The popularity of the herbs and other natural plants is continuously increases. This is not a first time happening, since many of them have been discovered by our antecedents back in the very old times.

It’s always good to know how some things are and how they started in the very old days.

tea

Chamomile is an age-old herb known in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome and it was extremely popular throughout the Middle Ages where people were using it as a remedy.

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Chamomile

According to hieroglyphic records, ancient Egyptians were the first who used chamomile. They used it first for cosmetic reasons for at least 2.000 years. They ended up to devote chamomile to the sun and worshiped for its healing properties.

The word chamomile comes from the ancient Greek word “chamaimilon” which means “apple on the ground” because the aroma of its blossom t is very much alike with the aroma of apple blossom. Hippocrates (460 BC – 377 BC) and Dioscorides (40 AC – 90 AC) have extensively mentioned chamomile’s properties in their writings.

Roman Chamomile was found by a botanist who found it growing in the Coliseum and it was brought back most probably from Britain around the 16th century. Like ancient Greeks, ancient Romans were using chamomile for medical use. German Chamomile has been in use since the 1st century BC at least.

Since ancient times the Scandinavian people and the Germans had devoted chamomile in Balntour god, the same day that celebrated the Saint John the Baptist. As per the anglo-saxon manuscript «Lacnunga», chamomile was described as one of the «nine sacred herbs».

tea

Lemon Verbena was originated in Argentina and Chile, and was first brought to Europe by the Spanish in the 17th Century although there are earlier reports of the plant in France, Greece and North Africa.

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Lemon Verbana

The first European botanist who publicly study lemon verbena was the French Philibert Commerson in Buenos Aires around 1767. Lemon verbena seems to have been introduced to Britain for cultivation by the professor for Botany John Sibthorpe, and about the same time, around 1797, lemon verbena was in greenhouses around London. Its popularity as essential in a fragrant bouquet increased through the following century. In Europe, lemon verbena was initially used as strange ornamental plant in gardens of monasteries and palaces. The famous

actress Laura Ingalls (the little house on the prairie) and mother of Scarlett O’Hara (Gone with the wind) said the verbena is their favorite perfume.

In Greek folklore, there was a perception that in order to attract a suitor an unmarried girl was putting a few drops of essential oil Lemon Verbena in her hand. This is called “the spell of love”.

The same plant in colder regions sheds its leaves and is deciduous, while in warm regions retains its leaves throughout the year.

Like Sideritis (mountain tea), Lemon Verbena consider tonic drink yet offers peaceful sleep without tension and stress.

tea

Τhe miraculous properties of «Sideritis» are referred extensively in the very old days by Hippocrates and later Theophrastus and Dioscorides.

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Mountain tea

The name «mountain tea» or otherwise «Sideritis» comes from the Greek word iron due to its capacity to treat and heals injuries by iron weapons of those times effectively. In Crete, the mountain tea was called «malotira» because during the Venetian times it was considered the panacea for respiratory diseases.

In the mountainous regions of central Greece there were local celebrations for the commencement of the harvesting of Sideritis. By the end of the Second World War, many residents of the highlands moved to large urban centers and thus the widespread dissemination of herb began. In the mid-60s began the systematic production process of Sideritis with the contribution of Greek scientists and botanists.

tea

The Sage is known from ancient times for its multi-purposes and therapist abilities. The most famous ancient reference to Sage indicated in fresco at Knossos about 1400 BC.

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Sage

Ipokratis, Dioscourides and Galen mention it in their writings as the plant of immortality, an opinion that Arabs were strongly supported as they believed that Sage could cure everything.

The French call it “Greek Coffee” and use it, like the rest of European countries, for both, cooking and for its medicinal properties. It belongs to the genus Salvia plants derived from Latin “salvere” which means “health.”

In the Middle Ages, Sage was called «salvatrix» (Sage savior) and was one of the five ingredients that “evict” the plague. It is reported that during the epidemic of plague in Toulouse in 1630, thieves looted the corpses without getting themselves sick. At the trial that followed, after their arrest, they exchanged their lives with the secret of their immunization, which was an ointment made by sage, thyme, lavender and rosemary. About a century later, others thieves imitated them adding garlic in to the ointment, which became known as the “oil of four thieves» (Four thieves Vinegar) and it was preventively used in other epidemics of infectious disease.

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Αccording to mythology Saturn was transformed into a horse in order his wife Rhea not recognize him while he was in love with nymph Philyra.

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Linden

From this love, Philyra gave birth Centaur Chiron who is one of the educators of heroes of Greek mythology. The desperate nymph who gave birth to an anthropomorphic

“monster” asked the gods to transform her into a tree. The prayer has been heard and transformed in linden.

The official reference of linden begins in the 18th century and during the Second World War it was used in bread production.

tea

Mint derives its name from the ancient Greek mythical character Minthe. According to Greek myth, Minthe was a river nymph. Hades, the God of the Underworld, fell in love with Minthe and when Persephone.

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Spearmint

Hades’s wife, found out, she turned Minthe into a plant, so that everyone would walk all over her and crush her. Unable to undo the spell, Hades gave Minthe a magnificent aroma so that he could smell her and be near her when people trod on her.

Native to Europe, spearmint is referred to in the Bible as a tithe offering by the Pharisees. Ancient Greeks used to clean their banqueting tables with the herb and added it to their baths to stimulate their bodies, whilst Romans used it in sauces, as an aid to digestion and as a mouth freshener. Romans cultivated spearmint and introduced it to the English during their conquests.

tea

The story of this beverage began in 2737 BC, during the reign of Emperor Chen Nung, referred to as the divine healer. The discoveries of the medical properties of many herbs are ascribed to him. One day as the Emperor was boiling some water in order to purify it, a few leaves from a near by tea plant dropped into the imperial saucepan, giving it a delightful scent and flavour.

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Shen Nung is reported to have said that “tea is better than wine, for it leaded not to intoxication, neither does it cause a man to say foolish things and repent thereafter in his sober moments. It is better than water, for it does not carry disease; neither does it act as poison, as water does when wells contain foul and rotten matter.”

The Greeks called it Taprobane. Arab travellers named it Serendib. Portuguese who arrived in the island in 1505 A. D. called it Ceilao. The Dutch christened it as Ceylan, and the British finally titled it Ceylon

Colombo is the largest auction centre in the world handling about five million kilos weekly.

“Ceylon Tea” however is not a single product, but a range of them of great diversity.