Mountain Treasures from Zagori in Ioannina, Greece
Organic Herbs and Teas from the Grand Canyon of Europe
Mountain Treasures is a family farm that grows herbs, like Organic Oregano and Organic Sage, in the Zagori region of Western Greece. At an altitude of at around 1,000 meters next to the Vikos canyon which is the biggest gorge of Europe, a region within Geopark of Vikos-Aoos, which belongs to the UNESCO World Geopark.
The unique microclimate, the high altitude and the purity of nature combined produce a vast number of unique quality products with the Organic Mountain Teas being the best in Greece. Pesticides and chemical fertilisers have never been used in Zagori. The richness of the fauna in the mountains is admirable, the clear waters, and the climatic conditions are particularly favourable for the growth of aromatic plants and herbs. In the area you can find over 600 species of aromatic plants and herbs that grow on the mountain slopes and in the Vikos canyon. Today the area of Zagori is considered to be the best herb gardens in the whole of Mediterranean.
Our organic mountain farm
Mountain Treasures is a small family business which, since 2015, has been growing Oregano (Oregano hirtum) and mountain tea (Sideritis raeseri) organically. We have chosen the name "Mountain Treasures" to reflect our endeavours to cultivate herbs high up in the Greek mountains and to bring their hidden aromas to you.
"Our heritage is high in the mountains, where steep rocky cliffs and crystal clear streams create the secrets of good life… " Nikolas Bournakas, founder and local resident.
At our farm all our efforts are focused on cultivating herbs under conditions identical to these of wild-growing herbs on the tops of the Greek Mountains, while ensuring close monitoring and protection from external infections by humans or animals. We only use natural cultivation methods, without fertilisers, artificial irrigation, and pesticides. Care of plants and harvesting is done by hand and we dry our herbs naturally to keep all their valuable ingredients. Our farm and packaging factory are certified Organic by the Organisation for Control (Inspection) and Certification of Organic Products DIO. Mountain Treasures products have won numerous awards for both taste and quality by Great Taste Awards in London, EU Bio Award certifications and so many others.
Throughout our organic production process from cropping to drying and packaging, we are proud of the fact that at the Mountain Treasures you will find the best herbs offered by the mountains anywhere in the Mediterranean, with the addition of our two brand new Mountain Tea Blends with Lemon Verbena and Wild Greek Mint. All Mountain Treasures products have certifications for both taste and quality and they’re highly regarded as the best in Greece.
The original Herbalists of Greece
The natural wealth and the top-quality produce of the area has been very well known for a very long time and utilised by the renowned Greek practitioners called Viko-Doctors. These Herbalists were aware of the herbs and their healing properties and used them in secret recipes to cure many diseases well before professional medicine as we know it today.
These empirical doctors of Zagori drew their knowledge from the observation and experience of their predecessors. Tradition says that it was a closed group and that knowledge was passed on only to those who were ready for it. They themselves used their own sign language and all the knowledge, the substances they used and the way they were made were all secret. Their recipes were transmitted from one to the other only orally and therefore there are no texts that reveal their knowledge to us.Today most of the knowledge of Viko-Doctors has been lost, but science with new research comes to rediscover the unique properties of the mountain tea of Zagori.
In an article from the National Library of Medicine in the United States the medicinal properties of Zagori herbs and specifically Mountain Tea were highly praised: “Due to the growing problem of obesity associated with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, causes of obesity are extensively investigated. In addition to a high caloric diet and low physical activity, gut microbiota disturbance may have a potential impact on excessive weight gain... Sideritis (Greek mountain tea) is traditionally consumed as mountain tea in the Balkans to strengthen the body and improve mood. Many reports indicate a positive effect on digestive system, weight loss, and prevention of insulin resistance. Additionally, it exhibits antioxidant activity and anti-inflammatory effects. The positive effect of Sideritis extracts on memory and general cognitive abilities is indicated as well. The multilevel positive effect on the body appears to originate from the abundant occurrence of phenolic compounds, especially phenolic acids in Sideritis (mountain tea) extracts…”
You can read more information on the health benefits of drinking mountain tea daily here.