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Health Benefits of Greek Mountain Tea

If you’re looking for an herbal tea that can boost your immune system while also boosting your iron levels, a smart option to look at is Greek mountain tea. 

Greek mountain tea is an herbal tea from the Mediterranean that has health benefits that rival those of green tea. Greek mountain tea is associated with a variety of medicinal properties that can help with the following: 

  • Respiratory health
  • Improved immune system response
  • Significant anti-inflammatory effects
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease

With its numerous health benefits, Greek mountain tea is consumed as part of the Mediterranean diet as a way to enhance health and prevent a wide variety of illnesses. 

Greek Mountain Tea Is An Herbal Tisane

Greek mountain tea is made from the dried flowers, stems, and leaves of the ironwort plant, a herbaceous plant native to the Greek mountains in the Mediterranean region.

Its scientific name is sideritis scardica. Interestingly, the plant gets its name from the Greek word for iron, sideros. Some say that’s because the ancient Greeks used the herb to heal wounds caused by iron weapons sustained in battle. Others feel the plant was named after its spear-shaped sepal. 

The first mentions of the Sideritis genus in Greek writings date back to ancient times. Greek herbalists have long known the healing effect of the plant and have used it as a preventative measure and a treatment for mild illnesses for thousands of years. 

Other Names for Greek Mountain Tea

This herbal tea is also known by several other names:

  • Shepherd’s tea
  • Ironwort tea
  • Tsai tou vounou (which translates to “tea of the mountain”)
  • Olympus tea

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Health Benefits of Greek Mountain Tea

Greek mountain tea was used for centuries before any scientific study was made of its botanical makeup. As a matter of fact, Hippocrates, widely considered the father of modern medicine, recommended Greek mountain tea as a health aid as far back as the 5th century BC.

In recent years, this plant has been studied (in both clinical trials and animal studies) and shown to have several tangible medicinal benefits if consumed regularly. These are some of the known health benefits of drinking Greek mountain tea:

health benefits of greek mountain tea
Greek mountain tea has many health benefits that rival those of green tea.

Greek Mountain Tea Boosts Iron 

Because of its high iron content, consuming Greek mountain tea can help prevent anemia, a blood disorder associated with low iron levels

Greek Mountain Tea Contains Antioxidants

The botanical compounds contained in Greek mountain tea are associated with reduced oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Studies have shown that Greek mountain tea is just as healthful as green tea when it comes to powerful antioxidants. 

This can help with digestive illnesses like stomach ulcers and colitis. These chemicals can also reduce the inflammation associated with impaired respiratory systems.

Protects Against Gastrointestinal Problems

A 2012 animal study by Planta Medica showed that a daily dose of Sideritis scardica extract decreased inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and reduced the severity of gastric ulcers in rate.

Respiratory Health

The active ingredients in Greek mountain tea have been used to treat respiratory problems for hundreds of years. These can help bolster the body’s immune system and help treat mild illnesses such as the common cold and flu. 

Dementia Treatment

Studies in mice showed that ironwort extracts may be a promising, potent treatment for cognitive impairment in the elderly. 

The Greeks may have started drinking Greek mountain tea based on observation of its powers. However, their use of the tea was eventually justified by the discovery of very real scientific benefits in the plant. 

Does Greek Mountain Tea have caffeine?

Like all herbal tisanes, greek mountain tea is naturally caffeine-free. So if you want the benefits of green tea without the caffeine, you may want to give Greek mountain tea a try.

herbal greek mountain tea is healthy
Chopped leaves, stems, and flowers should be used to make Greek mountain tea.

What Does Greek Mountain Tea Taste Like?

Greek mountain tea is known for having an earthy taste and floral notes that are slightly sweet. This combination of flavors ends up tasting similar to a blend of citrus, mint, and chamomile tea. 

Because it has a similar flavor profile, dried Sideritis pairs well with citrus, mint, and chamomile tea blends. It can also be mixed with black, green, and white tea. 

How Often Should You Drink Greek Mountain Tea?

Greek folklore recommends that you drink one cup of Greek mountain tea daily for optimal health benefits. 

Since Greek mountain tea has no known side effects, it is safe to drink as much of this herbal tea as you like. 

Pregnancy and Greek Mountain Tea

Folk wisdom encourages pregnant women to consume Greek mountain tea, and it is not associated with any known birth defects. 

However, since there are few studies geared specifically toward studying Sideritis, caution should be taken when ingesting any herbal tea during pregnancy. Do not drink Greek mountain tea or any other herbal remedy without consulting a physician first if you’re pregnant or may become pregnant. 

Where to Buy Greek Mountain Tea

Greek mountain tea can be purchased locally in many areas of Greece, but for those who don’t live in the region, it can also be found in online markets internationally. 

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It is available as dried loose tea or in tea bags in health food stores, online, and in some specialty grocery stores.

Can Greek Mountain Tea Be Grown at Home?

For those that want to source their own organic Greek mountain tea, ironwort is a hardy plant that is easy to grow across several climate zones. So you don’t have to live in the high elevations of Greece to reap the benefits of the most popular Greek herbs. 

This valuable herb prefers lots of direct sun and a rocky, well-draining soil. 

After harvest, gather the plant into bundles with twine and hang the herbs up to dry in a dark, well-ventilated place for two to three weeks. 

Once dried, the leaves, flowers, and stems of the Sideritis plant can be crushed or chopped up and used for tea. 

How to Make Greek Mountain Tea

Making Greek mountain tea is a simple process as long as you have the right equipment and supplies. To make Greek mountain tea, follow this method:


  • Small saucepan with a lid. 
  • Green mountain tea (all parts of the Sideritis plant-stems, leaves, and flowers): 2 – 3 stems per cup
  • Water: 8 ounces per cup


  1.  Add eight ounces of water for each cup of tea and 2-3 sprigs of Sideritis to the pot or tea kettle. 
  2.  Heat the water to a rolling boil. Add the Greek mountain tea and immediately cover it with a lid.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1-3 minutes. 
  4. Remove from heat and steep for 2-15 minutes.
  5. Strain and enjoy with honey or lemon. 
  6. Store unused tea in the refrigerator for up to five days after brewing. 

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How to Serve Greek Mountain Tea

Greek mountain tea is best served hot with a spoonful of honey or a lemon slice. It also makes a great iced tea when flavored with a bit of honey and lemon. 

Greek Mountain Tea Is an Underrated Herbal Remedy

Even though Greek mountain tea isn’t as well-known as herbal teas like mint or chamomile, this native Greek plant can act as a versatile herbal remedy. 

This easy-growing plant is one of the most underrated tea herbs you can grow in your home garden and is a great, healthy addition to your daily routine. Since it contains no caffeine, it’s a healthful drink you can enjoy any time of the day.

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