What is Greek mountain tea?
Known in Greece as “tsai tou vounou“, Greek mountain tea is made with the leaves, stems, and flowers of the Sideritis plants, which is also known as ironwort, shepherd’s tea, and mountain tea. Relatives of sage, Sideritisplants grow on the rocky hillsides of Greece at elevations of more than 3000 feet.
In Crete, Greek mountain tea is known as “malotira” and nearly every Greek region has its own unique name for the medicinal herbal brew. “Parnassos tea” and “Olympos tea” are two such names. Greek mountain tea is also called shepherd’s tea because shepherds used to make it while herding their flocks on the hillsides.
This calming and health-boosting tea is well-loved in Greece, and is especially favored during winter when colds and other illnesses are common.
Health benefits of Greek mountain tea
- It is rich in iron.
- It is full of antioxidants.
A study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that Sideritis plants have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These aid in the prevention of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and other health problems caused by modern-day lifestyles.
- It helps with digestion and protects the digestive system.
Recently, a study on Greek mountain tea concluded that taking the tea reduces inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. This ability is likely due to the antioxidants and phenols naturally found in the plant.
- It is useful in the treatment of colds and other respiratory illnesses.
- It reduces fevers.
- It boosts immunity.
- It soothes mild anxiety.
- It is a sleeping aid.
Greek mountain tea: how to brew
To brew this delicious and nourishing tea, use six to eight two-inch long pieces of the stalk, along with the flowers, stems, and leaves. Put these into a tea pot with a cup and a half of boiling water. Cover the tea pot. Let the tea steep for five to ten minutes. The longer the tea steeps, the stronger and more flavorful it becomes. Do not steep the tea for longer than ten minutes, as this will result in a tea with an unpleasantly bitter taste. The measurements can change, depending on the strength desired. When the tea is done steeping, strain it into a tea cup.
Serve Greek mountain tea with honey and lemon slices. The honey and the lemon aid in the absorption of the tea’s iron content. You may also drink this tea with honey and milk for a comforting pre-bedtime drink. This is a particularly versatile tea that will suit almost any occasion. Greek mountain tea is great as a breakfast tea and is soothing to the stomach as a post-meal drink. On hot days, it is refreshing served cold, with ice. Greek mountain tea pairs perfectly with a snack of crusty bread, olives, peppers, and feta cheese.
Where to buy Greek mountain tea
In Greece, Greek mountain tea can be purchased from most tea shops, supermarkets, spice shops, and pharmacies. Outside of Greece, it can be found in specialty shops, high-end tea shops, and online. You can easily buy Greek Mountain tea directly from our site here: http://urbangrains.net/shop/organic-mountain-tea/