Monday, September 7, 2020

What is an Anodyne?

These are herbs that are known to relieve and sooth pain. Often used both internally and externally, depending on the herb. They may also be antispasmodics; relieving pain by reducing cramping in muscles. They may have an affinity for certain organs or systems. 

They work through various mechanisms but most help by a direct effect on pain signals to the brain. Anodyne is often synonymous with Analgesics. 

Herbal Anodynes To Explore:

Skullcap, valerian, lobelia, catnip, chamomile, cloves, cramp bark, passion flower, linden, california poppy, corn silk, bacopa, horsetail, hops, pleurisy root, kava, albizia, plantain, birch, wood betony.

Understanding herbal actions is important. You can get started by accessing my Quizlet for fun ways to learn and test yourself! To obtain access you'll need this password.... EXPLORE (also listed here in the side bar under "tools").

Caution: Always, always remember to do some research on an herb before using it. In school, we were advised to check at least 3 sources first. Some are contraindicated with certain medications, existing conditions or other herbs you may be using. Make sure you're not allergic. Go low and slow when trying an herb for the first time... just a sip, a skin test or one drop, etc. depending on the route of your intentions. 


Sunday, August 30, 2020

Common name: Linden, lime flowers, lime tree, basswood, beetree, tilia, tilleul, tilo, tiglio
Botanical name: Tilia europaea, T. cordata, T. platyphyllos, T. americana
Family name: Tilaceae

Overview:  A large deciduous tree that grows up to 100 feet tall. Blooms abundantly from late spring to early summer and is well known for it's lovely honey-lime scent.

Best harvested on a dry day in early to midsummer, immediately after flowering, and dried in the shade. Parts used are the flowers and bracts, charcoal (from the wood), leaf, twigs inner bark.

History and Folklore: The linden tree is said to be the national symbol of Slovenia and considered very sacred. Many Germans grew linden trees in their town squares for protection and shade. Villagers often assembled to hold their judicial meetings under the trees because they believed they would help bring truth, restoration of justice and peace to any issue at hand.

Primary therapeutic constituents: Flavonoids, (quercetin, hesperidin, kaempferol, rutin), mucilage, volatile/essential oils, phenolic acids, phytosterols, tannins. 

Medicinal actions: Anodyne, anti-fungal, antinociceptive, antispasmodic, antitussive, astringent, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, hepatoprotective, hypotensive, diaphoretic, nervine. 

Common uses: Nervous conditions, epilepsies, hyperactivity, excess heat conditions, hypertension, colds, congested kidneys, dark urine, edema, insomnia, migraine, dizziness, neuralgia, heart palpitations, pelvic inflammatory disease, digestion. 

Technique: Infusion, soak (tub), infused honey, syrup, poultice, food, tincture. 

Adult dose: Best as an infusion of 1 teaspoon dried flowers and bracts in one cup boiled water for 10 minutes, taken 3 times a day. 

Cautions and contraindications: Some concerns that in high doses could be cardiotoxic. In rare cases, hypersensitive folks may shows signs of dermatitis or allergic rhinitis. 

Taste: Sweet, moist. 

Energy: Cooling, drying, relaxing, aromatic 

Educational video: I found an interesting video by a naturopathic doctor demonstrating how to harvest and process linden. She also prepares a linden honey and an amazing looking linden-lemon tea that I must try soon. I'll keep my eye out for a unique glass container and make a batch for Thanksgiving! Watch this engrossing lesson by Dr. Mindy A. Curry. 

Personal experience: Lovely tasting tea with a calming effect. I've also used linden in tea blends such as this one here


Herbal Academy, (n.d.) Linden monograph. Retrieved from

The Earthwise Herbal Vol I by Matthew Wood. p. 487-489

The Modern Herbal Dispensatory by Easley and Horne p. 262