My husband and I were recently traveling through Greece in celebration of our 10-year wedding anniversary. As with every country I visit, I sought out the 'local' tea and was pleased to discover a delicious herbal tisane called Mountain Tea. It is made from the dried flowers, leaves and stems of a native plant named Sideritis which grows at high elevations in the mountainous regions of Greece. The tea looks similiar to Chamomile, but has a very different taste; it is much more herbacious in flavor.
It is said that the Greek philosopher Hippocrates believed Mountain Tea has positive effects on both the immune and respiratory systems. In following that tradition, many Greek families still believe the tea has powerful healing properties and take to brewing up a cup whenever they are feeling under the weather.
As it turns out, it's not just an ancient belief. Modern research has shown that the tea can assist in the prevention of osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and even cancer. It also has a positive effect on many different ailments including colds, fevers, respiratory problems, digestion problems, and anxiety.
While it is said that the Greek people live so long due to the olive oil, wine, and exercise as they walk from village to village; perhaps the secret is also to be found in their cups of tea.
What about you, have you discovered any exciting tea traditions in your travels? We'd love to hear about them in the comments below!
Dezerai Seitzer is the owner and founder of Global Teas, a retail line of tea that gives people the opportunity to help change lives by donating $1 from every pouch of tea sold to a non-profit organization.