In the past few weeks there has been a certain comforting smell in the air. As I sit out on the balcony in the evening I can recognise it from winter time. It's the smell of the Ihlamur Tree - The Linden tree. I recognise it because its leaves are used to make the tea which is one of the best cold remedies I have ever tried!
I did a little research on the net and found that the flowers have flavonoids in them - which act as antioxidants, volatile oils, and other elements that soothe and reduce inflammation. So it's not just an old wives tale!
My mother in law had someone bring her some of the leaves from her village near the Black Sea for her to dry in preparation for next Winter. To make the tea you just put a few handfuls of leaves and blossom in a teapot, cover them in water and slowly boil for about 20 minutes (make sure you don't make it too strong). This is a very common remedy here, the leaves and blossom are widely available at all the local markets and whenever a neighbour would catch us sniffling away their first suggestion would always be to have a soothing glass (the small Turkish tea glasses) of Ihlamur.
Apparently the tree is also called a Lime or Lime Blossom tree and in German folklore it is known as the 'tree of lovers'. Its intoxicating heady smell fits well with this I think.
On that note, I also wanted to mention a wonderful little article that Chandra from 'Mommys Who Blog' wrote about the Light Garden. It was so nicely written and made me all warm inside so I just had to mention it! Mommys Who Blog has an excellent collection of reviews -the subject of which is self evident! And Chandra's posts are insightful and interesting. Definitely worth checking out.
Oh! And one of my prints made it to the front page of Etsy as part of the treasury below -very exciting!