According to NutraSanus.com, linden tea is derived from the linden plant, which thrives in the temperate climates of North America, Asia and Europe. Although several species of linden exist, tilia cordata and tilia platyphyllos are the two most commonly used for medicinal purposes. For centuries, linden has been utilized in European folk medicine to treat a wide array of health conditions. However, the verdict is still out as to whether or not the consumption of linden tea is safe for pregnant women. Consult with your medical advisor prior to ingesting linden tea.
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The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that while the flowers, leaves and wood of the linden treat provide medicinal benefits, only the flowers are steeped to create linden tea. The tilia species may grow to a height of 90 feet and have a lifespan of 1,000 years. The tilia cordata is known as the winter linden and is characterized as having small leaves, while the tilia platyphyllos sprouts large leaves and is recognized as the summer linden. Since the flowers contain aromatic oils, they produce teas that are both fragrant and mildly sweet.
According to babycenter.com, bloating, flatulence, heartburn and constipation are health conditions commonly associated with pregnancy. Consuming linden tea may alleviate these symptoms as Blue Shield of California states that linden tea may soothe digestive discomfort and heartburn. Furthermore, linden tea functions as a diaphoretic to induce sweating. While this may prove uncomfortable for pregnant women, the increased body temperature may help support the immune system's fight against infections. Keith Stelling, M.A., MNIMH, MCPP, notes that linden flowers contain farnesol, which is an antispasmodic and sedative. This may be ideal for individuals suffering from anxiety or irritability; however, pregnant women near term should be cautious of drinking linden tea as this may affect contractions during childbirth.
The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends making linden tea by steeping 1 to 2 tsp. of dried linden flowers in 8 oz. of boiling water for approximately 20 minutes. Although the recommended dosage for the average adult is 3 cups daily, the Brant County Health Unit suggests less than 2 cups of linden tea daily, while other authorities advise that pregnant women stay away from linden tea altogether. To remain on the safe side, the American Pregnancy Association prescribes concocting your own blend of herbal tea using fresh fruit.
Stelling reports that linden blossoms have a thinning effect on the blood. This may prove dangerous for pregnant women nearing the end of term as uncontrolled bleeding may lead to postpartum. Although a wide variety of herbal teas provide health benefits, very few studies exist regarding the effects of herbal teas on pregnant women. Furthermore, linden tea may interact with certain medications, so it is prudent to consult with your health provider prior to ingesting linden tea.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- "Vitality Magazine"; The Linden Tree; Keith Stelling, M.A., M.N.I.M.H., M.C.P.P.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Linden
- Nutra Sanus: Linden Tea and Leaf Benefits
- Baby Center: Herbal Teas During Pregnancy
- American Pregnancy Association; Drinking Herbal Teas During Pregnancy; June 2011
- Baby Center: Gas and Bloating During Pregnancy
- Brant County Health Unit: Food-Related Risks During Pregnancy