Greek mountain tea (Sideritis) information and resources The most comprehensive website dedicated to Sideritis

Greek mountain tea (sideritis) claims based on scientific literature

The text below is composed of entire paragraphs from research papers cited in the reference section of this site.

They were rich in a number of natural antioxidants, including flavonoids, and almost all species also contained essential oils. All species contain monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, triterpenes, sterols, flavones, coumarins and phenylpropanoids (1). The potential effect of sideritis in increasing antioxidant defenses (2). The potential use of Sideritis as a source of antioxidant compounds, few studies have addressed the identification and quantification of its phenolic constituents (5, 6). Very recently, 21 Sideritis species including SS were evaluated for their chemical constituents, focusing on secondary metabolites, particularly phenolic compounds (hydroxycinnamic acids, phenylethanoid glycosides and flavonoids), evidencing that all the taxa analysed produce very similar phenolic patterns (7). During the past decade, several Sideritis species from Spain, Turkey, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, and Serbia have been extensively investigated for their composition of flavonoids, phenylpropanoids, cinnamic acid derivatives and phenylethanoids [5, 16]. In most of the studies conducted on Sideritis, it has been suggested that phenolic and/or polyphenolic  components are responsible for the antioxidant activity of the alcohol extracts (17).

The antioxidant activity of methanol extracts from twenty seven Sideritis species that were evaluated for methanolic extracts (0.02% and 1%) by measuring Fe2+ induced linoleic acid peroxidation. antioxidant activity improved by increasing concentration in every case (64). Another in vivo assay showed the antioxidant activity of Sideritis clandestina tea herbal. Male adult mice were given infusions from this Sideritis species for six weeks and at the end of which an elevated antioxidant capacity was observed in the specific region of the brain, midbrain, using Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power (FRAP) assay (65).

Sideritis species are widely used in folk medicine and are traditionally known for their gastroprotective properties (3, 4). In Madeira and Porto Santo Islands, an infusion of Sideritis candicans (“herva branca” or “selvageira”) is taken to treat intestinal diseases (51). Infusions from the specie Sideritis tragoriganum, which is one of the most well-known medicinal plants found in Sierra Mariola (Valencia-Alicante, Spain), are an effective treatment for digestive disorders (57).

Decoctions prepared from aerial parts of Sideritis caesareae have strong biological activity on gastric protection against ethanol induced gastric ulcer in rats. This result confirms the traditional gastroprotective use of this plant in Turkey (67).

Sideritis species are widely used in folk medicine and are traditionally known for their antimicrobial properties (3, 4).

It was reported that the methanol extract, butanol and chloroform fractions from Sideritis albiflora and Sideritis brevibracteata and the methanol extract and chloroform fraction from Sideritis pisidica may be active against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria (Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and all yeasts using the disc diffusion method, with MIC (minimum inhibitory concentration) values ranging from 0.03 to 0.38g/mL (70, 71).

Other study focused on the antimicrobial activity of the hexane extracts obtained from aerial parts of two wild populations and cultivated plants of Sideritis scardica from three locations. All hexane extracts exhibited poor activity against Escherichia coli and Candida albicans, but a significant activity against Staphylococcus aureus. The analysis of the hexane extracts by GC–MS exhibited a high diterpenes and n-alkanes content. Samples with higher diterpenes content showed the higher antimicrobial activity (72).

The antimicrobial activity of methanol extracts obtained from aerial parts of Sideritis brevidens, Sideritis cilicica and Sideritis vuralii was evaluated by using the disk diffusion method. The extracts were active against all bacteria and yeast cultures tested in the study, except for Micrococcus luteus and Proteus vulgaris. Sideritis cilicica extract activity was higher than the other extracts, especially against Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus and Klebsiella pneumoniae (70, 71).

In a recent study, methanol extracts from aerial parts of seven Turkish endemic Sideritis species (Sideritis condensata, Sideritis bilgerana, Sideritis trojana, Sideritis sipylea, Sideritis dichotoma, Sideritis rubriflora and Sideritis galatica) exhibited antifungical activity against clotrimazole-resistant Candida albicans. Sideritis trojana (MIC value 1.25 mg/mL) and Sideritis bilgerana (MIC value 1.25 mg/ml) showed the greatest activity. According to the obtained results, the authors suggest that these species could be potencially used for candidiasis treatment (73).

In addition, there are several reports about the antimicrobial activity of Sideritis essential oil. It was found that those obtained from Spanish Sideritis species, Sideritis angustifolia, Sideritis funkiana, Sideritis javalambrensis, Sideritis leucantha, Sideritis mugronensis and Sideritis tragoriganum inhibited Gram-positive bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, Mycobacterium phlei and the fungi Candida albicans growth, whereas they did not show any activity against Gram-negative bacteria (58, 59).

