One of the "long-livers" among deciduous trees is a linden, living up to 300-400, and sometimes up to 1000 years. Such longevity, beauty and majesty of this tree, which blossoms for the first time after 20 years, is the reason that many people began to worship it, ascribing a connection with higher powers. In addition, in folk medicine it has been widely used and today almost everything that can be given by a lime tree is actively used: flowers, fruits, leaves, bark. For the manufacture of various household items our ancestors used soft and pliable linden wood.
In this article, we will consider in detail the properties of lime color, the features of its collection, storage and use.
Since ancient times, among peoples of different countries, the linden was considered a divine tree. Thus, in ancient times, Western European residents believed that the very goddess Freya, the patroness of the family and the keeper of the home, protects him. The tree of the goddess of fertility and love Lada called the ancient Slavs linden. It was under her crown that important for the community affairs were decided, wedding conspiracies were held - "ladies". Slavs used almost all parts of linden to arrange their own life, treatment and cooking.
In later times, with the spread of Christianity, the linden began to be considered a tree of the Virgin, since it was she who gave shelter to the Mother of God when she descended to earth. From here went the belief that this tree never gets lightning, and it is on it most often appear miraculous images.
Lime - a kind of woody plants, to which modern scientists include more than 40 species of large trees and shrubs, as well as about a hundred different hybrid subspecies. Representatives of this genus are widely distributed in regions with a temperate and subtropical climate of the Northern Hemisphere.
On the territory of Russia basically there are two kinds of linden:
- Tilia platyphyllos - large leaf (flat-leaved).
- Tilia cordata - heart-shaped (heart-shaped).
Adult trees form a dense and powerful crown, can grow up to 30 meters. Young branches and trunks of the linden are covered with shiny and smooth, brownish-red, the older and thick are brownish and rugged with bark grooves. Its root system is rod-shaped, highly branched and well-developed, capable of penetrating deep into the soil. Long-petioled leaves have the form of pointed hearts, decorated on the edge with small denticles. The front side of them - green, but from below they are slightly bluish, with veins, covered with brownish-yellow hairs. In our strip one of the last - at the end of spring, and sometimes in the beginning of June, reveals its linden leaves. Flowers are opened about a month after the leaves. Lime trees can grow in mixed deciduous forests and plantings, and in a separate form, apart.
How does it blossom?
The first decades of its life this tree develops extremely slowly and first blooms, depending on the conditions of growth, 10-20 years after planting.
For two or three weeks, from the end of June to July, the lime blooms. Its flowers are small, with a diameter of only about 1 cm, yellowish-white. They are collected for 10-15 pieces in the thyroid inflorescence. Each flower consists of five petals, intergrown with stamens, forming 5 bundles, five stigmas and a pistil, with the upper nest ovary. The flowers are very fragrant, with a honey-sweet, tender and astringent aroma.
Healing powers of a tree
Most modern people have heard and even used linden flowers for treatment of colds, the photos of which are presented below.
But it is worth noting that the fruit of this tree in the form of small nuts in dried and shredded form is an excellent hemostatic. Fresh linden leaves are used as a compress for migraines and severe headaches, and in crushed form - to create various wound healing ointments based on animal fats. The dried and crushed bark of this tree is brewed as tea and used as a mild cholagogue. In a fresh form, the lime bark is used to cure various skin diseases, applying a sticky side to the affected area.
Useful properties of lime color
Today, in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic field, fruits, bark and leaves are used, which gives a linden. Flowers, useful properties and therapeutic effect of which are time-tested and scientifically confirmed, can be used by each of us. After all, in the composition of a lime color there are:
- amino acids;
- essential oils;
- macro and microelements.
Thanks to the bioflavonoids of the linden, whose flowers can be collected and dried on their own or simply bought in a pharmacy, acts as:
- anti-inflammatory agent.
It should be noted that linden can also help in the treatment of various viral and bacterial diseases. Flowers, useful properties of which for various inflammatory processes are due to the presence of tannins and phytoncides, in the form of broths and infusions can cope with influenza and dysentery.
Infusion of lime color can be used for compresses for rheumatic and neurologic pains, ulcers and burns. In addition, flavonoids help strengthen the walls of capillaries and vessels.
