In craggy terrains of the Greek mountains and at an altitude of 1000 metres or higher, there is a plant known as Mountain Tea or Sideritis.
Genus Sideritis includes 80 different species, 17 of which are endemic to our country.
Sideritis syriaca in Crete Island.
The most important species of wild plants in Greek mountains are:
· Sideritis raeseri Boiss & Heldr (tea of Mount Parnassus)
· Sideritis scardica Griseb (tea of Mount Olympus)
· Sideritis clandestina Chaub & Borry (tea of the Taygetus mountain ranges)
· Sideritis syriaca L. (Malotira, endemic to Crete)
· Sideritis euboea Heldr (tea of Euboea)
· Sideritis athoa Papanikolaou & Kokkini (tea of the peninsula of Athos)
In the last few years studies have been made by research teams with impressive results. Plants of genus Sideritis produce essential oils with antifungal properties. Flavonoids, monoterpenes, diterpenes, phenylpropane, iridoids, coumarins, lignans and sterols are also compounds with profound effects on our health. For example, a research carried out by the Medical School of the University of Athens has shown that Sideritis extracts may have osteoprotective effects that could lead to future functional foods to prevent osteoporosis.
Furthermore, animal studies carried out by a team of scientists from the University of Magdeburg led by Prof. Janes Pahnke have suggested that Sideritis scardica could reduce protein beta-amyloid, responsible for Alzheimer's disease. In the near future results of Alzheimer's patients given Sideritis scardica will be announced.
The process of infusion or decoction is normally used for Sideritis scardica.
You can find organic mountain tea producers in: herbsgreece.blogspot.com