The Health Benefits of Greek Mountain Tea
Greek mountain tea,(tsai tou vounou in greek) also known as shepherd’s tea ,is made from the leaves of plants from the Sideritis species. An herbal tea, Greek mountain tea has been drunk for its health benefits for many years. Also sometimes called ironwart, the tea is still made from freshly harvested herbs in the Mediterranean. It is available as dried loose tea or in tea bags in health food stores and some grocery stores. It may help with digestive health and contains natural antioxidants.
Full of Flavonoids and Antioxidants
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.