What kind of tea did Hippocrates drink? Greek mountain tea.
With a sweet, floral taste and aroma and plenty of health benefits, this ancient tea is one of the best herbal teas to drink.
Drinking this tea every day can be part of a healthy routine and help you stay hydrated.
What is Greek mountain tea?
Greek mountain tea is a caffeine-free, herbal tea made from the leaves and flowers of a plant called Sideritis (ironwort). The Sideritis plant is commonly found in northern Greece, alongside rocky, mountainous terrains.
The plant’s name is derived from the Greek word, sideros, which means iron. The ancient Greeks have been using this tea for thousands of years. They believed that this plant had healing powers to treat injuries caused by iron weapons as well as other common illnesses.
Health benefits of Greek mountain tea
This ancient tea is not only rich in history but also rich in health benefits.
1. Supports digestion
If you’re suffering from digestive issues like diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, or heartburn, drinking this tea may be worth a try before you resort to medications.
A study showed that this tea reduces inflammation in the gut and protects the digestive system .
2. Boosts your immunity and overall health
The Sideritis plant is full of antioxidants that reduce inflammation in your body and decrease the risk for chronic inflammatory diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, arthritis, and diabetes .
The anti-inflammatory properties of these antioxidants can also help ward off the common cold or other ailments. Or, if you’re sick, drinking this tea may help you recover more quickly from illness.
3. Reduces blood pressure
According to a 2012 study, the Sideritis plant can help reduce blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and exerting less work on the heart . This is great news for those with higher blood pressure looking to make simple lifestyle changes.
More research is needed to understand the tea and whether it can be used to treat or prevent heart disease, but initial studies are promising.
4. Reduces anxiety and depression
Hippocrates and other ancient Greeks believed that this plant could help with mental health, and science shows that these assertions may be true.
Recent research shows that drinking mountain tea prevents anxiety-related behaviors, including anxiety and depression .
Drinking ironwort tea has also been used as part of treatment plans for Alzheimer’s Disease, although more research is needed to understand its exact role.
5. Helps with sleep quality
Unlike some other teas, Greek mountain tea is free from caffeine, which means you can drink it any time of the day, including in the afternoons and evenings.
It has a calming effect that can help you fall asleep earlier and sleep through the night, which can support the treatment of various sleeping disorders.
The bottom line
Greek mountain tea is an ancient herbal tea that is full of promising health benefits. It has been used as a remedy by Greeks for thousands of years.
Be sure to consult your physician if you are pregnant or nursing before starting any health regimen, including drinking Greek mountain tea.
- Tadić VM, Jeremic I, Dobric S, Isakovic A, Markovic I, Trajkovic V, Bojovic D, Arsic I. Anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective, and cytotoxic effects of Sideritis scardica extracts. Planta Med. 2012 Mar;78(5):415-27.
- Linardaki ZI, Vasilopoulou CG, Constantinou C, Iatrou G, Lamari FN, Margarity M. Differential antioxidant effects of consuming tea from Sideritis clandestina subsp. peloponnesiaca on cerebral regions of adult mice. J Med Food. 2011 Sep;14(9):1060-4.
- Kitic D, Brankovic S, Radenkovic M, Savikin K, Zdunic G, Kocic B, Velickovic-Radovanovic R. Hypotensive, vasorelaxant and cardiodepressant activities of the ethanol extract of Sideritis raeseri spp. raeseri Boiss & Heldr. J Physiol Pharmacol. 2012 Oct;63(5):531-5.
- Vasilopoulou CG, Kontogianni VG, Linardaki ZI, Iatrou G, Lamari FN, Nerantzaki AA, Gerothanassis IP, Tzakos AG, Margarity M. Phytochemical composition of “mountain tea” from Sideritis clandestina subsp. clandestina and evaluation of its behavioral and oxidant/antioxidant effects on adult mice. Eur J Nutr. 2013 Feb;52(1):107-16.
About the author
Chrissy Arsenault, MBA, RDN, LD, is a registered dietitian nutritionist and licensed dietitian based in Indianapolis. She obtained her bachelor of science in nutritional science at Cornell University and her MBA at Indiana University Kelley School of Business. She is the founder and CEO of a nutrition communications firm called Pink Pamplemousse LLC, where she creates engaging nutrition and wellness content for clients. She has also coached clients on various health conditions including heart disease, obesity, digestive issues and diabetes over the last seven years. Follow Chrissy on Instagram (@thepinkpamplemousse).
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