Have you thought about which warm cup of tea you will enjoy this evening? What’s about the taste of Greek herbal tea with a wide variety of health benefits? In ancient times, tea had been considered as “Elixir of God” due to its healing properties.
That tea was known as Greek mountain tea also known as “Tsai Tou VouNou” in Greek. It is also named as shepherd’s tea or ironwart obtained from the leaves of plants belonging to genus sideritis. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, used the tea for relieving respiratory problems and to boost immunity.
Greek mountain tea is produced from freshly harvested herbs in the Mediterranean. It has been used as the most popular refreshing drink since ancient times to boost energy levels and also therefore known as shepherd tea.
This article details Greek tea and its potential benefits for overall health and wellbeing.
What Is Greek Mountain Tea?
Greek tea, also known as Ironwart or shepherded tea obtained from the leaves of plants belonging to genus sideritis. There are about 150 different species of this sideritis genus which are used to make teas, however, Sideritis scardica is most commonly used species to make Greek mountain tea. Other commonly used species of sideritis to make Greek tea include Sideritis raeseri, Sideritis clandestine, Sideritis syriaca and Sideritis perfoliata. Sideritis is derived from a Greek word “Sideron” which means “iron”.
Sideritis species are cultivated in Mediterranean regions including Greece at an altitude of about 1000 meters. These species grown in low altitude alter the nutrient profile making medicinally less important. All the species do not contain the same concentration of essential oils and antioxidants, hence, they vary according to the type of species and region of cultivation.
Ancient physicians Hippocrates, Theophrastus, Gallen and Dioscorides greatly praised the healing properties of medicinal plants including Greek mountain tea. Aristophanes was the Greek physician who provided information about benefits of herbs. They believed that herbs have potential to heal wounds caused by iron weapons during the battles. These medicinal herbs have been used to make teas, tinctures, extracts and other formulations to treat a wide variety of diseases.
Benefits Of Greek Mountain Tea
According to a study published in “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” all species of sideritis were rich in antioxidants like flavonoids which possess powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antispasmodic properties.
Another study revealed that Greek mountain tea is as effective as green tea in reducing oxidative stress and protecting from diseases. 
Anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities of this tea have been observed against various strains of microorganisms.
1. Help People With Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease affecting elders and may lead to loss of memory. Greek mountain tea is packed with antioxidants which help prevent cellular damage and reduce the risk of degenerative diseases.
Study revealed that consumption of sideritis tea extract for 6 months resulted in significant improvement in memory in individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. 
2. May Reduce Blood Pressure
Sideritis tea extract is known to have relaxation effects on blood vessels. It helps dilate blood vessels which reduce pressure on the heart leading to lowered blood pressure.
An animal study showed that by the consumption of sideritis tea extract, there was reported a considerable decrease in blood pressure. It also reduced stress on heart muscles and blood vessels due to its calming properties. 
3. Aids Healthy Digestion
According to an animal study published in planta medica, Greek mountain tea was studied to analyze the effects of sideritis tea on digestive health. Results revealed that taking Greek mountain tea orally resulted in reduced inflammation in GIT owing to the antioxidants and phenols. 
Research also revealed that supplementing with Greek mountain tea is greatly associated with lessened toxicity and inflammation of digestive tract.
It may also help relieve heartburn, acid reflux and stomach pain and also prevent infections caused by Helicobacter pylori.
4. Reduce The Risk Of Cancer
Greek mountain tea is loaded with phytochemicals which have powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies conducted to examine the antioxidant effects of sideritis and results revealed that this invigorating tea possesses strong antioxidant effects which help reduce oxidative stress, prevent cellular damage and reduce the risk of cancer. 
5. Strengthen Bones and prevent Osteoporosis
Greek mountain tea possesses a high nutrient profile including polyphenols, vitamins and minerals like calcium. Calcium is an important mineral required for strengthening bones and teeth. Studies revealed that Greek mountain tea improve bone mineral density, increase osteoblast activity and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. 
6. Boost Immune Health
Greek mountain tea has a respectable history of being used as an effective remedy for cold, cough, allergies and respiratory problems. It has powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and mild analgesic properties which prevent infections and boost immune health.
7. Help Relieve Depression and Anxiety
Hippocrates, a Greek physician described that Greek mountain tea benefits the mind by relaxing and calming the nerves. Phenolic compounds in sideritis work by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine, nor-adrenaline and serotonin which help calm the nerves, improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety. 
8. Effective For Wound Healing
Owing to the strong antimicrobial properties, Green mountain tea has been used to heal wounds caused by iron weapons especially during war. It is used by placing the clean cloth soaked in this tea on the wound area.
9. Help relieve Rheumatism
Anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of Greek mountain tea help relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. 
Studies found that regular consumption of sideritis tea help people with sexual issues as it may increase physical desire.
How To Prepare Greek Mountain Tea
Besides a huge variety of Greek mountain tea benefits, it is super easy to prepare with little effort. You can use a fresh plant, dried leaves or tea bags according to the availability. For fresh plants, use stems, leaves and flowers, place them in boiling water and allow to steep for 5-10 minutes. Steeping time can be increased or decreased according to your desired strength. Greek mountain tea offers earthy or floral scent and you can flavor the tea with lemon or honey.
Greek mountain tea is obtained from the plants belonging to the Sideritis genus and is high in antioxidants. It has been used for wound healing, relieving inflammation, protecting heart and brain health and boosting the immune system. This refreshing beverage with its appealing taste, floral scent and earthy taste is a great deal to add in your daily routine.