Herbs used by the Greeks Posted by on Aug 14, 2019 in Culture, Vocabulary

If you visit Greece, you should try, at least once, a herbal tea and if you can, bring some herbs (βότανα) back home. Hippocrates (Ιπποκράτης), the father of medicine, studied the benefits of more than 250 herbs. in In this post, we will see a list of herbs, most of which are found in every Greek house.

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ο βασιλικός: basil
We use it in sauces or to season salads. It also works as a mosquito repellent.

η ρίγανη: oregano

το θυμάρι: thyme

Ρίγανη and θυμάρι can be used interchangeably. We use them in salads and sauces. Ρίγανη is always used to season a Greek salad.

το δεντρολίβανο: rosemary
It is used in some sauces or on roast meat.

η λεβάντα: lavender
It is used in homemade cosmetics and air fresheners and to protect the clothes from moth (σκόρος).

το χαμομήλι: chamomile
A chamomile tea with honey is the best grandmother’s remedy for a sore throat.It also helps to relax and it relieves menstrual cramps.

το τσάι του βουνού: iron wort (literally: mountain tea)
We drink it when we have stomach problems. It also relieves cold symptoms. We drink it hot or cold and it is very tasty if we add honey and cinnamon.

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η ματζουράνα: marjoram
It is used in cooking. Many people grow it in flowerpots because it gives off a very pleasant scent.

ο κρόκος Κοζάνης: saffron crocus
We use it in cooking and to prepare herbal teas, along with other herbs.

το φασκόμηλο: sage
It is effective against mouth infections and is very good for the skin. We also use it in cooking.

το τίλιο: linden
Linden tea helps us relax.

ο δυόσμος: spearmint
We use it in cooking. It is also helps in stomach and lung problems and it freshens the breath.

η λουίζα: verbena
It helps in infections, insomnia problems and  symptoms of cold. It is also effective if we try to lose weight.

η δάφνη: bay
It is used in cooking.

η τσουκνίδα: nettle
It relieves joint pains.

Remember: One must be very cautious when consuming herbs. Make sure that you are not allergic. When you make a herbal tea, do not let the herbs pour in boiling water for a long time. If you are on medication, ask your physician if it is safe to drink herbal teas or to use essential oils.

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About the Author: Ourania

Ourania lives in Athens. She holds a degree in French Literature and a Master’s degree in Special Education for Children. Since 2008, she has been teaching Greek to foreigners.


  1. Bart:

    Love your articles – always waiting for the newest! Just saw one maybe spelling error (according to my dictionary). Isn’t it “μαντζουράνα” instead of “ματζουράνα”, or can both be used

    • Ourania:

      @Bart Thank you for your comment! Yes, we spell it both ways.

  2. Κυριάκος ο Άγγλος:

    Αλίμονο! Που είναι το αγαπημένο μου τον άνηθο;

    • Ourania:

      @Κυριάκος ο Άγγλος Μου αρέσει και εμένα ο άνηθος, ειδικά σε σάλτσα αυγολέμονο 🙂
      The herbs listed here are known for their therapeutic effects and can be used to make herbal tea. Άνηθος is mostly used to flavour food, that’s why it is not included.

  3. durgawati:

    Thanks for valuable sharing information . keep up the good work