Limeflower and Cleaver Decoction
Citrus aurantifolia and Galium aparine
To make this decoction, we mash up the lime flowers and the cleavers, simmer them in hot water until half of it has evaporated and then strain the mixture. On the skin, the decoction is astringent, skin-conditioning and soothing.
The lime tree (also known as linden) is one of approximately thirty species of ornamental trees native to the Northern Hemisphere; it is a natural hybrid between two varieties. This spreading tree has dark and shiny, heart-shaped leaves with yellow to white flowers.
Linden flowers and leaves are mucilaginous, which makes them soothing when applied topically. The plant is also a natural astringent.
Cleavers is a climbing garden and hedgerow weed found in Europe and Asia. It is best known for its habit of sticking to anything that it touches with tenacious little hooks. The leaves grow in whorls, greenish-white flowers bloom in June and July, followed by two-lobed bristly fruits. Cleavers belongs to the same family (Rubiacea) as the coffee plant, which explains why their seeds make a good coffee substitute. It is edible when cooked and used as a vegetable in China.
Cleavers has traditionally been used in folk medicine to treat all skin disorders and was considered beneficial in the treatment of wounds, ulcers, and rashes. It is used by current herbalists to soothe the skin.