Evaluated the in vitro antimicrobial activity of Sideritis curvidens and Sideritis lanata essential oil on six Gram negative bacteria and eight Gram-positive bacteria using the disk diffusion method. Essential oils had no effect against any Gram negative bacteria. However, a significant activity was obtained on Gram-positive bacteria, especially against Staphylococcus aereus and Staphylococcus epidermidis (74).

Sideritis italica essential oil was investigated because of its antimicrobial activity on two Gram-positive bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis) and seven Gram-negative bacteria (Proteus mirabilis, Proteus vulgaris, Salmonella typhi, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter aerogenes, Enterobacter cloacae and Klebsiella pneumoniae). The antibacterial activity was higher against Gram-negative than Gram-positive bacteria, specially against Pseudomonas aeruginosa (MBC-minimum bacterial concentrations-between 62.6 and 125g/mL) (75).

Antimicrobial activity of the essential oils of the endemic Turkish species, Sideritis erythrantha var. erythrantha (SE) and Sideritis erythrantha var. cedretorum (SC) using a paper disc diffusion method. Methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE), ampicillin resistant Haemophilus influenzae and vancomycin sensitive Enterococcus faecalis were the most sensitive microorganisms to the SC essential oil. SE essential oil was effective against VRE and ampicillin resistant Haemophilus influenzae. The gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) analysis revealed that -pinene was the major constituent of the total oil contents of both species (27.94% for SC and 28.46% for SE) (76).

Investigated the structure antimicrobial activity relationship of nine natural diterpenoids isolated from Sideritis pusilla and five semisynthetic diterpenoids (ent-beyer-15 derivatives) obtained from 1-acetyljativatriol (7). Some diterpenoids inhibited the Gram-positive bacteria growth, being the most active 1-acetyljativatriol, which was also active against Candida albicans (77).

Results have shown that essential oils act as a good antimicrobial agents for both Gram positive and Gram negative bacterias and Candida albicans fungus (3).

In K. Maras province of Turkey, it was reported that Sideritis is used to relieve coughs (48). An infusion prepared from leaves and flowers of Sideritis leptoclada is used because of its expectorant effect and to fight common cold in Inner-West of Anatolia (Turkey) (49). The endemic specie Sideritis trojana is one of the most demanded and consumed medicinal plants in bazaars by Turkmens and villagers who live in the sacred mountain called Mount Ida, “the mountain of the Goodess” (Kazda˘gı, in modern Turkish) for the treatment of throat, peptic and chest illnesses (50). In Madeira and Porto Santo Islands, an infusion of Sideritis candicans (“herva branca” or “selvageira”) is taken to treat bronchitis and intestinal diseases (51). An ethnopharmacological study among Turkish migrants in Cologne; this study revealed that infusions and decoctions of leaves and flowers of Sideritis congesta, Sideritis libanotica and Sideritis pisidica are very popular to treat coughs, hypertension and the “worm in the eyes” syndrome (it is traditionally believed that pains in the eyes are caused by worms with black head) (54).

Mountain tea has anti-inflammatory effect in colds, respiratory tract disorders, anti-tussive effect (alleviates cough from different origin, can be applied both as expectorant (mainly in chronic bronchitis) and in dry irritating cough, (“whereas it relieves the inflamed membranes”), in rheumatism (probably as antiinflammatory remedy); in asthma, shortness of breath (this effect can be explained by probable antiasthmatic effect). Its use for colds can be related to the possible sweat reducing properties (99).

Sideritis species are widely used in folk medicine and are traditionally known for their anti-inflammatoryproperties (3, 4). In the region of Níjar-Cabo de Gata, located in South-Eastern Spain, Sideritis granatensis infusions are used effectively for low back pain, eye infections and as appetite stimulants. Moreover, a mix of Sideritis granatensis and thyme infusion with an added tablespoon of oil is employed as a remedy for hepatic affections (55). To relieve the abdominal pain that occurs commonly during the menstruation, infusions or decoctions from aerial parts of Sideritis foetens, prepared alone or mixed with Sideritis angustifolia, are traditionally used in Sierra de Gádor and in Alhama (Almería, Spain) (56). And infusions from the specie Sideritis tragoriganum, which is one of the most well-known medicinal plants found in Sierra Mariola (Valencia-Alicante, Spain), are an effective treatment for urinary tract infections as well as they are employed for making gargles and for ocular and dermical washes (57).

