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Special Elements Of Cretan Flora

Malotira

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.

Marjoram

Marjoram flowers during the months of july and august and is collected at the same time.It is used in pharmacy, cooking and perfumology.It has similar properties with thyme and it has been used from antiquity in many nervous conditions, ideal for the cure of common cold. It is served as “vrastari” the hot drink mixed with some malotira.

Sage

One of the most popular herbs of Crete with excellent scent.It flowers during May and June and it has blueish purple flowers. Known from antiquity for its revitalizing properties and in cooking to offer scent in several plates especially meat based.

Dictamus

Dictamus is an endemic herb of Creta, also known as "Erontas" or "Stomach-Herb". Known from ancient times, it was used as a Haemostatic and wound healing medicine. Its stomach healing power and wound healing capabilities are mentioned by Hippocrates. It is rumored that when wild animals get injured, they rub their wound on the plant and heal faster. It only grows on secluded slopes and cliffs, making its harvest dangerous. It flowers and get harvested during the months of summer. Nowdays, we mainly use it as a drink, but it is also used for alcohol manufacture.

Oregano

The known to everyone oregano flowers and is collected during June and July. Its fowers are white with a scent of pepper.We meet oregano in rocky and sunny landscapes.In beekeeping it is considered to be of great importance along with thyme.It is one of the most important spice types of the Mediterranean cuisine and is broadly used in fish , meat and vegetables. In the older times, the collection of it was a great source of income for many farmers. Its healing properties are well known from the ancient years as it can be used to facilitate the appetite, as an antiseptic, to soothe the toothaches, stomachaches.Also its essential oil is broadly used in perfumology.

Thyme

It flowers in June and July and has blue flowers.On Crete, we can also find the white thyme.Both species are very important in beekeeping.The thyme honey is considered to be the finest. Thyme has antiseptic,diuretic,antiparasetic and antipyretic properties.The essential oil it has can be used as a toothpaste.In cooking it can be used as a spice.

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