Everybody loves tea. Most ancient civilizations, from the Chinese to the Arabs, had some kind of tea throughout the day or with their meals.
In this article we will discuss the many health benefits of Greek Mountain Tea.
CAUTION: Medical Disclaimer
Table of Contents
- 1 Herbal Name and Characteristics
- 2 About this Herb:
- 3 What is Greek Mountain Tea?
- 4 Benefits and properties of Greek Mountain Tea:
- 5 When and how to take it?
- 6 Safety and side effects
- 7 Cycling
- 8 Dosage
- 9 Closing thoughts
Herbal Name and Characteristics
- Name: Greek Mountain tea
- Greek: Τσάι του Βουνού,
- Latin: Sideritis
- Taste: Slightly sweet and bitter
- Color: gray/greenish.
About this Herb:
When I was young, my family and I had a lot of friends in the Central part of the country, close to Mount Olympus. I remember we used to stock up on mountain tea during those visits, which we would use during the wintertime mostly.
At that time, I did not understand this weird family practice as I thought that the only value of tea was for treating colds and congestion. Clearly I was wrong. In my 40s and since I have not been living in my country for the last decade, mountain tea is one of the many amazing Greek countryside products that I truly miss.
Below you will find more details about this herb, its benefits, side effects and precautions you need to take before using it.
What is Greek Mountain Tea?
Greek mountain tea is an herb that comes from the Sideritis family. Its earliest mention is found in Dioscorides’ book and it has been used since ancient times for multiple purposes.
The plant usually grows among rocks in high altitudes (over 1000 meters) and can be found mostly in the Mediterranean region. Its main characteristic is that it is high in iron, which also explains its Greek herbal name (Sideritis which comes from Sidero/Σίδερο meaning iron in Greek).
In Greek mythology, it is mentioned as “the food of the Titans” because of its many health benefits.
There are over 100 different species that belong in the same Sideritis family, 17 of which grow in Greece. The most famous out of those 6 are:
- Sideris athoa: Also known as Vlahiko Tsai which can be found in Agios Oros, Athos, Pindos and Samothrace Island.
- Sideris clandestina: Also known as Taigetos Tea and can be found at the higher tops of Taigetos Mountain.
- Sideritis syriaca: Also known as Cretan tea or Malotiras and can be found in the White Mountains and/or Psiloritis mountain at an altitude of 1300-2000m.
- Sideritis euboea: Also known as Eubian Tea or Delphi tea, it is found in the Dirfi Mountains of Euboia at an altitude of 1000-1540 m.
- Sideritis scardica: Also known as Mount Olympus tea, can be found on mount Olympus, mount Kissabos and Pilio at an altitude above 1000m
- Sideritis raeseri: Also called Parnassus tea which can be found in lower altitudes.
The active ingredients responsible for its properties are:
- Iron and minerals.
In the past there were not a lot of official studies for the uses of this plant but lately, more and more studies are coming out, mostly focused on the medicinal applications of this amazing herbal tea.
Benefits and properties of Greek Mountain Tea:
Summarizing the many benefits of Greek Mountain Tea:
- It can help with problems of the digestive tract and especially targets indigestion and stomach pains and ulcers.
- It also has antioxidant properties and can help protect from oxidative stress and remove free radicals.
- It has analgesic properties which can be beneficial for treating headaches and other pains.
- Showed promise in the fight against breast cancer as it has an anti-estrogenic effect on breast cancer cells.
- It can also aid in speeding up healing time of wounds and cuts.
- It also has anxiolytic properties and can help in cases of anxiety with its calming effect.
- Has antifungal and antibacterial properties (especially the Cretan species due to their carvacrol content).
- It can help with inflammation of the upper respiratory tract and can therefore help with congestion and colds according to studies performed at the University of Patras and Ioanninwn (species Sideritis clandestina).
- It can help with osteoporosis. According to a study at the University of Athens, the species Sideritis euboea and Sideritis clandestina showed promise for the prevention of osteoporosis as well as for bone loss prevention.
- Due to its many health benefits and especially its antioxidant effect, it is slowly making its way to the beauty industry for use in skin creams, shampoos and masks.
When and how to take it?
Tea: The best way to enjoy the benefits of this amazing Greek herb is to make some tea.
You can use the flowers, the leaves or the bark to make it.
Just boil some water and add your preferred medium and let it sit over time and then drink it as usual. You can also add some honey for some extra sweetness and taste.
The best times to take it would be:
- On the onset of sickness and cold.
- When you feel stressed.
- Before bed.
Safety and side effects
Currently Greek mountain tea does not appear to have any side effects or toxicity but there are currently no studies to prove its safety. To be on the safe side, take the same precautions as with Linden tea (see my other work on Greek Linden).
You should not take Greek Mountain tea if you:
- Are taking antidepressants or other types of medication (including but not limited to antihypertensive drugs, immunosuppressive drugs or anticoagulant medication) as it does have a diuretic effect and can interfere with effectiveness and dosage.
- Are taking blood pressure medication as it can interfere with the dosage.
- Are scheduled for an operation, organ transplant or you just underwent one. Certain ingredients may interfere with the sedation used during surgery, rejection of the organ or interfere with healing due to its sedative and diuretic effect.
- Have allergies to this specific herb or any of its ingredients.
The best thing you can do before taking any herb supplement is to test it. If you want to be safe while using herbs I strongly urge you to read my other article on how to test an herb for allergies and intolerances.
Contraindications or interactions with other medication/substances:
Avoid using this herb if you have any medical conditions or take any kind of medication without consulting with your doctor first.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Since there are not enough studies performed to determine the full safety of this product, pregnant women or breastfeeding women should avoid using this product.
Use for up to 2-3 weeks and then take at least 4 weeks off.
Use sporadically after that and only on an as-needed-basis.
This herb has been linked with heart damage so avoid using it for long periods of time.
I would not use any herb for long periods of time without a break in order to keep them being effective and protect the body from accumulation of other toxins unrelated to the herb itself.
Over the past 20 years I have experimented with literally hundreds of herbs, supplements (and other natural products) and was finally able to discover the right doses for amazing results.
If you wish to learn more about the dosages that I use with my clients for different purposes (better health, hormonal balance, stress management, testosterone boost and more) or how I combine this herb/supp with others, leave a comment below or reach out to me for a consultation through the “Hire me” link.
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Greek Mountain tea is an amazing antioxidant with anti-estrogenic and anti-fungal properties that can help you relax or recover from a cold. It also has anxiolytic properties and can even help with inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. Take it with a bit of honey on a cold day and it will help you unwind and recover. Just make sure you follow the precautions mentioned in this article and you will benefit from its many properties.
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by Nick Sigma
CWC, EH, E-YRT200
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