The species of the genus Sideritis are an important source of anti-inflammatory compounds. There are numerous studies that validate their use in folk medicine because of this therapeutic indication (61, 62, 63) examined the anti-inflammatory activity of different extracts and fractions obtained from the aerial parts of the endemic Canary species, Sideritis canariensis var. pannosa and Sideritis candicans var. eriocephala. The results showed a significant anti-inflammatory activity. 

The in vivo antiulcerative activity of four species of Sideritis (Sideritis incana var. virgata, Sideritis funkiana ssp. funkiana, Sideritis funkiana ssp. talaverana and Sideritis hirsuta). The aerial parts were prepared as decoctions and orally administered to rats suffering from indomethacin and stressinduced ulcer. In both cases all species were active. Sideritis funkiana ssp. talaverana. Sideritis funkiana ssp. funkiana and Sideritis incana var. virgata were more active against indomethacin-induced ulcer, whereas Sideritis hirsuta wasmore effective against stress-induced ulcer (66).

The anti-nociceptive effects of the ethanol extract, as well as the aqueous and chloroform fractions from Sideritis lotsyi var. mascaensis have been investigated using the writhing test induced by acetic acid in mice. At 250 mg/kg p.o., the ethanol extract significatly inhibited the writhing responses at different times and was more active than the evaluated fractions. Chloroform fraction was moreactive than the aqueous extract at 125 mg/kg p.o. (61).

Dose of 400 mg/kg p.o. of petroleum ether extract obtained from flowering aerial parts of Sideritis taurica exhibited an analgesic activity similar to that produced by a dose level of 400 mg/kg of acetylsalicylic acid (ASPIRIN) at 45 and 60 min (69).

Recently, the effect of various Sideritis scardica extracts (water, methanol and 70% ethanol) on serotonin, noradrenalin, and dopamine uptake in rat brain synaptosomes, and serotonin uptake in human JAR cells, was studied (92). It was found that all extracts inhibited the uptake of all three monoamines into rat brain synaptosomes by their respective transporters, with the alcoholic extracts being more effective than the water extract. EC50 values were in the range of 30–40 μg/mL. Inhibition of the human serotonin transporter by the methanol extract was even more effective (EC50 1.4 μg/mL). This pharmacological property suggests that they may be useful in the phytochemical therapy of mental disorders associated with a malfunctioning monoaminer- gic neurotransmission, such as anxiety disorders, major depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, mental impairment, or neurodegenerative diseases.

In Bulgaria, the infusion of aerial parts of Sideritis scardica is employed as expectorant for the treatment of pulmonary emphysema and angina pectoris (53).

Recently, the effect of various Sideritis scardica extracts (water, methanol and 70% ethanol) on serotonin, noradrenalin, and dopamine uptake in rat brain synaptosomes, and serotonin uptake in human JAR cells, was studied (92). It was found that all extracts inhibited the uptake of all three monoamines into rat brain synaptosomes by their respective transporters, with the alcoholic extracts being more effective than the water extract. EC50 values were in the range of 30–40 μg/mL. Inhibition of the human serotonin transporter by the methanol extract was even more effective (EC50 1.4 μg/mL). This pharmacological property suggests that they may be useful in the phytochemical therapy of mental disorders associated with a malfunctioning monoaminer- gic neurotransmission, such as anxiety disorders, major depres- sion, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, mental impairment, or neurodegenerative diseases.

Recently the influence of Sideritis scardica on memorizing skills of mice in Morris water maze was studied. The authors found that the behavior testing results for mice with Alzheimer’s disease treated with extract from Sideritis scardica vs. untreated mice correlate with the histopatological finding – reduction of total β-amyloid amount by 55% (9).

Memory enhancing action, has been reported (96).

Several Sideritis species were recently investigated for their bioactivity. S. congesta extracts and its diterpenes, namely, 7-acetyldistanol, epoxyisolinearol, sideroxol, sideridiol, siderol, 7-epicandicandiol, linearol, and sidol with an ent-kaurane structure, were investigated for their antioxidant activity by using DPPH assay, β-carotene bleaching test, and superoxide anion-scavenging activity (109). Among these compounds, 7-epicandicandiol exhibited the highest activity with 53.82% at 100 μM in β-carotene bleaching test followed by 7-acetyldistanol (94.52%). All ent-kaurane diterpenes are able to inhibit AChE and BChE; 7-epicandicandiol came out as the most active with IC50 values of 0.23 and 0.022 μg/mL against AChE and BChE, respectively. A promising BChE inhibitory activity was also found with sidol (IC50 of 0.005 μg/mL). Isolated other bioactive ent-kaurene diterpenes from Salvia arguta. 7-Epicandicandiol demonstrated a multitarget activity since it is a promising BChEI and AChEI with IC50 values of 21.1 and 22.8 μg/mL, respectively (109). Moreover, it exerted 43.1% antioxidant activity in a β-carotene bleaching model at 100 μM (92) reported the inhibitory activity of monoamine reuptake by Salvia scardica and suggested its use in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders (108).

