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Mountain Tea: An Ancient Remedy

Mountain Tea overwrap surrounded by plants

Deep in the Greek highlands, wise grandmothers have used mountain tea as a trusted home remedy for thousands of years. Since ancient times, this wonder herb has earned a reputation for its countless protective, supportive and soothing abilities. Traditionally collected in olden days by shepherds while tending their flocks, this spear-like herb with yellow buds is a staple in every Greek household. We are proud to be one of the first tea companies in North America to feature this herb.

Mountain tea’s many names speak to its everyday wellness benefits. With epic nicknames like ironwort, “Tea of the Gods,” and “Tea of the Titans,” it can’t help but evoke a feeling of heroism against the odds. This ever-resilient herb hails from the genus Sideritis spp., consisting of 150 different species that thrive in small patches of limestone crags throughout Greece, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey, where it can reach up to 15 inches tall.

Customarily used in whole herb form—leaves, stems and flowers—as an infusion, locals believe mountain tea can help support the body before troubles start. Our herbalists have focused on its traditional use in supporting health and well-being to create this earthy and floral infusion. Reinforced with lemon balm and caraway for digestive support,* this satisfying tea taps into an age-old root of wellness. Herbalist and Marketing Manager of Innovation Zoe Kissam writes, “We’ve brought this herb down from the mountainous Balkan cliffs because of the many benefits of this ancient medicine. It’s remarkable what power can come from a daily cup, freshly brewed.”

Some of our favorite mountain tea comes from Greece, where a special family of farmers follows strict, organic growing practices in the same village as they’ve done for generations. In this mountain terrain, the climate is hot and dry, making herb cultivation challenging for most villagers and organic practices a rarity. In the 1960s, after surviving World War II, the Greek Civil War and a prisoner of war camp, the family’s tough and tender yiayia, or grandma, founded the farm. Knowing how to keep her family alive with herbs during hard times, she has helped to bring this herb to international acclaim and steady livelihoods to the local villagers.

While mountain tea used to be much more accessible in the wild, recent over-harvesting has depleted resources, making the case for responsible cultivation and wildcrafting of geo-authentic herbs like this even more critical. This is another reason why we believe using organic herbs is so important: organic certification contains mandatory regulations for sustainable resource management and conservation of this important herb.

To keep up with the hustle and bustle of modern life, using herbs like mountain tea can be a great addition to your regular health regime. So supplement your apple-a-day with the herb praised by the ancients and reinforce your inner Hercules!

Posted in Tea on September 26, 2017