Olea Estates is intoducing herbs from Mount Parnon, overlooking our olive tree fields. Parnon is a mountain in the southern part of Peloponnese, Greece, at the bottom of which lie our olive groves. In the ancient world it was called "Kronion Mountain" after the great Titan Kronos, according to Greek Mythology. Mount Parnon covers two million acres and its highest peak is at 6,350 feet. About 85% of Parnon is forest land and pastures and the remaining 15% is cultivated for agriculture. The climate is mild during winter months. It is predominately covered a soil, not rocky mountain, with rich flora, where the rarest of herbs thrive, many of which are used for medicinal purposes. Asclepius, the famous ancient Greek God of medicine, healing and physicians with the serpent-entwined staff, which is still the symbol of medicine today, is said to have collected herbs from this mountain to produce his medicine.
Our herbs are hand picked from Mount Parnon, cultivated with organic methods, certified organic, and naturally dried.
Stored best in a dry, dark and cool environment.
Greek Mountain Tea (Sideritis sp.)
Greek mountain tea (also known as ironwort or shepherd's tea), is a herbal tea, naturally caffeine free, that has been consumed for its healthy benefits for years. Research studies have shown to have anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-spasmodic properties. It is rich in a number of natural antioxidants, including flavonoids, and also contains essential oils (source: Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, European Journal of Nutrition, Journal of Medicinal Food).
Uses: Back home, during cool winter days we remember waking up to the aroma of wild mountain tea boiling on the stove. To experience the full flavor of our delicious tea, boil and strain or simply add hot water and enjoy!
Wild Greek Oregano (Oreganum sp.)
The word oregano has Greek roots as it comes from the Greek words oros (gr. mountain) and ganos (gr. joy). Oregano has been used for centuries in culinary recipes, but has several important medicinal properties as well.
Wild Olea Greek oregano is definitely NOT the same as the type found in grocery stores. It is amazingly fresh and aromatic with a peppery, zesty, lemony flavor, vibrantly green and pungent. It is grown at high altitude on mount Parnon free of pollution, where the soil is mineral rich. Furthermore, it has an abundance of antioxidants, plus potent antiseptic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and carminative (digestive) properties. It also contains vitamins E and K, fiber, iron, manganese, tryptophan, and omega-3 fatty acids (source: Journal of Agricultural Chemistry, PLOS ONE, Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database).
Uses: Try sprinkling our oregano on your salads or pizza. Add it in marinades to enhance the flavor of your vegetables, fish, and meat. Or simply combine it with our Olea Gold for dipping warm toasted bread. This is a favorite snack of the Chronis family!
Wild Thyme (Thymus sp.)
Thyme has been used since ancient times for its culinary, aromatic and medicinal properties.
Hippocrates (460 BC - 370 BC), known today as "the father of Western medicine", mentioned the prevalence of thyme as a culinary herb, grown in gardens and gathered in the countryside. In his documented Hippocratic Corpus (a collection of around 60 early Ancient Greek medical works), he mentioned thyme's therapeutic uses in treating respiratory diseases and conditions.
The volatile essential oils in thyme are packed with anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-rheumatic, anti-parasitic and anti-fungal properties, which explains why thyme-based formulas are used as an expectorant, diuretic, fungicide and antibiotic (source: Natular Product Communications, Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, International Journal of Food Microbiology).
Uses: enhance the taste of your pork, lamb, duck or goose. Excellent spice for cajun and creole cooking, and an essential ingredient for caribbean jerk seasoning.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus sp.)
Rosemary is used as a culinary condiment, to make perfumes, and for its potential health benefits. It contains antibacterial and antioxidant rosmarinic acid, plus several essential oils such as cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate, and α-pinene that are known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties (source: Bioscience Biotechnology and Biochemistry, Phytomedicine, Journal of Experimental Biology).
Uses: Olive oil dipping (try it with our Olea Gold), mix with Greek yogurt for creamy sandwich spread, chicken and steak marinade, springle on roasted or grilled veggies.
Bay Leaves (Laurus sp.)
In Greek mythology Daphne (gr. bay) was a nymph and daughter of river Pinios and Gaia (earth). God Apollo fell in love with Daphne and was chasing her constantly. Daphne ran to her mother Gaia for protection and Gaia transformed Daphne into a shrub. Apollo, dissapointed, cut a branch of the shrub and wore it as a crown. Since then, bay is considered a sacred plant and worn by figures of authority such as Roman Emperors and champions in sports.
Uses: Bay leaves were used for flavoring by the ancient Greeks. Combined with thyme, this seasoning is excellent for marinades, soups, stews and sauces.
Savory (Satureja sp.)
Delicate, pleasantly aromatic, savory is one of the popular culinary herbs widely employed in the Mediterranean cuisine. At Olea we use savory in the lemon juice brine of our green cracked olives.
Savory leaves contain many essential volatile-oil phenols such as thymol (an antiseptic and anti-fungal compound) and carvacrol (a bacterial growth inhibitor), and is an excellent source of minerals and vitamins (B-complex group, vitamin-A, vitamin-C, niacin, thiamin and pyridoxine) that are essential for optimum health (source: USDA Natural Nutrient Database).
Uses: excellent bruschetta topping, spice mix for chicken, basal spice for pasta meat sauce, lemon butter sauce, beef or chicken soup & stews, marinade for fish and game.
Lemon Balm (Melissa sp.)
Lemon balm is often used as flavoring in herbal teas. In combination with our mountain tea, it provides an excellent citrus aroma and flavor, along with its health benefits. Furthermore, it may be used in fish dishes and is the key ingredient for lemon balm pesto.
Its health benefits include antioxidant, antiflammatory and antibacterial action and acts as an anti-stress agent (source: Nutrients, Natural Product Research, Methods of Molecular Biology).
Uses: soothing tea (combined with our wild mountain tea provides an excellent drink for winter and summer), added to smoothies and bring a citrus flavor, roasted chicken spice, simple syrup, fruit salads, infused honey, infused vinegar, muffins & scones.
Balsam Wort (Hypericum sp.)
Balsam wort or St. John’s wort has become very popular lately as a possible cure-all herbal for a wide swath of conditions. It has been used in the ancient world for skin infections, antiflamattory agent and for boosting the immune system and it contiuous to be used for such purposes today.
Uses: Balsam wort is best used in the balsam oil from, which can easily be produced at home. Sterilize a dark container by sumberging in boiling water for 5 mins and let it dry. Fill the container with balsam wort and cover it in organic extra virgin olive oil (Olea Gold is the best olive oil for the production of balsam oil, and it is available on our online store). Seal the container and let it sit in the sun for 30 days. It is critical to use extra virgin olive oil of high quality with low acidity, so that exposure to sunlight will not increase the acidity to high levels. Shake the container every two days to mix the balsam with the olive oil. After the incubation time, we strain the mixture into another dark color container and we store in a dry/cool environment.
Balsam oil has a dark red color from the balsam wort’s principal active constituent, hypericin. Hypericin is a naphthodianthrone, with well documented antiseptic, antibacterial, antiflammatory and antidepressant pharmacological activity (source: Journal of Nervous Mental Disease, Pharmacy History, Phytomedicine, Protocol Journal of Botanical Medicine).
Greek BBQ Mix (oregano, thyme, rosemary)
This mix is an experience of the Mediterranean cuisine.
Uses: with its unique combination of aroma and flavor, it will enhance your marinades, meat, vegetables or fish!
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