It is a genus of the family Lamiaceae which consists of 16 different species in the mountains of Greece, with the best known being Sideritis raeseri Boiss. & Heldr. (all over Greece), Sideritis scardica Griseb (in the mountains of Northern Greece up to Olympus and Pelion), Sideritis clandestina (Bory & Chaub.) Hayek (in Peloponnese). These are known as mountain tea as they are consumed as hot drinks. They are annual or perennial plants, native to Greece, which are cultivated to meet the great commercial demand. The flowering shoots contain a little essential oil rich in α-pinene and other mono- and sesquiterpenes, while the main components of its extracts are phenolic acids, flavonoids, diterpenes and triterpenes. On the basis of traditional uses, the European Medicines Agency has approved the marketing of various types of Sideritis (a dry, herbal remedy for coughs and colds) as herbal remedies for coughs and colds, mild stomach and gastrointestinal infections: www.ema.europa.eu/en/medicines/herbal/sideritis-herba).
Preclinical and clinical studies show its anxiolytic action, while preclinical studies also show its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, gastroprotective and chemoprotective activity. More information can be found in the following scientific articles.
Żyżelewicz D, Kulbat-Warycha K, Oracz J, Żyżelewicz K. Polyphenols and Other Bioactive Compounds of Sideritis Plants and Their Potential Biological Activity. Molecules. 2020; 25(16):3763. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25163763
Lall N, Chrysargyris A, Lambrechts I, Fibrich B, Blom Van Staden A, Twilley D, de Canha MN, Oosthuizen CB, Bodiba D, Tzortzakis N. Sideritis Perfoliata (Subsp. Perfoliata) Nutritive Value and Its Potential Medicinal Properties. Antioxidants. 2019; 8(11):521. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox8110521
Heiner F, Feistel B, Wink M. Sideritis scardica extracts inhibit aggregation and toxicity of amyloid-β in Caenorhabditis elegans used as a model for Alzheimer’s disease. PeerJ. 2018 ; 6:e4683. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.4683
Wightman EL, Jackson PA, Khan J, Forster J, Heiner F, Feistel B, Suarez CG, Pischel I, Kennedy DO. The Acute and Chronic Cognitive and Cerebral Blood Flow Effects of a Sideritis scardica (Greek Mountain Tea) Extract: A Double Blind, Randomized, Placebo Controlled, Parallel Groups Study in Healthy Humans. Nutrients. 2018; 10(8):955. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10080955