Mountain tea, also known as sideritis, ironwort or shepherd's tea, is a very popular plant in Greece, well known for its use as a herbal tea. Mountain tea is known scientifically to be anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. It has been traditionally used to aid digestion, strengthen the immune system and suppress common cold. Recent research studies indicate a positive effect on the Alzheimer disease.
Botanicals like herbs, flowers, berries and greens in Ikaria, are greatly appreciated and -as well as honey, have been part of the Ikarians daily diet for years. They are mostly grown and collected in the wild. A recent study (PhD thesis) from the agricultural school of the university of Athens, has shown that some species of the aromatic and medicinal plant material originated from Ikaria, have a significant greater value in their properties than others species of the same family, in the rest of the Mediterranean.