In 2021, White Black Grey started stocking herbal teas by GREK. We're head-over-heels with their bold monochrome packaging, and the teas are just delicious.
Some of their flavours are pretty classic herbal options, like Peppermint, and Chamomile. More unusually, they have a loose leaf tea (loose whole flowers in fact), known as Greek Mountain Tea.
GREK founder Marina Tzima is here to tell us about this unusual tea, and some of the health benefits Greek Mountain Tea can offer...
For centuries Greece has provided the perfect mountainous climate for many wonderful Greek herbs and flowers to bless the world with their almost magical health and wellbeing benefits. One of the best Greek products to come of this is Greek mountain tea.
Greek Mountain tea, often referred to as Sideritis or Ironwort, has long been known for its vast health benefits. In fact, it can be traced back as far as the sixth century as being used by renowned Greek botanists Pedanius Dioscorides and Theophrastus to treat wounds caused by iron weapons in battles.
Greek Mountain tea is one of many Greek herbal teas used as a healthy drink alternative to traditional black tea, not only for its healing properties but because it is also naturally caffeine free.
What is Greek Mountain Tea?
Greek mountain tea, also known as shepherd's tea, is a genus of flowering plants found growing in the picturesque Greek mountains. There are over 150 different species of plants in the Sideritis genus. These beautiful Greek flowers grow at high altitudes, usually over 1000m, with little or no soil and can often be found on the surface of rocks.
According to Greek mythology, Mountain tea was the drink of the Titans and Greek grandmothers are still known to urge their grandchildren to drink at least one cup per day to make them as strong as a Titan!
Sideritis is usually planted in late autumn or early spring and harvested in summer, when its yellow flowers are in full bloom.
GREK tea is produced ethically and sustainably; it is 100% natural and organic, there is no use of chemicals or pesticides.
The plants are harvested by hand for GREK in the early hours of the morning when it is cool, then only the most pristine flowers are dried by hanging in well-ventilated barns. This is more labor intensive but well worth it for the lighter, more floral infusion and fragrant flavour found in GREK Greek Mountain tea. Vibrant woody and fruity flavours make this Greek herbal tea ideal to pair with honey or drink on its own as a soothing, healthy drink anytime of the day.
Health Benefits of Greek Mountain Tea
Greek Mountain tea has long been renowned for its many health benefits and contribution to general wellness. The forefather of Greek philosophy, Hippocrates, credited Sideritis for its antioxidant powers, antimicrobial qualities and anti-inflammatory benefits.
1) Digestive support and immune boost
Greek Mountain tea has all the natural benefits of green tea, aiding digestion and strengthening the immune system with its cellular antioxidant effects. Ironwort can be especially helpful to aid women’s digestive systems through improving estrogen metabolism. Greek Mountain tea’s digestive aid qualities make it the perfect after dinner drink for a relaxing and calm evening vibe.
2) Sleep aid
A recent study by The German Sleep Society (DGSM) tested Greek Mountain tea’s ability to help those with sleep disorders. With its calming, caffeine free and relaxing qualities, Sideritis is the ideal healthy drink to accompany you into a healthy sleep routine and help you to drift off to dreamland.
3) Cardiovascular benefits
As well as being naturally caffeine free, some studies have shown that Greek Mountain tea also has cardiovascular and intestinal benefits by helping to lower blood pressure. The tea is also packed with essential oils and has a broad range of phytonutrients, which are thought to enhance immunity.
4) Anxiety and stress reduction
The Greek herbs and flowers found in Mountain tea can also help those who suffer from mild anxiety. Studies have shown that Greek Mountain tea can reduce stress, anxiety and be used as an anti-depressive aid. Greek Mountain tea’s many anti-oxidants and phytonutrients offer a calming and soothing healthy drink ideal for anytime of the day.
5) Anti-inflammatory qualities
The Greek herbs found in Mountain tea also have anti-inflammatory qualities. Greek Mountain tea is also thought to have a naturally high bioflavonoid content, which aids as a mild anti-inflammatory Greek product and enhances vitamin C intake. This means adding just one cup of Greek Mountain tea to your daily routine could help ease general aches and joint pains.
6) General wellness
Greek Mountain tea has been known to help suppress the common cold and other viruses, allergies, shortness of breath and even sinus congestion. Modern science has confirmed Hippocrates accreditations of Sideritis for its antioxidant attributes, antimicrobial qualities and anti-inflammatory benefits to be correct. Drinking two to three cups of mountain tea every day is thought to help prevent or fight flu symptoms and stress-related ailments such as chest infections, headaches, fatigue and anxiety.
Sideritis is a wonderful and fascinating herb. It not only makes a delicious herbal tea but also has numerous health benefits.
Despite Greek Mountain tea’s wondrous properties, it is no replacement for a healthy lifestyle, though adding this Greek product to a balanced diet can be very beneficial. Its protective components can help relieve adverse health symptoms, reduce stress, improve sleep, boost your immune system, and promote a more positive overall general wellbeing.
However, it is important to note that GREK do not recommend using Greek Mountain tea instead of or alongside prescribed medication without prior consultation.
As the effect on pregnancy is not well established, pregnant women should exercise caution when consuming Greek Mountain tea or any natural supplement.
Always consult a dietary or medical professional if you are unsure.
Thank you Marina for these fascinating insights. If this has whetted your appetite, you can buy Green Mountain Tea here.