Have you decided on what cup of warm drink you would prefer this evening? How about a sip of a Greek herbal tea with beneficial health properties? Back in the Greek antiquity, there was a tea that had been named as the elixir of God for its healing effects.
This tea is known as Greek mountain tea, also called as “Tsai Tou VouNou” in Greek, or shepherd’s tea. Hippocrates, the well-recognized father of medicine, referred the tea as a reliever for immune and respiratory symptoms.
What is the Greek mountain tea?
The Greek mountain tea is made of leaves of plants from the Sideritis species, locally known as ironwart. These plants are harvested in the Mediterranean. Researchers in the bioanalytical testing firm, Brunswick Laboratories, revealed that Greek mountain tea has potential health benefits due to the rich content of antioxidants.
Below we highlight the health importance that you could benefit from a cup of Greek mountain tea.
- Prevent Cancer
Here are the health benefits of Greek Mountain Tea. Sideritus species, the plant found in the Greek mountain tea, has been extensively researched on. An animal study in Turkey examined the antioxidant effects of this species and found out that it has protective chemical properties that fights off the cell injury that might induce cancer. Here are the List of Medicinal Plants Used for Cancer Treatment
- Rich with Antioxidants
In the molecular science world, scientitsts are driven to study about antioxidants. These molecules are believed to hold the key to battle chronic inflammatory diseases such as cancer, diabetes mellitus and obesity. The Sideritis species have as well been looked on, and were found to have abundant amount of natural antioxidants such as flavanoids. As well as Health Benefits of Black Tea and Lemon It is even believed that the antioxidants they possess outnumber those found in green tea.
- Reduce blood pressure
Certain dose of Sideritis extract from the Greek mountain tea is believed to have a relaxing effect on the arterial blood pressure. This finding was published by a 2012 publication from an animal study. The Sideritis juice seemed to widen blood vessels systemically, as a result, it reduces the work load of the heart and lower the blood pressure.
- Cure stomach problems
Due to the prosperous antioxidant compounds in the Greek mountain tea, it also seems to provide favorable benefits to the gastrointestinal health. The research in Turkey also found that oral dose of Greek mountain tea had an effect on the gastrointestinal tract, by scaling down the process of inflammation and toxicity.
It has potential healing impact in conditions such as stomach pain, acid reflux and minor heartburns. It is also believed to fight off stomach infections by Helicobacter pylori. Her you go for more: Health Benefits of Drinking Green Tea on An Empty Stomach for Weight Loss
- A natural antimicrobial
The Brunswick Labs reported that the herbal activity of Sideritis species reveal significant anti-microbial properties against bacteria such as Staphylococcus epidermidis and E. coli, as well as fungi including Candida albicans.
These microorganisms contribute to opportunistic infectious diseases in people with compromised immune system, causing urinary tract infection and endocarditis (heart infection) that may lead to heart problems. Candida species may cause skin infections particularly in sensitive areas such as in the genitals, mouth and even blood, resulting in itching and irritation of the skin.
- Suppress brain disorder
There is a non curable neurological disease that commonly affects the elderly, known as Alzheimer. This condition leads to continuous forgetfulness, ranging from retaining simple information such as cooking recipe, to severe ones such as difficulty in recognizing a family member, and even forgetting to do basic tasks such as eating, urinating and defecating on their own. Here you go for more: Health Benefits of Beets for The Brain
A research conducted by a German university using mice observed that Greek mountain tea extract improved memory skills. This result, is also believed to be correlated to the antioxidant effect of Greek mountain tea extract which arrests degenerative diseases from occurring.
- Strengthen bones
If you are missing out calciums from drinking milk because you have lactose intolerance or you are simply not a fan of milk, perhaps Greek tea mountain may provide equal benefits for the health of your bones. The University of Athens performed research on the effect of Sideritis species on bones, and found out that they play a role in building new bone cells. Another study in Greece found that the same species maintain bone health by preventing bone loss from occurring as we age.
- Relieve anxiety and depression
The positive impact of drinking Mountain tea related to depression and anxiety has been hailed ever since Hippocrates era.
Today, scientific research has confirmed this fact in a published study in 2015, which revealed that the natural antioxidant found in Greek mountain tea, namely flavanoids, are believed to be able to inhibit a specific receptor in the human brain. Activation of this brain receptor is claimed to be associated with several conditions such as anxiety, depression, mood disorders and parkinson’s disease. Here more stress reliever: Benefits of Popping Bubble Wrap to Reduce Stress
- Boosts libido
This last special benefit that you may take advantage of from sipping Greek mountain tea is probably worth trying if you are facing a sexual issue in your relationship life. According to the classic belief and resources, the routine consumption of Greek mountain tea may help raise a person’s lust and physical desire.
Decreased libido may be observed as one of the signs of depression, and since Greek mountain tea has healing effect on depression, it is arguably logical to conclude that it will have the same effect on decreased libido.
Warnings on the Consumption of Greek Mountain Tea
For centuries, Greek mountain tea has been consumed by people in the Mediterranian. They are now conveniently ready in form of dried loose tea or in tea bags in grocery stores. The safety of this drink is unquestionable and unlike black tea, it does not contain caffeine. However, there has been no experiments conducted to prove the safety of consumption in pregnant and nursing mothers. Therefore, in those situations, it is better to be safe than sorry.
How to Prepare a Home-made Greek Mountain Tea
The key to extracting the healthy benefits from the Sideris species in the Greek mountain tea requires special and quite challenging preparation. The flowers, leaves and stems need to be boiled and letting it steep for five to ten minutes. Here are the steps you may follow to prepare one at the comfort of your home.
- Gather 1-2 stems of the tea leaves and break them into thirds
- Fill your briki (or a pot) with the water; turn heat to medium-high
- Place your tea leaves in the water and let boil
- Once boiling, remove briki from heat and allow tea to steep for about 7 mins
- Pour tea into cup while carefully using a strainer to catch the tea leaves
- Sweeten with sugar or honey (optional) and enjoy
Indeed, there are many health benefits of Greek Mountain Tea that you can get.