Aromatic Herbs - Botanical of Crete

The herbs are a great tradition in Crete. Botanical studies reveal that the island has one of the richest and most interesting ecosystems in Europe, with a large number of endemic plants, plants that are native only in Crete, such as mountain teas (siderites syrioca) and dittany (origanum diktamus L. ) kingdom of endemic flora of Crete, known since antiquity for its antiseptic properties. Crete today, offers a variety of herbs that have been used since ancient times to today as medicinal plants. There are many texts of ancient writers attribute to exceptional healing herbs. The surprising Cretan herb, grow in the steep mountains of the island and collected from experienced collectors to dry under natural conditions and bring in modern packaging, without any chemical or other treatment.

Aromatic Herbs of Crete

Dittany or (Dittany) (Origanum dictamnus)

Endemic herb of Crete called Dittany. Known since ancient times, it was used as a hemostatic and for healing wounds. The healing properties mentioned by Hippocrates. It is said that when the injured wild animals rub the wounds on the plant and it heals quickly. Only grows on steep slopes and cliffs, so the collection is dangerous. Blooms and harvested during the summer months. Today the drink as a drink but mainly used for the manufacture of beverages.

Sage (Salvia fruticosa)

Sage is one of the most popular herbs of Crete with excellent flavor. It flowers in May and June busting purple - blue flowers. Known for his tonic properties. Used in cooking, mainly meat.

Marjoram (Origanum)

It blooms on July and August and collected in the same period. Used in pharmaceutical, cooking and perfumery. It has similar properties with thyme and from ancient times it was used in many cases of nerve disorders, ideal for the treatment of colds. Often served as hot drink with malotira.

Malotira (Sideritis syriaca)

One of the mountain teas, known throughout Greece. It grows in dry and barren places around the mountain and is an important fodder plant particularly in Lefka Ori (White Mountains). Collected on July, during the period of flowering. In ancient times the name sideritis stated in general healing ability wounds caused by metal objects. Malotira The word comes from the Venetian period in Crete. The decoction is used as a diuretic and against colds.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare ssp hirtum)

The well known to all and oregano blooms collected in June and July. The flowers are white with a sweet spicy scent. Is found in stony and sunny places. In beekeeping is particularly important plant with thyme. It is an essential aromatic Mediterranean cuisine to grilled, fish and meats. Previously, the collection was an important income for the rural population. Since ancient times known are the medicinal properties of oregano. Used as an appetizer, antiseptic, soothing to toothaches and stomach and essential oil is widely used in perfumery

Thyme (Coridothymus capitatus)

It flowers in June and July and has blue flowers. In Crete and find asprothymo. Both species are important bee plants. Thyme honey is considered the finest. Thyme has antiseptic, diuretic, anti - parasitic and anti - pyretic properties. The essential oil is used among others in toothpaste. In cooking used as a flavoring.

Savory (Satureja thymbra)

Medicinal plants and beekeeping. It flowers during the months of June and August. The odor resembles that of thyme and oregano.Stimulates the appetite depressant and acts in rheumatism. Used in cooking. In dry and arid parts of the mountains of Crete and in the forests and gorges abound still too many herbs and herbs such as fennel, agkisaros, lavender, kafkalithra the balm etc. But the gardens and courtyards are filled with basil, mint, rosemary, parsley, dill, lemon verbena and many other plants that have always been the real flavor of Crete.

Chamomile (Marticaria chamomila)

Collected between April and June while apoxerainetai and used throughout the year. Crete is everywhere especially in fallow sites.Characterized as anti - inflammatory, anti - allergic, soothing and antiseptic use excellent quality. Eat hot as usual decoction combined with other Cretan herbs, combining perfect relaxation and combating insomnia.

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

The bloom is June to August and collect the same period and is considered one of the most important herbs. It is indigestion, nerve disorders and insomnia. Aromatic usually use it in ice cream in sauces and salads mostly because the smell is very strong and gives a special flavor to the tasty salad.

Lime (tilia cordata mill)

It is aromatic – medicinal. The flowers are efstomacha, antitussives, emollients anticonvulsants, diuretics, expectorants antikatarroika, antipachyntika and diaphoretic. Blooms in June - July.

Laurel (Laurus nobilis)

Many do not know the properties and yet can not appreciate the usefulness of the bushy tree "laurel". Formerly used to strengthen the hair and the decoction was used to anoint States and in parts of the body, suffering from rheumatism or contusions muscles. It is very useful for indigestion and for the proper functioning of the stomach.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Formerly used as a drink in headaches as ideal for migraines. Considered by experts that frequent use is ideal hair loss on the scalp. Is antibacterial, antiseptic and very stimulant traffic, as well as insomnia.

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Used as a flavoring in Cretan dishes, as well as to flavor olive oil in combination either alone or with other herbs also fragrant.

Relieves migraines, headaches, from stomatitis, as well soothe cramps. Previously used for mashed the soothing action of scorpion sting, bite bee, or irritation from stinging nettle.

Honeysuckle (Lonicera)

What can we say about this ethereal flower with the intoxicating aroma and dazzlingly beautiful flower. The unique fragrance! That is why there is essential oil of honeysuckle. Usually used by the old naturalists for skin infections and insomnia.


Useful herb in medicine and suggest an anti-depression, exhaustion and insomnia. Considered one of the very good tonic of the nervous system through vitamins that contain so - called "tannin".

The lily "of the sea "(Pancratium maritimum)

The fragrant flowers of this plant, which is at risk from the Mediterranean coast due to tourism or other "growth", inspired by the beauty of the ancient artist who painted with excess art at Akrotiri on Santorini, as revealed after nearly 2,500 years, archaeologists . The plant multiplies and the "fries" that produces, but despite the proliferative ability of any victim of human activities on the coast, including moto - cross in the sand.

Wicker (Vitex agnuscastus)

Deciduous shrub with gray - green, compound, palmate, aromatic leaves and fragrant purple or white flowers in summer and early autumn.

In mythology, when Prometheus was freed from the Centaur Chiron put on his head a crown of twigs wicker to remember his chains were made of them and even says that Homer's Iliad that Achilles tied the sons of Priam with osier canes in the forests of Mount Ida.

Myrtle (Myrtus communis)

The myrtle with 'glaze' evergreen leaves trimmed with virtu - white flowers, was a source of inspiration for the ancient artist who constructed the gold myrtle wreath in the tomb at Vergina. The myrtle was dedicated to Venus Paphian when he came from the sea hid behind a bush so. The brides wore wreaths of myrtle. The leaves are filled with essential oil glands giving and smell the plant, the glands are seen against the light like holes.

Ladanies (cistus creticus)

The ladanies is an aromatic perennial shrub. It has beautiful pink and rarely white flowers and blooms from March through June. In Crete, depending on the area called Wildrose or agriofaskomilo. It is aromatic and medicinal plant. The stem and leaves contain aromatic balmy resin material, ladanies. This resin secreted by glandular hairs leaf and exhibits strong antimicrobial activity and especially antileukemic activity. The ladanies also has good results in insomnia, toothache and tetanus. With the fruit of the plant is made vrastari one that stops diarrhea and leaves an aromatic tea. Previously some bakers they put them in the oven to flavor the nuts, while in some parts of Crete, incense resin, censes the icons in churches. It has been used as an ointment in various skin diseases and in perfumery

Today resin, called by locals "Aladanos", collected in the same manner and "world exclusive" by the residents of the mountainous village of Sissi Rethymno Mylopotamou and exported to Arab countries where it is used as incense. The recent laboratory research has a lot of information on substances contained in the Aladanos and their properties, justifying their Mylopotamites who still use and cervical cancer.