Tilia cordata

Tilia cordata

Synonyms

No documentation

Vernacular Name

Small Leaf Lime, Linden, bee tree, basewood

Description

Tilia cordata or Small Leaf Lime has been used for a variety of ailments, from ulcers to colds to anxiety. Every part of the tree can be used. The flowers produce sweet nectar and the bark is used to make extracts. The wood is very durable and used in making furniture.

Tilias are medium-sized deciduous trees native to the eastern half of North America. Due to heavy, free hybridization, the taxonomy of the species is ambiguous. The Linden tree grows within groves of other tree species, rarely in a stand of its own. The widespread crowns of the trees reach an average height of between 18m and 40m, with the trunks reaching a width of a little more than a meter. The trunks are covered in light-grey or brown bark with deeply pronounced fissures. From the trunks of the Tilia species grow thick branches that spread widely. The deep green leaves are asymmetrical cordate or ovate in shape and have sharp serration along the edges. Ranging in size from 10-20cm, the broad, glabrous leaves are alternately arranged on the slim, reddish-green stems. The flowers that bloom in June and August are literally dripping in mucilaginous nectar, making the tree a significant source of food for many species of bees. It is thought that the honey made of Tilia nectar is sweeter and has a stronger flavor.  The flowers are typically small, white or light yellow and roughly 10-14mm in length. The fruit borne of the trees are a small, single-seeded nut with a thin shell.

Origin / Habitat

T. cordata is native to North America and the Tilia species grows through the whole continent. The tree thrives in soils with a high pH and can grow quite quickly.

Chemical Constituents

Alanine, Alpha-Pinene, Ascorbic acid, Beta-sitosterol, Caffeic acid, Chlorogenic acid, Cysteine, Cystine, Docosane, Eicosane, Eugenol, Geraniol, Glutamic acid, Glycine, Hesperidin, Hexacosane, Isoleucine, Kaempferitrin, Kaempferols, Leucine, Limonene, Linalol, Linalyl-acetate, Linarin, Linoleic-Acid, Linolenic-Acid, Mucilage, Nerol, Nerolidol, Nonadecane, Octacosane, Octadecane, Oleic-acid, P-Coumaric-acid, Palmitic acid, Pentacosane, Phenylalanine, Phlobaphene, Quercetins, Quercitirin, Saponins, Squalene, Stigmastanol, Stigmasterol, Tannins, Terpineol, Tiliroside,  Triacontane, Tricosane, Tyrosine, Valine, Xanthophyll. [1],[2],[3]

Plant Part Used

Barks, stems, leaves

Medicinal Uses

General

Sedative

Antioxidant

Immune Function

Ulcers

Gastrointestinal Function

 

Most Frequently Reported Uses

Sedative

Antioxidant

Immune Function

Dosage

Dosage Range 

Extract: 2-10mL daily.

Tea: 1-2 tsp flowers in 8 oz of boiling water two to three times per day.

Most Common Dosage 

Extract: 3 mL daily.

Tea: 2 cups daily.

Pharmacology

Pre-clinical

Extracts from the bracts, flowers and leaves have been examined for sedative and anxiolytic potential as evidence to support the traditional use.[4] The animal models using the various plant parts have demonstrated T. cordata sedative and anxiolytic action as depressant on the central nervous system.[3],[5] This CNS depressant activity is thought to be initiated by the flavonoid glycosides, triterpenes and fatty acids present in the plant. [3],[6] Extracts of the plant have also demonstrated some limited antinociceptive activity. [7]

The extracts of T. cordata flower were analyzed for anti-proliferative potential, which was demonstrated in two separate laboratory studies. In one study the anti-proliferative activity was determined to be the result of the monoterpene content with limonene demonstrating the strongest activity.[8] The second study identified a coumarin known as scopoletin as having the pronounced activity and found that it was not cytotoxic to normal cells. [9] This immunomodulatory effect of scopoletin has been further demonstrated in laboratory settings. [10]

Clinical

At this time, there are not any clinical studies on Small Leaf Lime.

Interaction and Depletions

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation

Interaction with Drugs

Based on pharmacology, not to be used with CNS depressants.

Not to be used in combination with prescription drug therapy unless directed by a trained professional.

Precautions and Contraindications

Side effects

Due to the limited use of this herb currently, there is inadequate science available for a full review of its actions and properties. Consequently there are no reports of interactions or contraindications that would alert the user. However, standard herbal precautions should apply.

Pregnancy

Not to be used by pregnant or nursing women, (even though traditional use has included this herb as a lactation aid).

Age limitation

Not to be used by children unless directed by a healthcare professional.

Adverse reaction

No documentation

Read More

  1)  Native American Herbs

References

  1. Duke JA. Handbook of Phytochemical Constituents of GRAS Herbs and Other Economic Plants. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 1992.
  2. Zub MR. Isolation and study of the flavonoid glycosides from the buds of Tilia cordata. Farm Zh. 1975;30(3):76-79.
  3. Aguirre-Hernández E, Rosas-Acevedo H, Soto-Hernández M, Martínez AL, Moreno J, González-Trujano ME. Bioactivity-guided isolation of beta-sitosterol and some fatty acids as active compounds in the anxiolytic and sedative effects of Tilia americana var. mexicana. Planta Med. Sep 2007;73(11):1148-1155
  4. Pérez-Ortega G, Guevara-Fefer P, Chávez M, Herrera J, Martínez A, Martínez AL, González-Trujano ME. Sedative and anxiolytic efficacy of Tilia americana var. mexicana inflorescences used traditionally by communities of State of Michoacan, Mexico. J Ethnopharmacol. 28 Mar 2008;116(3):461-468.
  5. Aguirre-Hernández E, Martínez AL, González-Trujano ME, Moreno J, Vibrans H, Soto-Hernández M. Pharmacological evaluation of the anxiolytic and sedative effects of Tilia americana L. var. mexicana in mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 3 Jan 2007;109(1):140-145.
  6. Herrera-Ruiz M, Román-Ramos R, Zamilpa A, Tortoriello J, Jiménez-Ferrer JE.  Flavonoids from Tilia americana with anxiolytic activity in plus-maze test. J Ethnopharmacol. 23 Jul 2008;118(2):312-317.
  7. Martínez AL, González-Trujano ME, Aguirre-Hernández E, Moreno J, Soto-Hernández M, López-Muñoz FJ. Antinociceptive activity of Tilia americana var. mexicana inflorescences and quercetin in the formalin test and in an arthritic pain model in rats. Neuropharmacology. Feb 2009;56(2):564-571.
  8. Manuele MG, Ferraro G, Anesini C. Effect of Tilia x viridis flower extract on the proliferation of a lymphoma cell line and on normal murine lymphocytes: contribution of monoterpenes, especially limonene. Phytother Res. Nov 2008;22(11):1520-1526.
  9. Barreiro Arcos ML, Cremaschi G, Werner S, Coussio J, Ferraro G, Anesini C. Tilia cordata Mill. Extracts and scopoletin (isolated compound): differential cell growth effects on lymphocytes. Phytother Res. Jan 2006;20(1):34-40.
  10. Manuele MG, Ferraro G, Barreiro Arcos ML, López P, Cremaschi G, Anesini C.Comparative immunomodulatory effect of scopoletin on tumoral and normal lymphocytes. Life Sci. 19 Oct 2006;  79(21):2043-2048.

Dosage Range 

Extract: 2-10mL daily.

Tea: 1-2 tsp flowers in 8 oz of boiling water two to three times per day.

 

Most Common Dosage 

Extract: 3 mL daily.

Tea: 2 cups daily.