Dittany of Crete (Origanum dictamnus) is an aromatic and medicinal plant, endemic in Crete, that grows wild only on the mountainsides and gorges of the island.
This small, lanate shrub is easily recognised by the distinctive soft, woolly covering of white-grey hair on its stems and round green leaves, giving it a velvety texture. Tiny rose-pink flowers surrounded by brighter purple-pink bracts add an exuberant splash of colour to the plant in summer and autumn.
Dittany of Crete is classified as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Plant Species 1997.
Traditionally it's cultivated only in some areas of the island where the wheather conditions and the soil's quality are in perfect balance for the re-ocurence of the plants.
In Crete, it is widely used for food flavouring and medicinal purposes and all around Europe is used to make herbal tea, as an ingredient to liquers and vermouths and in cosmetics for use in natural beauty products.
The primary ingredients of its essential oil were found to be carvacrol, β-phellandrene and p-cymene.
Dittany has a spicy and slightly bitter taste with a strong and pungent aroma of Mediterranean oregano that dominates and characterizes the profile of this unique aromatic plant.
- Non Alcoholic beverages
- Very aromatic
- Characteristic taste