden in Berlin, is a favourite resort,
because of its pleasant, balmy shade; and when Heine lay beneath
the Lindens, he thought his own sweet nothing-at-all thoughts.
The wood of the Lime Tree is preferred before every other wood fur
masterly carving. Grinling Gibbons executed his best and most
noted work in this material; and the finely-cut details still remain
sharp, delicate, and beautiful.
Chemically, the Linden flowers contain a particular light, fragrant,
volatile oil, which is soluble in alcohol. They are used in warm
baths with much success to allay nervous irritability; or a strong
infusion of them is administered by enema for the same purpose.