In 2012, Serbian researchers had a paper published in the journal Planta Med that showed some very interesting observations about the healthy benefits and effects of Sideritis, also known as Greek Mountain Tea. At the beginning of their paper, they wrote about the fact that Greek Mountain Tea has been used in traditional medicine of the Mediterranean and Balkan areas for the treatment of a wide range of medical conditions including gastrointestinal complaints, inflammation, and rheumatic disorders. The researchers were interested in the efficacy of Greek Mountain Tea in treating the first two: Gastrointestinal issues and inflammation. They also wanted to learn what compounds in Greek Mountain that may be responsible for positive benefits.
Other Benefits Of Greek Mountain Tea
It’s worthwhile observing that in their paper, the authors also noted other health conditions that Sideritis has been associated with, in the scientific literature. Specifically, the researchers mention anti-inflammatory, antiulcer, analgesic, antimicrobial and antifungal, immunomodulating, macrophage NOS-2-expression inhibiting, and hypoglycemic. The paper goes on to say,
“Recently, aldose reductase inhibiting activity, antiproliferative, anticholinesterase, and selective estrogen receptor modulator-like effects have been reported. The
previous studies of Sideritis species reported the presence of flavonoid aglycones and glycosides, phenolic acids, di- and triterpenoids, fatty acids, coumarines and iridoid glycosides, and essential oil as well. Most of the studies on Sideritis species attributed the previously cited biological activities mainly to phenolic compounds. Rios et al. reported that flavonoids were reducing agents able to interact with free radical species (of relevance to autoxidation mechanism) and could prevent generation of inflammatory mediators.”
Clearly, there are truly some amazing properties in this herb that can grow at high elevations and in such poor conditions that include the surfaces of rocks containing little or now soil!
Compounds In Greek Mountain Tea
As touched on earlier, the researchers wanted to know what compounds and their content that could be extracted from Greek Mountain tea, using a variety of extraction methods. What they discovered is that Sideritis (and what we have reported on in other articles) does indeed contain high numbers of a variety of compounds that can explain it’s terrific benefits on human health. These included phenolics, flavonoids, and tannins.
The researchers found that the herb contained “a high amount of phenolic compounds,” with ferulic acid being dominant. Additionally, they discovered a large number of components in Greek Mountain tea that have antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties – something that is good for us humans to have more of with today’s lifestyle.
Anti-Inflammatory Properties Of Greek Mountain Tea
One of the methods the researchers used to test the anti-inflammatory properties of this herb was to apply doses of Sideritis extract to rats with induced paw edema. Edema in layman’s terms means “swelling” from inflammation.
Even at very low doses, there was significant improvement seen with Greek Mountain tea extract – proving that indeed, Greek Mountain tea does have anti-inflammatory properties.
Greek Mountain Tea & Gastroprotective Activity
During the same study, the researchers induced ulcers in rats with ethanol and then tested the ability of Sidiritis extracts to treat the condition. What was amazing was that this natural herb had a similar effect to that of a drug, Ranitidine (Brand name: Zantac), that is commonly prescribed to humans as an ulcer treatment. The problem with ranitidine is that many uncomfortable side effects have been reported including diarrhea, headache, constipation, loss of sexual desire, nausea and vomiting, swollen breasts, and other conditions most of us don’t want to have when we are prescribed a medicine.
Of course, there are NO known side-effects of long-term use of Sideritis and many people have regularly consumed its tea with beneficial effects for thousands of years. We would recommend you go and talk to your doctor if you are suffering from ulcers or other stomach conditions and want to replace any drugs you are on – but certainly, Greek Mountain tea appears to hold some hope for being helpful for this condition.
Greek Mountain Tea & Anti-Cancer Activity
The researchers of this paper were quite interested in a variety of claims about Sideritis and even looked at what, if any, anti-cancer activity its extracts might contain. This was assessed using PBMC, B16 melanoma, and HL-60 leukemic cells. PBMC cells are normal Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells that have a round nucleus and include lymphocytes – the white blood cells of the body that are “killer cells” that defend us from tumors, viruses and act against other dangers in the body. Naturally, we don’t want these cells to be harmed so it would be prudent to test compounds – even if they are successful at positive actions, to see whether they might also have a negative effect on human PBMC cells.
What did the researchers find?
Well, it was quite exciting. First, there was no negative observations on the human PBMC cells, which is very good news indeed. What did the research show with the B16 and HL-60 cancer cells? They write that the Sideritis “flavonoids apigenin and luteolin, showed significant cytotoxicity to both tumor cell lines.”
Does this prove that drinking Greek Mountain Tea will cure you of cancer? No, it does not prove any such thing, although it does show that the herb has significant anti-cancer activity. It also does not prove that it will prevent these types or other types of cancers, but most certainly, there is evidence to indicate much more research is in order to learn more about this amazing herb that has many health-giving properties.
But it is worth noting that the authors of the paper concluded with this final sentence:
Plants rich in flavonoids, used for centuries in traditional medicine, could be a very good source for providing appropriate daily intake of flavonoids components as a simple and cheap tool in cancer prevention. The data presented here support further exploration of flavonoids as chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive agents.
In other words, regularly consuming a Greek Mountain Tea like KirIan’s that is organically grown in the Mt. Taygetos region could be part of a daily diet that is strong on being pro-health and that fights inflammation, fights cancer cells, and reduces risk of illness.
We do know that regular consumption of this tea won’t do you any harm, and the benefits have been talked about, written about, and known for thousands of years!
You can order yours right now to discover the delightful taste and aroma of this Greek mountain grown herb! Click here.
Anti-inflammatory, Gastroprotective, and Cytotoxic Effects of Sideritis scardica Extracts
Vanja M. Tadić, Ivica Jeremic, Silva Dobric, Aleksandra Isakovic, Ivanka Markovic, Vladimir Trajkovic, Dragica Bojovic, Ivana Arsic. Anti-inflammatory, Gastroprotective, and Cytotoxic Effects of Sideritis scardica Extracts Planta Med: 2012; 78(5): 415-427 DOI: 10.1055/s-0031-1298172