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Identification: Evaporate 10 ml of 60 per cent alcoholic extract on water - bath to remove alcohol, extract the residue with 10 ml chloroform, separate the two layers and concentrate the chlororm layer.
(i) Carry out TLC of chloroform layer on silica gel 'G' using chloroform; methanol (9:1 v/v) as mobile phase and spray with saturated solution of antimony trichloride. Four spots appear at Rf 0.07 (yellow), 0.14 (red), 0.68 (blue) and 0.92 (yellow).
(ii) Using benzene: methanol (9:1 v/v) as mobile phase with same spray reagent as in test I, five spots appear at Rf. 0.07 (yellow), 0.27 (red), 0.36 (blue), 0.71 (orange) and 0.94 (yellow).
(iii) Carry out TLC of aqueous extract on silica gel 'G' using n - butanol acetic acid: water (4:1:1 v/v) as mobile phase and aluminium chloride solution as spray reagent. Four spots appear at Rf 0.18 (red), 0.32(blue), 0.57 (orange) and 0.81 (yellow). (Pharmacopea)
(USDA Plant Chemicals)
The flowers contain a fragrant, volatile oil, with no colour, tannin, sugar, gum and chlorophyll. The bark contains a glucoside, tilicin, and a neutral body, tiliadin. The leaves exude a saccharine matter having the same composition as the manna of Mount Sinai. (http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/mgmh.html)
Lime-flowers are only used in infusion or made into a distilled water as household remedies in indigestion or hysteria, nervous vomiting or palpitation. Prolonged baths prepared with the infused flowers are also good in hysteria. In the Pyrenees they are used to soothe the temporary excitement caused by the waters, and M. Rostan has used them with success against spasms. The flowers of several species of Lime are used. Some doctors prefer the light charcoal of lime wood to that of the poplar in gastric or dyspeptic disturbances, and its powder for burns or sore places. If the flowers used for making the tisane are too old they may produce symptoms of narcotic intoxication. (http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/mgmh.html)
• Botanical: Tilia Europoea (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Tiliaceae
---Synonyms---Tilia vulgaris. Tilia intermedia. Tilia cordata. Tilia platyphylla. Linden Flowers. Linn Flowers. Common Lime. Flores Tiliae. Tilleul.
---Parts Used---The flowers, the charcoal.
---Habitat---Northern Temperate Zone, especially British Isles.
---Description---This tree will grow to 130 feet in height and when in bloom perfumes its whole neighbourhood. The leaves are obliquely heart-shaped, dark green above, paler below, from 2 12 to 4 inches long and sharply toothed. The yellowish-white flowers hang from slender stalks in flattened clusters. They have five petals and five sepals. The original five stamens have each developed a cluster, and there is a spoon-shaped false petal opposite each true one.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---Lime-flowers are only used in infusion or made into a distilled water as household remedies in indigestion or hysteria, nervous vomiting or palpitation. Prolonged baths prepared with the infused flowers are also good in hysteria.
In the Pyrenees they are used to soothe the temporary excitement caused by the waters, and M. Rostan has used them with success against spasms. The flowers of several species of Lime are used.
Some doctors prefer the light charcoal of lime wood to that of the poplar in gastric or dyspeptic disturbances, and its powder for burns or sore places.
If the flowers used for making the tisane are too old they may produce symptoms of narcotic intoxication.
LINDEN (Tilia europa, Tilia cordata) Diaphoretic, diuretic, nervine, stimulant tonic. Anti-plethoric, (cleans and makes the blood more fluid so is excellent as a preventative for arteria-sclerosis, phlebitis, angina and heart attacks). Good for chronic insomnia, anxiety, restless children and sleeping problems, (particularly in the elderly). Promotes perspiration in fever also eliminating mucus from kidneys, bladder, lungs and stomach. Used in nervous conditions and disorders following colds. Excellent when used as a poultice for minor eye problems. Dose: Infusion - One cup standard infusion when required.
• Limited data
• Coumarin fraxoside
• Phenolic acids:
• Volatile oil containing farnesol
• No known toxicity
Historical or traditional use (may or may not be supported by scientific studies): Since time immemorial, the fragrant and tasty linden flowers have been used medicinally as a calming agent and to relieve indigestion, the common cold, and griping or colicky pain in the abdomen.1 2 Many of these uses have been confirmed or partially confirmed in modern research, as noted below.
