Sideritis, also known as ironwort, mountain tea, and shepherd's tea, is a genus of flowering plants well known for their use as herbal medicine, commonly as an herbal tea. SHOW MORE
In Greek "Sideritis" can be literally translated as "he who is made of iron". The plant was known to ancient Greeks, specifically Pedanius Dioscorides and Theophrastus. Although Dioscorides describes three species, only one (probably S. scordioides) is thought to belong to Sideritis. In ancient times "Sideritis" was a generic reference for plants capable of healing wounds caused by iron weapons during battles. However, others hold that the name stems from the shape of the sepal, which resembles the tip of a spear.
Sideritis, also known as ironwort, mountain tea, and shepherd's tea, is a genus of flowering plants well known for their use as herbal medicine, commonly as an herbal tea. They are abundant in Mediterranean regions, the Balkans, the Iberian Peninsula, and Macaronesia, but can also be found in Central Europe and temperate Asia.
Very popular in Greece, Turkey, Albania, Kosovo, Bulgaria, and North Macedonia, Sideritis scardica is used as a herb either for the preparation of herbal teas or for its aromatic properties in local cuisines. The herbal tea is commonly prepared by decoction, by boiling the stems, leaves, and flowers in a pot of water, then often served with honey and lemon.
Ironwort has been traditionally used to aid digestion, strengthen the immune system and suppress common cold, the flu and other viruses, allergies and shortness of breath, sinus congestion, even pain, and mild anxiety.
Scientists have suggested that the popular pronouncement of ironwort as a panacea may have some basis in fact. Studies indicate a positive effect on many common ailments. Ironwort is known scientifically to be anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant. Active elements include diterpenoid and flavonoids. Significant research has been done on ironwort confirming its popular use to prevent colds, flu, and allergies. Most of this research has taken place in universities in the Netherlands and in Greece, Turkey, and more.
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