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sideritis

Σιδερίτης

Sideritis scardica

Ironwort.

The Greek mountains are full of healing herbs, but Mount Olympus tea or Sideritis scardica, has always been one of the most prized. The scientific name derives from sideros, Greek for iron, referring to its ancient role in healing wounds inflicted by iron weapons.

Endemic to the Balkan peninsula, it has been over-harvested in both Greece and Bulgaria because of the renewed interest in its virtues, as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. One of the few places where it grows abundantly, however, is over 1000m up the slopes Olympus, where commercial cultivation is underway.

Text © Dana Facaros

Image by Deyan Vasilev ( Dido3 ) GFDL/CC-by-sa