Active constituents: The major active compounds in linden are thought to be flavonoids, glycosides, and possibly a volatile oil. One study found that a complex mixture of compounds, primarily flavonoids, reduced anxiety in mice.3 All of linden’s active compounds appear to be soluble in water, and the tea form is widely used and considered helpful.4 Older clinical trials have shown that linden flower tea can help people with mild gallbladder problems (but not gallstones), upset stomach or dyspepsia, and excessive gas that causes the stomach to push up and put pressure on the heart (also known as the gastrocardiac syndrome.)5 6 Its reputed antispasmodic action, particularly in the intestines, has been confirmed in at least one human study.7 It has been hypothesized that linden may relax muscles in arteries as well, thereby giving it a blood pressure-lowering effect.8
Drunk as a hot tea, linden flowers act as a diaphoretic. Diaphoretics induce a mild fever, thereby possibly helping promote the immune system’s ability to fight infections. The fever usually does not go very high because the diaphoretic also causes sweating, the body’s natural way of lowering its temperature. An unpublished clinical trial of children with colds found that linden tea, aspirin, and bed rest were more effective than antibiotics at speeding recovery and reducing complications such as otitis media (ear infection).9 Aspirin is no longer given to children due to the threat of Reye’s syndrome.
How much is usually taken? A tea of linden is prepared by adding 2–3 teaspoons of dried or fresh flowers to a pint of just boiled water. After steeping the flowers in a covered container for ten to fifteen minutes, sip the tea while it is still hot. During an acute problem, several cups can be drunk daily for up to one week.10 For longer term use (three to six months), three cups per day can be used. A tincture or fluid extract of linden can be used, often in the amount of 3–5 ml three times a day for continued use and more often during acute difficulties. Linden is often added to other herb teas to improve flavor.
Are there any side effects or interactions? Statements that overuse of linden can cause heart problems11 lack scientific merit. Both the German government’s Commission E and the American Herbal Products Association’s authoritative guide on herbal safety state that linden has no toxic effects.12 13 In fact, linden is considered safe for use in children14 and there are no known reasons to avoid it during pregnancy and lactation.
At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions with linden.
1. Wren RC, Williamson EM, Evans FJ. Potter’s New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations. Essex, UK: Saffron Walden, CW Daniel Co, 1988, 171.
2. Duke JA. CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1985, 485–6.
3. Viola H, Wolfman C, Levi de Stein M, et al. Isolation of pharmacologically active benzodiazepine receptor ligands from Tilia tomentosa (Tiliaceae). J Ethnopharmacol 1994;44(1):47–53.
4. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Gothenburg, Sweden: Ab Arcanum and Beaconsfield, UK: Beaconsfield Publishers, 1985, 227–8.
5. Fiegel VG, Hohensee F. Experimental and clinical screening of a dry, water extract of tiliae libri. Arzneim Forsch 1963;13:222–5 [in German].
TILIA X VULGARIS (T. EUROPAEA)
Excellent for palpitations of the heart.Also known as the Lime tree, it grows to well over a hundred feet (30 m) high, and has a smooth bark and spreading branches. The yellowish- white flowers are followed by clusters of round fruits.
Where to find it: Woods and open forests. Also cultivated in parkland and gentlemen's gardens.
Flowering time: Midsummer.
Astrology: It is governed by Jupiter.
Medicinal virtues: The flowers are the only parts used, and are a good cephalic and nervine, excellent for apoplexy, epilepsy and vertigo.
Modern uses: A nervine tonic used for tension headaches and hysteria. An infusion is made from one teaspoonful of the powdered flowers or leaves to i pt (568 mi) of boiling water and taken in doses of 2 fl oz (56 mi). A decoction of the bark stimulates the body to produce bile and is therefore useful for some cases of indigestion. The infusion is soothing for chronic coughs and catarrh, and will also check simple diarrhoea. The tincture is available from herbal- ists, who prescribe it for high blood pressure due to nervous tension.
It is a strong but safe nervine for relief of headaches and hysteria. The Vikings spread the flowers on the floor of bridal bed chambers to ensure that the children be tall and beautiful.
Action: nervine, stimulant, tonic
Used to Treat: cancer (stomach), headache, hysteria, indigestion