Asian J Agric & Biol. 2019;7(2):289-299.

Cultivation and utilization of “Greek mountain tea” (Sideritis spp.): current knowledge and future challenges

Alexandra D. Solomou1*, Elpiniki Skoufogianni2, Christos Mylonas2, Rafailia Germani2, Nicholaos G. Danalatos2

1Institute of Mediterranean and Forest Ecosystems, Hellenic Agricultural Organization “Demeter”, N. Chlorou 1, 11528, Ilisia, Athens, Greece

2Laboratory of Agronomy and Applied Crop Physiology, Department of Agriculture, Crop Production and Rural Environment, University of Thessaly, Fytokou Str., 38446, N. Ionia, Magnesia, Volos, Greece

Abstract

The Greek ecosystems consist of a variety of plant species, of which a large percentage have aromatic and medicinal properties. Aromatic and medicinal plants play an important role in the health of people worldwide, especially in developing countries. The present review focuses on Sideritis spp. that is an important plant with an increased attention in the last years for its wide range of uses and especially due to its medicinal properties. The location and conditions of the areas that can be used for its cultivation should be similar to those of its natural habitat in order to keep the product quality. It is important to mention that both the yield and the lifetime of the crop depend to a large extent on cultivation care. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that Sideritis spp. fetch an auspicious potential for improvement of memory in healthy adults as well as in dementia patients. Currently, the demand for these plants and their derivatives has increased because they are natural, eco-friendly and generally recognized as safe products with high economic value. Therefore, it comprises an important commodity for extensive cultivation in Greece in the near future. Hence, this emphasizes the need of extensive study for reporting the additional information on the aromatic and medicinal importance of Sideritis spp.

Keywords: Cultivated practices, Ecology, Diversity, Compounds, Essential oil, Sideritis