CulturAgriCulturE: 26- The tree that serves for everything.

After my publication # 22 "A tila? of the month of June, I can not resist uploading those two photos, taken last week in the South-West of France, in my family's house. My grandfather, very fond of the infusions of tila, never consumes another one that is not of own production.

The north side of the house is sheltered by a dozen big small-leafed lime trees (Tilia cordata) planted at the end of the 19th century.

The South side of the house is adorned with a magnificent specimen of silver lime (Tilia tomentosa), planted nearly a century ago, / p>

Spend numerous school holidays playing with my cousins ​​in the shadows of their glasses.

They are trees that can live for several centuries. These specimens are still relatively young in spite of their imposing size.

It is the flower that is the most used organ in infusions, and all types of linden have similar medicinal properties. Many qualities are recognized:

Antispasmodic, antidepressant, soothing, euphoric, sudorific, febrifuge, antirheumatic and diuretic. But if the concentration is high, the infusion can become exciting and produce insomnia. It is also recommended in cases of migraines, influenza and anxiety attacks.

The flower is very attractive to bees, and very melífera. It can also be used in perfumery.

The sapwood (very young wood just below the bark) can also be used in infusions to treat the liver and gallbladder. The buds of Tilia tomentosa can be used in winter out because of their specific properties in the fight against cholesterol and uric acid. It would also have effects for thyroid problems and slimming effects. In homeopathic preparation, it is used for its effectiveness in the problems of redness due to menopause, and is a strong tranquilizer.

Roasted fruit has been used as a substitute for coffee.

The leaves can be used for fodder purposes.

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They are also edible for humans. Young leaves can be eaten raw in salad. The inverted sugars they contain can be consumed by people with diabetes problems.

The adult leaves can be dried and pulverized to make a very nutritious flour. It was used in France during World War II as a substitute for requisite wheat flour.

The wood, white, tender and easy to sculpt and to work, has been used to make furniture structures, clogs, kitchen utensils, casting molds, musical instruments, sticks, toys, pencils, paper pulp, etc. In orthodox sacred art, it is the only wood authorized in the manufacture of icons.

In some regions, linden wood has been used in the manufacture of barns since its wood, when well dried , it is so powdery that rodents can drown. This wood, in itself, constitutes an effective protection against rodents.

Linden charcoal is still used today for drawing, and for its filtering properties. Furthermore, thanks to certain properties in its combustion, it was used for the manufacture of gunpowder.

Total, is a multipurpose plant, used for centuries for its many properties. it should be noted that there are many traditions and beliefs surrounding linden. They have often been given the virtue of bringing luck, and of ensuring longevity to lovers. The seventeenth-century French writer Jean de La Fontaine, in the fable Philemon et Baucis, writes, speaking of the lindens "little that the husbands remain in their shadow, love each other until the end despite the effort of the years."

And to conclude, some interesting agronomic aspects.

In order to justify that the production of tilapia is totally ecological, it can be added that it is a plant very little attacked by parasites.

There is a fairly frequent but rarely problematic cochineal (Pulvinaria hydrangeae), some Lepidoptera that attack the leaves, and some phytophthus or eriophid type galenic micro-mites, which can cause small gills in leaves. But it is also useful to say that these parasites are never problematic to justify treatments, and that, in addition, their attacks always occur after the collection of the flowers destined for infusions.

On the other hand, linden is a voluminous tree of glass, that produce a great amount of leaves. In autumn, the leaves fall and produce, when decomposed, a humus rich in mineral compounds and nutrients. If you have a linden in your garden or in the vicinity, you can composta its dead leaves. You will get a very useful compost to enrich the soil of your orchard or your flowers.

You can rest easy and prepare your infusions without fear, even if the mention "ecological" does not appear anywhere. > As you can see, a tea infusion can only be beneficial.

  • Adam Floyd