Greek Mountain Tea
Greek Mountain Tea is the name given to various regional endemic species of the Empedoclia section of the genus Sideritis. However, this type of tea is also widespread in other Balkan countries, where it is also called "mountain tea".
According to the respective locally occurring Sideritis species, a distinction is made between the following tea varieties
- Epiric mountain tea (τσάι βλάχικο) from Sideritis perfoliata subsp. athoa
- Evian mountain tea (τσάι της Εύβοιας) from Sideritis euboea
- Olympic mountain tea (τσάι του Ολύμπου) from Sideritis scardica
- Taygetic mountain tea (τσάι του Ταϋγέτου) from Sideritis clandestina
- Parnassian mountain tea (τσάι του Παρνασσού) from Sideritis raeseri
- Cretan mountain tea (τσάι της Κρήτης) from Sideritis syriaca.
Occasionally Sideritis species are blended with Diptam dost (Origanum dictamnus) (Diktamos).
All these species occur above an altitude of 1000 m and grow on dry ground.
Essential oils such as α-bisabolol, α-pinene, β-pinene, β-caryophyllene, caryophyllene oxide, 1,8-cineole, carvacrol, myrcene, limonene, germacrene D, spathulenol, fenchone and sabinene as well as various flavonoids.
Medicinal applications for Greek mountain tea have been known for a long time. Two thousand years ago, the famous Greek physician Dioscorides described that sideritis has the power to heal wounds. In traditional folk medicine in the Mediterranean region, sideritis is used today for its calming and antispasmodic effect. But it is also used to fight respiratory diseases and prevent colds.