Some of the resulting studies indicate that greek mountain tea may have promise in the prevention of osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and even cancer and as well as a positive effect on a myriad of different ailments including colds, fevers, respiratory problems, digestion problems, and anxiety. Hippocrates, the great philosopher and father of modern medicine, praised Greek mountain tea for its positive effect on the immune and respiratory systems.
And for thousands of years, Greeks have been drinking this tea for its abundance of health benefits such as a positive effect on colds, respiratory problems, digestion, the immune system and anxiety. More recently, modern science has begun to delve into better understanding the health benefits of Greek mountain tea.
One of the most famous and widely consumed herbal teas in Greece is Greek Mountain Tea (“Tsai Tou VouNou” in Greek and meaning “tea of the mountain”). It is also known as Shepherd’s Tea because the Greek shepherds would brew it while tending to their flocks high in the mountains. Greek mountain tea is made from a native herb called Sideritis. It is very pleasant tasting, mild, and naturally caffeine free. It is also a potent source of antioxidants and has many healing properties.
Add about 2 tablespoons of dried herb into a teapot and fill with boiling water, letting steep for five to 10 minutes. You can add honey as well as milk or lemon to flavor the tea.
In 2011, the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” published a study on the flavonoid content of all plants found within the Sideritis genus. Despite the wide array of species available -- over 150 -- researchers found that all Sideritis species plants were shown to have anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-spasmodic properties. They were rich in a number of natural antioxidants, including flavonoids, and almost all species also contained essential oils.
A 2012 publication of the “Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology” found that extracts made from Sideritis helped lower blood pressure levels while helping blood vessels to relax. The animal study measured arterial blood pressure and found that a dose of Sideritis extract led to blood vessel dilation, which helped lower blood pressure levels and reduced stress on the heart muscle. While the studies helped support the use of Sideritis for its heart health benefits, further research is needed before Greek mountain tea can be considered a treatment for cardiovascular conditions.
In 2012, “Planta Medica” published an animal study on the effects of Greek mountain tea on gastrointestinal health and disorders. Researchers found that taking an oral dose of Greek mountain tea led to less inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, likely due to the presence of phenols and antioxidants found naturally in the plant. Researchers also found that taking the supplement led to reduced inflammation and toxicity in the long term, demonstrating Greek mountain tea’s protective abilities. While the results were promising, further study is needed on Greek mountain tea as an herbal treatment for gastrointestinal complications.
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