The content of twenty minerals in dried over-ground parts of the plants and in water tea-infusions were determined by the ICP-AES method and some of them alternatively by ETAAS. The most abundant minerals were K > Ca > Mg > P
> Fe > Al > Na (14). According to the traditional uses of S. scardica and S. raeseri in the treatment of anemia, as well as the usage of their extracts as a component of dietary supplements for anemia, a high content of iron can be assumed. Several authors have examined the range of iron content in herbs and teas used as traditional remedies for anemia [18].

Sideritis scardica is an active constituent of dietary supplements for the prevention of anemia (83).

The investigation of Sideritis scardica from Prilep showed the presence of Fe (455.3 mg/kg) (90).

These studies provide strong evidence that monoterpenes are major active components in those oils (10, 11, 12, 13). Terpene components from the essential oils and diterpenoids are responsible for the antiinflammatory, analgesic, antiulcer, antibacterial, antifungal, cytotoxic and antitumor activities (17).

The essential oil components of aerial parts from Sideritis bilgerana, Sideritis tmolea and Sideritis congesta were investigated by GC and GC–MS. The oil yields of dried plants obtained by hydro-distillation were 0.26, 0.33 and 0.83 (v/w), respectively. Fifty compounds representing94.6% of the S. bilgerana oil were identified. The main ones were b-pinene (51.2%) and a-pinene (30.2%). Thirty-six components, representing79.7% of the S. congesta oil were determined with high contents of muurol-5-en-4-a-ol (11.7%) and muurol-5-en-4-b-ol (33.0%). Fourty-four components were identified accountingfor 89.6% of the S. tmolea oil. Major constituents were a-cadinol (21.9%), b-caryophylene (10.6%), calamenene (7.05%), muurrol-5-en-4-b-ol (7.05%) and a-pinene (5.1%). All oils consist of monoterpenic hydrocarbons, oxygenated monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. Muurol-5-en-4a-ol and muurol-5-en-4b-ol, at high percentages, were distinct components of S. congesta (30).

Sideritis italica essential oil was investigated because of its antimicrobial activity on two Gram-positive bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis) and seven Gram-negative bacteria (Proteus mirabilis, Proteus vulgaris, Salmonella typhi, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter aerogenes, Enterobacter cloacae and Klebsiella pneumoniae). The antibacterial activity was higher against Gram-negative than Gram-positive bacteria, specially against Pseudomonas aeruginosa (MBC-minimum bacterial concentrations-between 62.6 and 125g/mL) (75).

Antimicrobial activity of the essential oils of the endemic Turkish species, Sideritis erythrantha var. erythrantha (SE) and Sideritis erythrantha var. cedretorum (SC) using a paper disc diffusion method. Methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE), ampicillin resistant Haemophilus influenzae and vancomycin sensitive Enterococcus faecalis were the most sensitive microorganisms to the SC essential oil. SE essential oil was effective against VRE and ampicillin resistant Haemophilus influenzae. The gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) analysis revealed that -pinene was the major constituent of the total oil contents of both species (27.94% for SC and 28.46% for SE) (76).

Greek mountain tea is very healthy & does not contain any caffeine. This is one of the main differences between green tea & Greek tea.

Sideritis species are widely used in folk medicine and are traditionally known for their antirheumatic properties (3, 4).

Infusions and decoctions of the aerial parts of some Sideritis species have been used for a long time in traditional medicine in Spain and other countries of the Mediterranean region, for their gastroprotective and antirheumatic properties (38).

Many studies have used plant-derived essential oils or extracts to demonstrate central nervous system-directed activity such as sedation and anxiolytic effects (10, 11, 12, 13 ). may induce sedative and anxiolytic effects after consumption (9). An ethnopharmacological study among Turkish migrants in Cologne; this study revealed that infusions and decoctions of leaves and flowers of Sideritis congesta, Sideritis libanotica and Sideritis pisidica are very popular to treat hypertension (54).

In K. Maras province of Turkey, it was reported that Sideritis is used as a diuretic (48).

A complex profile of hydroxycinnamic acids, phenylethanoid glycosides and flavonoid 7-O-glycosides,6 which may exert protective effects (2). An ethnopharmacological study of plants growing in Alto Tirreno Cosentino area, in Calabria region (Southern Italy), revealed that native people use Sideritis syriaca leaves to stop the bleeding from a cut (52). And infusions from the specie Sideritis tragoriganum, which is one of the most well-known medicinal plants found in Sierra Mariola (Valencia-Alicante, Spain), are an effective treatment for healings wounds (57).

