Sideritis scardica

Sideritis scardica

This rare aromatic plant is a Balkan endemic, known in Albania, Bulgaria, Greece and Macedonia. In Bulgaria it grows in a few places in Central Rodopi Mts, Southern Pirin Mt and Slavyanka Mt, where it inhabits calcareous rocky places and flowers from June to August. The plant is used to make herbal tea, which in Bulgaria is called Mursalski or Pirinski tea. For a long time it has been used by the local people to treat various illnesses. The ongoing research had confirmed its medicinal properties, including antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, healing and anti-inflamatory activities. It is often rumored that it is potent aphrodisiac and is often called the Bulgarian Viagra. There is no evidence so far that the plant possesses such properties and this seem to be more sellers trick, than true. In the past the plant has been widely collected from nature, which led to the decline of its population, due to which it is nowadays protected by the law and included in the Bulgarian Red Data Book. Nowadays it is widely cultivated and it is very likely that when visiting the Rodopi Mts, you will be offered to taste herbal tea made of it.

© Boris Assyov

© Boris Assyov