Many people are interested in the health benefits of drinking herbal teas or tisanes – traditional medicine frequently prescribes herbs for curing, controlling or preventing a wide variety of ailments. In Greece and in Balkan nations, Mountain Tea (in Greece, τσαι τoυ βoυνoυ – tsai tou vounou and also referred to as Sideritis) has been prescribed for centuries for a number of conditions including the prevention of age-related memory and cognitive loss.
Now, science is once again proving that this ancient traditional use for Greek Mountain Tea with its wide variety of polyphenols, flavenoids, and other compounds, may, in fact, be helpful in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
What Is Greek Mountain Tea?
This herb grows at very high elevations in the mountains of Greece as well as in some Balkan nations like Bulgaria, Albania, and Kosovo. Generally, it is found at elevations over 1,000 meters and was known to shepherds that would tend to sheep in the high mountain areas. Both an annual or a perennial, it can grow on the surfaces of rocks in little or no soil. It can grow up to 20 inches high and has flowers on the top that form spear-like shapes (one of the possible reasons it is also called “ironwort”).
The health benefits of the herb have been known for thousands of years, with the Greek physician Hippocrates describing the immunity-boosting benefits along with easing respiratory health conditions when prepared as a tea.
When the herb is dried, the stem, leaves, and flowers are all used together to prepare a boiled concoction. Typically, the stem including the leaves and flowers are broken up and then covered with water in a pot. The water is brought to a boil for about five minutes and then allowed to steep another 3 to 5 minutes before being consumed. Sweetened with a small amount of honey, Greek Mountain Tea has a taste that many find delightful and pleasant, often with subtle citrus notes. Depending on where the Sideritis has been harvested, differences in taste may be noted.
How Can Greek Mountain Tea Help With Alzheimer’s?
In some traditional medicines, it has been claimed that this herb can have cognitive benefits and reduce mental problems when regularly consumed. Today, we know that Greek Mountain tea contains many interesting compounds including a rich source of a variety of flavenoids. It has been suggested that foods high in flavenoid compounds may help to prevent dementia and actually improve existing mental conditions when consumed on a regular basis.
With this in mind, including the traditional claims that have been made for Greek Mountain Tea, German and Norwegian researchers decided to test the brain-boosting claims of the herb on mice. What they discovered was remarkable and the findings were published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, August 3, 2016. It was the first scientific evaluation for the in vivo effectiveness of the compounds in Greek Mountain Tea for treating Alzheimer’s and cognitive problems in a mouse model. The results of the study on non-healthy mice was so impressive that the researchers decided to find out if the compounds extracted from Greek Mountain Tea would have a positive effect on healthy mice – and indeed, they did!
Green Mountain Tea Extracts Promoted Memory Improvement In Just 15 Days!
On non-healthy mice, the Greek Mountain tea extracts significantly improved memory and reduced harmful plaques in the brains of those treated. A similar effect of memory improvement was observed even with healthy aged mice. While the unhealthy mice were treated for longer periods of 100+ days, significant memory improvements were observed in just 15 days in healthy mice! But not only was memory improved, but other cognitive improvements were also seen.
The researchers noted in their paper:
“These results evidence a strong improvement of cognitive performance by means of faster problem solving, storage, and retrieval of memory in young and even in aged mice. Moreover, the animals showed a significantly improved ability to adapt to new information and to retrieve them.”
Greek Mountain Tea Side Effects For Alzheimer’s Treatment
One of the big problems with treating any disease with pharmaceuticals are unwanted and undesirable side-effects that can sometimes be very uncomfortable or even toxic. While some drugs can treat a medical problem, they also might negatively affect or cause another problem. This was a concern about Greek Mountain Tea to the researchers and a question that they wondered about. Would there be any negative side effects of Greek Mountain Tea during the treatment of the unhealthy mice?
Both Sideritis species are effective at low dosages pre-onset as well as at high dosages after disease onset, without noticeable side effects, neither from this animal study nor from centuries of use in the Balkan region.
In other words, Greek Mountain Tea may be used to treat cognitive issues or to prevent them, and so far, no harmful side effects have been noted – not just from this scientific study, but none have ever been reported in the thousands of years that this herb has been consumed as a tea.
KirIan Greek Mountain Tea
The Greek Mountain Tea that we have brought you from Greece has been grown high elevations of the Taygetus Mountains near the village of Arna. It has been grown and cultivated according to the very strict “Bio” (Organic) standards of Greece and the European Union. We spent over a year selecting this tea to bring to you; it had to meet our own high standards – both in taste and in the manner its grown and cultivated. Those who have tried our tea – both groups of people who are familiar with the herb and those who have tried it for the first time have commented on its delightful taste.
We are also familiar with how it can ease symptoms of cold and flu virus personally, and hope you might find the same when you try it. But don’t just drink it for the health benefits – enjoy the taste of our Greek Mountain tea, either hot or cold!
Hofrichter J, Krohn M, Schumacher T, et al. Sideritis spp. Extracts Enhance Memory and Learning in Alzheimer’s β-Amyloidosis Mouse Models and Aged C57Bl/6 Mice. J Alzheimers Dis. 2016;53(3):967-80.