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Greek Mountain Tea


Definition: This hard-to-find item is a reputedly tonic tea for many complaints, and some recent studies seem to indicate it is more than just folklore. I love to find it growing wild on the hillsides of Crete, but if you can't make it there to pick your own, keep an eye out for it in cellophane packages.

At tourist shops it's expensive; look for it in crammed little markets instead. It has a pleasant flavor and an aroma that will remind you of the wild Greek hillsides. Break a few sticks into 8 oz of water, bring to a boil and then simmer until it is a honey-gold color. Drink plain or with honey.

Some Greek grocery stores even offer it in inexpensive tea bag form - while I prefer the whole sticks of the herb, the tea bags will do in a pinch and they are easy to transport.

Also Known As: sideritis or tilio
Common Misspellings: Sometimes called tilia, but that is a different plant.
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