Mountain tea is a tisane made from the leaves of ‘sideritis’ that is genus of a flowering plant. This tea is credited with many medical benefits and often called as ‘shepherd’s tea’.
The leaves of sideritis are generally dried before being incorporated to make a herbal tea infusion.
History of Mountain Tea
Mountain tea is abundantly found in the regions of Mediterranean, the Balkans, Macaronesia and Iberian Peninsula. Central European and temperate regions of Asia are also famous for these tea.
The sideritis plant is etymologically known as ‘he who is or has the iron’ in the Greek dialect and for the ancient Greeks the plant was of high importance. The plant was mainly used in ancient Greece as the healer for the wounds caused in the battle through iron weapons.However, some people believed that the shape of the sepal resembles the spear which is made of iron, which therefore explains the etymology of the name of the plant.
Mountain Tea: Preparation Overview
It is a herbal tea (tisane) that can easily be prepared at home. The dried leaves, stems or flowers of the sideritis are infused in hot boiling water and allowed to steep in the water for at least 5 minutes. One teaspoon of dried herb is sufficient for preparing one cup of tea.
The infusion should be strained to discard the leaves before drinking. Although, herbalists advise to drink tisanes without any additives, honey or sugar may be added to sweeten it. Lemon may also be added to the tea for flavor enhancement.
Mountain Tea Benefits
This tea has long been used to ease indigestion. Popular in Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania, this tea has traditionally been used to strengthen the immune system. Mountain tea is an effective treatment to suppress the flu and common cold.
Various allergies can also be effectively cured with the regular consumption of this tea. It calms the nerves and reduces anxiety. Even shortness of breath and severe chest congestion can be treated with shepherd’s tea.
Studies indicate that this tisane contains high antioxidants that prevent certain cancers and even reduce the risk of Osteoporosis. The active components of the tea including essential oils, flavonoids and diterpenoids are believed to be helpful in treating almost anything, as indicated by several studies. The anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties of mountain tea are highly beneficial for the human body.