Key ingredient of the Greek mountain tea
Also called Malotira in Crete where it grows in the mountains. It is used to make the Cretan mountain or Greek mountain tea. it is also called Ironwort or shepherd's tea. In greek, sideritis can be literally translated as " he who is made of iron". Some say it may be a reference for plants able to heal wounds caused by iron weapons during battles; other say the name originates from the shape of the sepal whose tip is quite similar to a spear. It grows in the mountains from June to August. It forms dense clumps of intensely white wooly leaves with stems bearing pale yellow flowers. In Crete they brew a tea from its leaves and blooms to boost the immune system, combat colds, reduce inflammation and soothe nerves. Ironwort preparations can also be used for the relief of cough associated with a cold and for the relief of mild stomach and gut discomfort. The herbal tea is commonly prepared by decoction, by boiling the stems, leaves and flowers in a pot of water, then often serving with honey and lemon. Always consult a qualified health professional or qualified herbalist before using this plant medicinally.
Scientific Name: Sideritis Syriaca
Plant Life Cycle: Perennial
Optimal Germination Temperature: 16-20°C
Germination time in days: 90 days
Sunlight: Full sun
Soil requirement: well draining and rich
Sowing and cultivation: Sow outdoors when temperatures have warmed up. Chose a dry area of your garden between rocks or steps.