About Mountain Tea

Mountain Tea near TrigradMountain tea is made using the dried leaves and flowers of Sideritis plants (ironwort). The tea is aptly named: the plant used to make it is found on rocky slopes at elevations over 1000 meters (3,200 feet). These plants are hardy flowering perennials that have adapted to survive with little water and little soil. Only two types of this plant are cultivated - Sideritis raeseri in Greece, and Sideritis scardica in Bulgaria; otherwise, these and other types are gathered in the wild.

Other Names

Mountain Tea is known by a wide variety of names in different areas:

  • Mountain Tea - common name
  • Τσάι του βουνού (Mountain Tea) - in Greece
  • Μαλωτήρα (Malotira) - in Crete, Greece
  • Çaj Mali (Mountain Tea) - in Albanian
  • Dallı, Adaçayı (Mountain Tea) - in Turkey
  • Планински чај - (Mountain Tea) - in Macedonian
  • Olympus Tea - named after Mount Olympus in Greece
  • Мурсалски чай - (Mursalski Tea) (S. scardica) in the Rhodopi region of Bulgaria, particularly Trigrad
  • Пирински чай - (Pirin Tea) - named after the Pirin Mountains in Bulgaria
  • Mediterranean Mountain Tea
  • Ironwort - Sideritis is derived from the Greek meaning 'made of iron'.
  • Shepherd's Tea
  • Bergtee in Germany

Trigrad productionMountain Tea is enormously popular in the Balkans (Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, the Republic of Macedonia and Albania) and used most often in winter when levels of physical activity decrease and colds, aches, and pains increase. It is said to have a positive effect on almost anything that ails but, most notably, it is used for colds, respiratory problems, digestion, the immune system, mild anxiety, and as an anti-oxidant. It is also used as an anti-inflammatory and to reduce fever. 

Mountain tea is traditionally used to fight the common cold, flu and allergies. Other traditional uses are for soothing breathing difficulties, aiding digestion, strengthening the immune system, and calming mild anxiety. It is also used to relieve sinus congestion.

Scientists recently suggested that the traditional Balkan promotion of mountain tea as a panacea for most illnesses may be remarkably close to the truth. Modern tests have indicted that the tea helps in the prevention of osteoporosis while it also has distinct anti-oxidant properties. The studies also indicate Mountain Tea has a positive effect on almost anything that ails.

Mountain tea is known scientifically to be anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant. The active elements in Mountain tea that make it beneficial for health are diterpenoids, flavonoids, and its essential oils. Significant research has been done on Mountain tea confirming its popular use to prevent colds, flu, and allergies. Its Rhodopian reputation as a virility aid, however, is less scientific! Local folk will assure you that if aspiring parents take it while trying for a baby, the odds of having twins are greatly improved.

Mursalski Tea

Lyuben UshevSideritis scardica is protected by law in Bulgaria. Very few are permitted to harvest it, and fewer still to cultivate it. Lyuben Ushev is renowned throughout the region. His family have been cultivating Mursalski Tea since he inherited the plantation from his father, and to this day the whole family are involved in the business, carefully following the priciples of natural cultivation and hand picking that have been the hallmark of Mursalski Tea down the generations. (Some producers "mow" the tea for tea-bag production, with obvious consequences for quality) .

Mursalski Tea is the premium Mountain Tea available - organically grown, hand harvested and bunched, and despatched by Balkan Herbs directly to you from Bulgaria. Mursalski Tea is the only Mountain tea to have been awarded the prestigious Green Apple award in 2007 and Green Hero status (in 2008) by the Green Organisation , presented to Lyuben in person by David Bellamy.

 

How to Prepare Mursalski Tea

Bring to the boil a sprig of Mursalski Tea in 250 ml fresh water and then brew for 5 minutes, until the colour becomes yellow. Filter and add sugar or honey to taste. Best effect is achieved when using the stalk once.

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Bergtee

Der Name verrät einiges : Ein Tee zum Trinken und die Pflanze wächst auf den Bergen. 

Der Name "Bergtee" ruft bei den wenigen Kennern sofort Assoziationen hervor: "Griechischer Bergtee". Ein österreichisches Lebensmittelbuch (Codex alimentarius Austriacus) beschreibt ihn in dem Abschnitt "Teeähnliche Erzeugnisse" so: "Griechischer Bergtee besteht aus den zur Blütezeit gesammelten, getrockneten, oberirdischen Teilen von Sideritis scardica. Blätter und Stengel sind aromatisch." Hier treffen wir einen neuen Namen: Sideritis. Sideritis ist der Familienname. Aber: Ist Bergtee die Sideritis Scardia ? 

Wenn Sie jetzt denken, dass die Pflanzenfamilie Sideritis griechisch bzw. türkisch ist, dann liegen sie falsch! Der Bergtee ist ein Tee aus dem Mittelmeerraum. Weder griechisch, noch türkisch oder spanisch etc.

Sideritis ist in Süd-Europa und Anatolien verbreitet. Es gibt etwa 100 Arten, davon 43 in der Türkei und 45 in Spanien. Also die beiden Länder sind die Zentren mit einer Vielfaltigkeit. Viele von diesen Sideritis Arten sind endemisch. 

Wir schneiden den Bergtee nicht -wir bieten keine Schnittware-. Die Identität bleibt bei unseren Produkten erhalten; als ganze Pflanze verpackt in durchsichtigen Verpackungen. Wir wissen, dass wir damit die Grenzen der Verbraucher arg in Anspruch nehmen. Es ist ungewöhnlich in einer Zeit, wo der Tee zunehmend im Beutel angeboten wird. Wir tun das nicht. Wir liefern die Pflanzen in durchsichtigen Päckchen mit vielen Farben und Formen.


 

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