Sideritis scardica Griseb., also known as Greek mountain tea or ”ironwort”, has become very popular and widely advertised herb in Europe. This herb has been used for centuries due to its numerous health benefits and unique taste.
Sideritis scardica is a perennial plant that grows in mountainous areas, typically at elevations above 1.000 meters. The herb has a distinctive aroma and taste, which is described as earthy and slightly bitter. It is commonly consumed as an infusion, either hot or cold, and is often mixed with honey or other sweeteners and lemon to enhance its flavor.
Sideritis scardica, has been cultivated by producers groups for over 50 years in Greece and is usually harvested in late May to early June. The harvesting period always depends mainly on the altitude. The higher the altitude, the later the harvest.
Harvesting Greek Mountain Tea is a pleasant process according to the producers. The reason is that nature is at the peak at this time of year with all the flowers blooming and all the pleasant aromas flooding the area.
The process is done by hand. The flowers are carefully cut and then taken to the place of drying. The drying is in most cases done naturally in the shade.
One of the main benefits of Sideritis scardica, according to research and scientific publications, is its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are compounds that neutralize free radicals in the body, which can cause damage to cells and lead to various health problems. Sideritis scardica contains high levels of flavonoids and phenolic compounds, which are potent antioxidants that help to protect the body against oxidative stress.
Another notable benefit of Sideritis scardica is its anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation is linked to numerous health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Sideritis scardica has been found to inhibit the production of inflammatory cytokines, which are proteins that contribute to inflammation in the body.
Sideritis scardica has also been shown to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. This makes it useful in treating infections caused by bacteria and fungi, including respiratory infections, skin infections, and digestive tract infections.
In addition to its medicinal properties, Sideritis scardica also has a soothing effect on the body and mind. It is often used as a natural remedy for anxiety, stress, and insomnia. The herb contains several compounds that have a calming effect on the nervous system, including flavonoids and essential oils.
Sideritis scardica is also a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, iron, and calcium. These nutrients are essential for maintaining good health and supporting the immune system.
Overall, Sideritis scardica is a versatile herb with numerous health benefits. Whether consumed as a tea or used in other forms, this herb is a valuable addition to any wellness routine.