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Fri 18 June 2021

What you should know about Mountain Tea

Genus: Sideritis Aka: siderites, mountain tea

They are all plants that belong to the genus Sideritis and at the same time are aromatic, woody-semi-woody or herbaceous perennial, with yellow flowers. They grow at high altitudes. Sideritis is widespread mainly in temperate Europe and Asia, reaching as far as China. There are a total of over 150 species. Mountain teas are limited to the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean.

In Greece there are 10 species and subspecies of mountain teas, 5 of which are more well-known.

Sideritis scardica commonly known as Olympus tea, Sideritis raeseri subsp. raeseri (commonly known as Parnassus tea), Sideritis perfoliata subsp. perfoliata that grows in South Pindos, Sideritis syriaca subsp. Syriaca or malotira, the endemic tea of Crete, and the species Sideritis clandestina which is endemic to the Peloponnese region.

4 Amazing Health Benefits

 

Many do not know the benefits of Greek Mountain Tea, although studies have been made by the European Medicine Association, aka EMA.

Tip!

A key feature of mountain tea that distinguishes it from other types of tea is that it does not contain caffeine.

So what is the story?

The first to describe the species of the genus Sideritis was Linnaeus. But Mountain tea has been known since antiquity. Dioscoridis (40-90 AD) mentions three types of sideritis in his work “De Materia Medica”. Various views have been expressed regarding the scientific name of the genus Sideritis (“iron wort” in Greek).

One view states that it comes from the Greek word “iron” – the plant was probably named after it because of its ability to heal wounds and injuries caused by iron weapons during wars in antiquity, while another view states that it was named after it because it has a high iron (Fe) content.

Why does it contain valuable benefits?

Mountain tea grows wild on rocks at high altitudes, where the special microclimate and the extreme climatic conditions contribute to the development of defense mechanisms and exceptional durability. In Greece, where the Mediterranean climate is intense, the plant is going through two very harsh periods: during winter when there is frost and during summer when there are high temperatures and drought. As a result mountain tea is full of active ingredients that it produces to face these difficulties: as a drink it offers valuable benefits, while also having a special taste.

Ready to cultivate your own Mountain Tea?

If you want to grow mountain tea on your balcony, all you have to do is plant a small root in a pot with organic soil. Be careful, it is important that the soil drains well. It withstands the cold of winter, although it may give you the impression that it has rotted – but in spring it will grow again.

The first harvest of mountain tea at low altitudes takes place in early June and then it re-blooms during summer, but in smaller quantities.

Aroma & Taste

Taste and aroma: Flower aroma, mild and slightly sweet taste.

How to use it: Hot or cold beverage that you can drink all day.

Tip: Pair it with cinnamon stick, orange or lemon

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