Lime Tree Flower and Sweet Violet Leaf Decoction
Tilia europaea and Viola odorata
This decoction is soothing, cleansing and clearing to the skin. It is made by adding lime tree flowers and dried sweet violet leaves to boiling water until half of the water evaporates.
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.
Listed in the German Pharmacopoeia, the lime tree flower contains flavonoids and other phytochemicals that may be behind the medical properties attributed to the plant. Linden flowers and leaves are mucilaginous, which makes them soothing when applied topically. The plant is also a natural astringent.
Native to Europe and parts of Asia, Viola odorata is a hardy perennial with broad, heart-shaped leaves and small, fragrant flowers. It thrives in damp woodlands and other shady places.
Much like linden, violet leaves release a soothing mucilage when boiled in water. It is said that the Celts used sweet violet blended with milk as a complexion-enhancing wash.