The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!

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Basswood

Scientific Names

Basswood

  • Tilia americana L.
  • Tiliaceae
  • Linden family

Common Names

  • American basswood
  • American linden
  • Bast tree
  • Common lime
  • Lime tree
  • Linden
  • Linden flower
  • Spoonwood
  • Wycopy

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Parts Usually Used

Flowers and leaves, inner bark
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Basswood

The basswood tree reaches a height of up to 120 feet. The brownish-gray bark is perpendicularly, but not deeply, fissured. The cordate, serrate leaves are from 4-7 inches long have pointed tips and heart-shaped bases; clusters of yellow-white fragrant flowers (1/2 inch wide) with 5 sepals and petals and numerous stamens cohering in groups, grow on long stalks from narrow bracts, appear in June and August; they are followed by small round nutlets. The fruits or seeds are about the size and shape of a pea and are commonly called “monkey-nuts”. Tree characterized by prominent winter buds and the lack of terminal bud; and for the pyramidal shape of the tree.

Other lindens, like the commonly planted European linden, can be used in the same way.
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Where Found

Found in the eastern United States and in Canada; moist soil, in woods and forests, in uplands and valleys from Quebec to North Dakota and south to North Carolina and Oklahoma. Also planted in cities of this area.
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Medicinal Properties

Diaphoretic, stomachic Bark: emollient
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Legends, Myths and Stories

In Europe, many legends and superstitions are centered around these trees. Linden wood was used for carving sacred works of art, and the linden tree, which was the village tree, played an important role in the life of early Europeans. Thus it was only natural that special curative power was ascribed to these medicinal trees.

Among the Germanic peoples the linden was a “sacred” tree for people in love, the tree that brought fertility and prosperity. In the Middle Ages, people carved images of the Virgin Mary and figures of the saints from linden wood, calling the wood lignum sacrum, sacred wood.
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Uses

Used as a home remedy for colds, flu, coughs, fever, headaches, epilepsy, indigestion, and sore throats. The inner bark contains mucilaginous materials and makes a soothing application for skin irritations, boils, wounds, sores, and burns. A popular continental herb tea. Used in cosmetic preparations.
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Formulas or Dosages

Bark, leaves and flowers, dried in the shade.

Infusion: steep 1 tsp. flowers or leaves in 1 cup water. Take 1-2 cups a day.
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Warning

Frequent consumption of flower tea may cause heart damage.
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Bibliography

Buy It! Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

Buy It! American Folk Medicine/i>, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

Buy It!The Magic of Herbs, by David Conway, published by Jonathan Cape, Thirty Bedford Square, London, England. (Out of print)

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

Buy It! How Indians Use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine & Crafts, by Frances Densmore, Dover Publications, Inc., 180 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014, first printed by the United States Government Printing Office, Washington, in 1928, this Dover edition 1974

Buy It! An Instant Guide to Medicinal Plants, by Pamela Forey and Ruth Lindsay, Crescent Books (January 27, 1992).

Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature’s Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

Buy It! The Healing Plants, by Mannfried Pahlow, Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. 250 Wireless Blvd., Hauppauge, NY 11788, 1992

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