Greek mountain tea, also known as sideritis, has long been hailed for its immune-boosting properties. We’ll be diving into what it is and why you should be drinking it – from its craving-busting powers to its thyroid protection, there’s a lot to love about mountain tea.
Greek mountain tea is a caffeine-free herbal tea made from the sideritis plant’s leaves, flowers and stems, and while you’ll find it growing in countless elevated areas – usually upwards of 900 metres! – around Greece, Mount Olympus is best known for its naturally-growing sideritis – and what better place for these powerhouse herbs to grow than in the home of the 12 Greek gods?
And there is something wondrous and magical about this fragrant tea – even Greek philosopher Hippocrates hailed its immune and respiratory benefits. Let’s unpack what makes mountain tea so special.
Rich in antioxidants
Research shows that the antioxidant profile of mountain tea is just as potent as green tea, if not more, and provides those same cellular defences and helps prevent inflammation and oxidative stress – these are the disease-causing elements in the body. Studies have shown that the antioxidants in mountain tea may have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and neuroprotective effects.
Mountain tea contains a number of compounds that may help boost your immune system, including flavonoids, phenolic acids and essential oils. In animal studies, these compounds have been shown to reduce inflammation and power up our defences against infection.
Mountain tea has traditionally been used to help with digestive issues like indigestion, bloating and constipation. It is believed that the essential oils in sideritis tea may help stimulate digestion and improve gut motility.
Reduces sugar cravings
Mountain tea has been shown to regulate blood-sugar levels by inhibiting the enzymes responsible for breaking down carbohydrates into simple sugars. This can prevent sudden spikes in blood-sugar levels, which can lead to cravings for sugary foods. This tea may also help reduce appetite by increasing the production of the hormone leptin, which signals to the brain that the body has had enough to eat. This can help prevent overeating and reduce cravings for sugary foods.
May reduce stress
Some studies have suggested that sideritis tea may have anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and stress-reducing effects. In one study, participants who drank sideritis tea had lower levels of cortisol – the stress hormone – than those who drank a placebo.
Lowers risk of chronic disease
Drinking sideritis tea may help lower your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer's. The flavonoids and phenolic acids in the tea have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which may help protect against these diseases.
Mountain tea has been shown to have antibacterial properties against a number of harmful bacteria, including E. coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus aureus. This makes it a potentially useful natural remedy for infections and other bacterial-related health issues.
Reduces the risk for thyroid disease
There is some evidence to suggest that mountain tea may have a protective effect against thyroid disease. One of the ways that it may do this is through its antioxidant properties. Thyroid disease is often characterised by an imbalance of thyroid hormones, which can lead to oxidative stress and damage to the thyroid gland – antioxidants, such as those found in Greek mountain tea, may help to protect the thyroid gland from this damage and support its healthy function. In addition to its antioxidant properties, Greek mountain tea contains compounds that may help to regulate the thyroid gland. For example, some studies have found that the plant contains compounds that can help to regulate the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which is produced by the pituitary gland and plays a key role in thyroid function. This tea also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can be beneficial for individuals with autoimmune thyroid disorders such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Autoimmune thyroid disorders are characterised by inflammation of the thyroid gland, which can lead to hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Research has also found that the regular consumption of mountain tea had participants experiencing a 34% lower risk of developing thyroid cancer – in some ways, this gives mountain tea the edge over green tea, as the latter is known to aggravate the thyroid. So, if you’re looking for a healthful tea that’s caffeine free and loaded with antioxidants, give mountain tea a try!
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