Mountain tea is the tea of the mountain of Crete, the endemic plant that grows only in its mountains, the White Mountains and Psiloritis, at an altitude of 800 to 2000 meters near places where marjoram grows.
Mountain tea, a perennial evergreen plant that botanically belongs to the genus Sideritis, reaches a height of 70 cm, with the botanical name Sideritis syriaca has an upright woody stem and has lanceolate fluffy leaves and small yellow flowers.
Mountain tea was traditionally a morning drink for the inhabitants of Western Crete and a medicinal herb against colds, stomach and respiratory diseases. After all, its name, "maletira", comes from combining the Italian words male (disease) and tirare (crawl) in order to indicate its special medicinal properties.
Modern scientific research has confirmed the Cretans' beliefs about malotira. In particular, it revealed the presence, both in the plant and in the decoction, of valuable flavonoids with significant pharmacodynamic action in stimulating heart function, reducing blood pressure, diuresis and protection against colds. In addition, a number of substances with antimicrobial medicinal properties have been identified in maloteri essential oil.