Tilia cordata seed
Medicinal use : flowers are a popular domestic remedy for a number of ailments, especially in the treatment of colds and other ailments where sweating is desirable. Amade from the fresh or dried flowers is antispasmodic, diaphoretic, expectorant, hypertensive, laxative and sedative. Tea is also used internally in the treatment of indigestion, hypertension, hardening of the arteries, hysteria, nervous vomiting or palpitation. The flowers are harvested commercially and often sold in health shops etc. Flowers are said to develop narcotic properties as they age and so they should only be harvested when freshly opened. A charcoal made from the wood is used in the treatment of gastric or dyspeptic disturbances and is also made into a powder then applied to burns or sore places.
Edible parts : Young leaves – raw. They make an excellent salad or sandwich filling, they are mild tasting and somewhat mucilaginous. The leaves can be available from spring until early autumn from the young growths at the base of the. A very acceptable chocolate substitute can be made from a paste of the ground-up flowers and immature fruit. Trials on marketing the product failed because the paste is very apt to decompose. A popular tea is made from the flowers, it has a sweet, fragrant pleasant flavor. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Sap – harvested in the spring, it is sweet and can be used as a drink or concentrated into a syrup.
Other uses : A fiber from the inner bark is used to make mats, shoes, baskets, ropes etc. It is also suitable for cloth. It is harvested from trunks that are 15 – 30 cm in diameter. The fiber can also be used for making paper. The stems are harvested in spring or summer, the leaves are removed and the stems steamed until the fibers can be stripped. The outer bark is removed from the inner bark by peeling or scraping. The fibers are cooked for 2 hours with lye and then beaten in a ball mill. The paper is beige in colour. Wood – soft, white, easily carved. It is very suitable for carving domestic items and small non-durable items. A charcoal made from the wood is used for drawing.
It is a beautiful easy to grow shade tree that deserves more use. It gets wonderful green foliage.
They would make excellent additions to your rare plant collection, or just make a unique statement in your yard.