Since the Antiquities Greek shepherds have been gathering wild mountain herb sideritis scardica, the mighty prowess of which is now confirmed by modern science. Each delicate, zesty-fresh cup boosts the memory, raises the spirits and battles bacteria, with hints of anise to boot.
Mountain tea or shepherd's tea, as this fragrant infusion is known in Turkey and Greece, has earned its place as a traditional cure-all across the Mediterranean, where it is commonly served with honey. A milder cousin of the common sage, this intrepid herb, native to craggy cliffs braved only by nimble mountain goats, boasts a wealth of restorative and healing properties known since antiquity. Its botanical name, sideritis, or "he who has iron," alludes to its use by Nero's military doctor to treat wounds inflicted by metal weapons. Modern medicine has added mood and memory-enhancing qualities to its list of accolades – and let's not forget its delightful aroma of subtle anise, either.