Greek Mountain Tea: Cooking and Medicinal Info

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Greek mountain tea is one of the most common herbal remedies in Greece. Outside of Greece, it’s possible to find the tea online or in specialty shops wherever there is a Greek population. There aren’t many people who drink this tea for enjoyment, although there are some. Mostly, this is the tea that people drink when sick with a cold or the flu. It has a history of use that dates back to Hippocrates, who spoke of the tea’s ability to boost the immune system and strengthen the respiratory system.

Where is Mountain Tea from in Greece?

The Latin name of the plant is Sideritis and there are several varieties that grow throughout Greece. As the name of the plant suggests, the herb is primarily found in the mountainous regions of the Mediterranean. It isn’t often cultivated in gardens, though the dried herb is readily available in the markets. Mainly, people collect and dry the plant either for use in the home or for sale. You can buy the bulk herb or the tea bags in markets throughout Greece and also in specialty shops outside of Greece or online.

How Does Mountain Tea Taste?

For most Greeks, mountain tea is an acquired taste. The flavor has been described as bitter, pungent, and with a slight evergreen flavor. Most who drink it usually only do so when sick, so the flavor of the tea is often associated with illness.

How Do You Make Greek Mountain Tea?

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add a teaspoon of the dried herb to a tea strainer or use one tea bag and place in your mug. When the water boils, pour it into the mug with the tea bag or tea strainer. Let the herb steep for ten minutes and then remove the strainer or the tea bag. Sweetened with honey or sugar, if desired.

What are the Herbal Remedies for Mountain Tea?

Mountain tea, or Sideritis, has a long history of use in Greece as an herbal remedy. It is used mostly when someone has a cold or the flu, especially if the other is suffering from a respiratory complaint such as a cough or difficulty breathing. It is also effective against sinus congestion, sinus pain, for water retention, and also for general aches and pains.

Interesting Facts About Mountain Tea

Greek mountain tea has a long history of use in Greece and can be traced to ancient times. The name, Sideritis, means literally, “he who is made of or has iron.” Many believe that this indicates how the herb is used medicinally. Back in ancient Greece, the name Sideritis was a general term that was used to describe plants that could heal wounds. Now, it refers to a specific plant that is located in mountainous areas throughout the Mediterranean.

Sources:

Wikipedia – Sideritis
Many Greek recipes are different based on the region of Greece and family traditions, so uses of the herbs and spices contained on this page may vary. Also, GreekBoston.com does not provide medical advice and the information provided here is for informational purposes only. This isn’t a medical site, please consult with your physician. The medicinal health information is based on anecdotal evidence and Greek history.

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