When and how to collect lime flowers?
In order to stock up for the winter with such a natural healing remedy as lime blossom, it is important not to miss the moment. The tree blossoms for a short time, a maximum of two weeks, and if it's hot and dry weather, then it fades much faster. The optimal time for collection is the period when the lime flowers (the photo below, which shows it well) are almost all open.
Collect a fake color in the daytime, when it is dry and hot weather. Collected early in the morning after dew or in rainy, wet weather for a long time will not survive and quickly deteriorate. Since it is difficult to collect lime flowers (they are not easily separated from adjacent leaves), it's easier to gently cut them using scissors. Pay attention to the appearance of the flowers you collect: they should not have damage, traces of insects and rust. Do not collect from trees located in the city, especially near large industrial enterprises, traffic interchanges and highways, lime flowers. The use of such a lime color, absorbed a variety of toxins and harmful substances, can only harm health, and not correct it. It is worth knowing that one kilogram of freshly picked after drying will produce about 300 g of dry linden color.
How to dry and store properly?
After the fake color was collected, it must be well dried. To do this, the raw materials are laid out in a single layer on paper or a dense fabric in a well ventilated room, since it is impossible to dry lime flowers under sunlight - they will lose all their useful properties.
After a couple of days, you must carefully mix the lime blossom so that it does not become moldy and dried evenly, and leave until completely dry. Friability, yellowing and almost complete absence of odor are an indication that the flowers have dried, and they can be stored for storage. Previously, the lime blossom was removed into linen or canvas bags, and today in most cases - in glass containers. If there is no well-ventilated room, you should not get upset, because you can dry lime flowers in a regular city apartment. For this, you can use both an electric dryer for fruits and vegetables, and the most ordinary oven. It is important only to remember that you need a temperature of about + 40 ° C and intermittent mixing, so that the lime blossom does not rot and is not overdone.
Methods of application
As already mentioned above, linden flowers can be used in the treatment of various diseases. Useful properties and contraindications, before you start using them, you need to discuss with your doctor. From the lime color do:
For diseases of the respiratory system, as well as for colds and headaches, a special infusion is used. Prepare it simply: in a glass of hot boiled water put a tablespoon of dry linden color and leave for 30-40 minutes for infusion. Then strain the resulting infusion through a strainer. Drink it should be warm, three times a day for a glass. If the throat hurts or there is an infection in the oral cavity, then it can be used for rinsing, which effectively relieves painful sensations.
It is prepared quickly: a container with 0.5 liters of hot water is placed on the water bath, and a couple of spoons of finely chopped or chopped linden flowers are added there. Stir and leave on low heat for 30-40 minutes, occasionally stirring. Then the broth is allowed to cool and filter through gauze or a filter.
If you plan to take it inside, you do not need to add anything else. In order to make compresses, the broth is prepared exactly the same way, but after cooling and straining, add ½ teaspoon of conventional baking soda. Poultices and compresses from linden blossoms are good for articular rheumatism and gout, as well as for mastitis. You can use a lime decoction for flavoring when taking a bath.
Bath with lime color
Specialists of traditional medicine recommend those who suffer from spasmodic or painful sensations in the gastrointestinal tract, special baths with decoction of linden flowers. To do this, 8 full tablespoons of lime blossom should be mixed in a saucepan with one liter of water and, after placing on a fire, bring to a boil. Allow the solution to simmer for about 5 minutes and turn off the fire. Half an hour the broth should be infused and only after that it is filtered through a strainer or gauze and added to the bath, which can not take more than 15 minutes.
Harmful or useful?
Despite the fact that this is a natural product obtained from a plant, linden flowers have useful properties and contraindications. With caution should be used to its people suffering:
- diseases of the cardiovascular system;
- various types of allergic reactions and manifestations, including pollinosis;
- obstruction of the bile ducts.
In addition, lime flowers and drinks based on it are not recommended for children under the age of two, as well as pregnant and lactating women. Even absolutely healthy people should carefully take the formulations containing linden flowers. Properties and contraindications are indicated, but it is important to remember: you can not always drink infusion or tea with lime color. Take it by the course, under the supervision of a doctor and no more than one or two months, after which you need to take a long break.