Malotira (sideritis syriaca), known as mountain tea or kalokimithia is a herbaceous plant or bush of around 10-50 cm that someone can find at the higher altitudes of Crete and its name syriaca comes from possible confusion of the herbologist that named after it ( instead of naming it cretica).
The leafs are small and fluffy , while during summer it shapes ear plants with yellow flowers. Malotira , unfortunately, has dramatically decreased from the mountains especially due to overgrazing and its overcollection. Some assume that this decrease has been aligned with the destruction of Chernobyl. As a result, the amazing malotira honey that was once produced by it until the 80s is no longer produced.
The venetians seem to have discovered its use against the colds, the digestive and respiratory system. According to one school of thought, the name maletira comes from the Italian words “male” ( sickness) and “tirare” ( pull away), expressing the healing properties of the precious herb.Alternatively,it is supposed to derive from the word “mallotos” that means hairy due to her hairy-fluffy leafs.