Dittany (Origanum dictamnus) or Dittany of Crete, is a member of the mint family. It is a healing, therapeutic and aromatic plant that only grows wild on the mountainsides and gorges of the Greek island of Crete. Today, the wild, naturally grown dittany of Crete is classed as "rare" and is protected by European law so it does not become extinct. Cultivation of the herb centres on Embaros and the surrounding villages, south of Heraklion. It is used to make herbal tea and for use in natural beauty products. In Ancient Greece Hippocrates prescribed Dittany of Crete for stomach aches and complaints of the digestive system and as a poultice for healing wounds.
For tasting, 2.8 grams of dittany was steeped in 140ml water at 100⁰C in a half size tasting mug for five minutes.
Dry appearance: very light, soft, hairy leaf and flower bud pieces, pale green and silver in colour
Infusion – aroma: herby aroma with distinct sage-like dittany character
Liquor – visual: clear, deep yellow orange
Liquor – taste: surprisingly sweet for a straight herb, nicely rounded dittany flavour with hints of sage and peppermint.
Summary: a very soothing herbal tea with an impressive history, being produced by a few artisanal farmers on the island of Crete.