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Greek Mountain Tea - Sideritis Scardica

Our Greek Mountain Tea or "Tsai Tou VouNou" (Tea of the Mountain) is from the Sideritis scardica variety indigenous to Mount Olympus.

Organically grown, hand harvested, naturally dried & caffeine-free loose leaf teas.

Tea has been part of the Greek diet since Ancient times and the most popular tea comes from the Sideritis plant, also called "ironwort". This hardy perennial grows in the wild on the rocky slopes of Greece’s mountains at elevations higher than 1,000 metres, which is how this tea gets its most common name: Greek Mountain Tea. It’s also known as Shepherd's tea as a nod to the Greek shepherds who made tea from Sideritis while tending their flocks in the mountains.

Lighter and more soothing than Green Tea, this herbal tea is commonly prepared by decoction - boiling the stems, leaves and flowers in a pot of water to release its flavour and nutrients. A drop of honey, especially Greek thyme honey, enhances the flavour and heightens the experience.  A slice of lemon or a stick of cinnamon is also a good accompaniment.

It’s traditionally used to aid digestion, strengthen the immune system and suppress common cold, flu and other viruses, allergies and shortness of breath, sinus congestion, even pain and mild anxiety.

Scientists have suggested that the popular pronouncement of Sideritis as a “cure-all” may have some basis in fact.  Studies indicate a positive effect on many common ailments and it is known scientifically to be anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant. Active elements that make it beneficial for health are diterpenoids, flavonoids and its essential oils.  Significant research has been done confirming its popular use to prevent colds, flu, and allergies. Most of this research has taken place in universities in the Netherlands and in Greece, Turkey, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Albania, where the plant is indigenous.

While there are many varieties of this plant only two are cultivated - Sideritis raeseri, the most common cultivar of Sideritis in Greece and Sideritis scardica which is indigenous to Mount Olympus.  Our Greek Mountain Tea is the Sideritis scardica variety from Mount Olympus.