Sideritis species are widely used in folk medicine and are traditionally known for their antibacterial properties (3, 4).

It has been established that extracts from Sideritis scardica, Sideritis siriaca and Sideritis Montana /extracted with organic solutions/ show an activity against the Golden staph (Staphylococcus aureus), and butanol extract of Sideritis siriaca exhibited anti-yeast activity versus C. Albicans (100)

antibacterial activities of Sideritis species have been reported (104)

The content of twenty minerals in dried over-ground parts of the plants and in water tea-infusions were determined by the ICP-AES method and some of them alternatively by ETAAS. The most abundant minerals were K > Ca > Mg > P> Fe > Al > Na. The microelements and toxic elements contents were represented in the following order: Zn > Mn > B > Ba > Cu > Sr > Li > Ni > Cr > Co, and Cd > Pb > As, respectively. Water tea-infusions contained a large portion of the total K, P, Na, Cu and Pb, but smaller amounts of the other elements (14).

the investigation of Sideritis scardica from Prilep showed the presence of macroelements Ca (12,396 mg/kg), K (10,727 mg/kg), Mg (1987 mg/kg), Na (1053 mg/kg) and Fe (455.3 mg/kg) (90).

In a recent study, K and Ca were the most abundant minerals in 13 f Sideritis scardica also (91).

Moreover, some compounds that were isolated from Sideritis spp. have shown antiproliferative, anti-HIV or antifeedant activities (38; 39).

It was reported that methanolic extract from aerial parts of Sideritis libanotica ssp. linearis showed a significant antiproliferative activity against three human cell lines, Vero cells (African green monkey kidney), C6 cells (rat brain tumor cells) and HeLa cells (human uterus carcinoma). It was observed that methanolic extracts inhibited the proliferation of these cell lines in a dose-dependent manner (from 25g/mL to 250g/mL) (78).

The in vivo antiulcerative activity of four species of Sideritis (Sideritis incana var. virgata, Sideritis funkiana ssp. funkiana, Sideritis funkiana ssp. talaverana and Sideritis hirsuta). The aerial parts were prepared as decoctions and orally administered to rats suffering from indomethacin and stressinduced ulcer. In both cases all species were active. Sideritis funkiana ssp. talaverana. Sideritis funkiana ssp. funkiana and Sideritis incana var. virgata were more active against indomethacin-induced ulcer, whereas Sideritis hirsuta wasmore effective against stress-induced ulcer (66).

The antiulcerogenic activity of hypolaetin-8-O--d-glucoside (15), a flavonoid isolated from Sideritis leucantha and present in several Sideritis species (Sideritis mugronensis, Sideritis angustifolia and Sideritis saetabensis). These flavonoids reduced gastric lesions and drug-induced ulcer in rats by increasing mucus production and decreasing the acidity and peptic gastric. According to other studies, the presence of a pyrocatechol group at the 3–4 position in the flavonoid scheleton is related with a higher antiulcerative activity (68).

The emergence of drug-resistant HSV mutants, particularly nucleoside-based drugs such as aciclovir, has led to the search for new treatments. Based on the traditional use of Sideritis perfoliata ssp perfoliata for infectious diseases,   the effect of different extracts from its air-dried and powdered aerial parts on HSV infections was evaluated. The dichloromethane extract showed an antiviral activity against herpes simplex viruses (HSV) by preventing the HSV-1 propagation (79).

 It is said to boost the immune system; whilst drinking two to three cups of mountain tea every day is thought to help prevent or fight flu symptoms and stress-related ailments such as chest infections, a foggy head, digestive complaints, fatigue and anxiety. Hippocrates, the great philosopher and father of modern medicine, praised Greek mountain tea for its positive effect on the immune and respiratory systems. And for thousands of years, Greeks have been drinking this tea for its abundance of health benefits such as a positive effect on colds, respiratory problems, digestion, the immune system and anxiety. More recently, modern science has begun to delve into better understanding the health benefits of Greek mountain tea (http://www.amonbe.org/the-benefits-to-greek-mountain-tea/).

Sideritis significantly protected tibial bone loss and improved femoral biomechanical strength in OVX + SID rats compared with OVX rats (111).

The results show that the ethanol extract of S. raeseri can produce inhibition of the the spontaneous rat ileum contractions and contractions induced by different spasmogens. These data indicate that S. raeseri acts as a spasmolytic on intestinal smooth muscle, which justifies its use in gastrointestinal disorders (112).