Sunday, 10 June 2012

Dittany of crete flowers.


 Known locally as Δίκταμο Diktamo it is also used as anantiseptic and disinfectant for healing wounds, chewed to heal mouth and throat ailments and steeped in Tsikoudia (Raki) alcohol to form a tonic or tincture.  
 Dittany of Crete is also said to be an aphrodisiac. The very word aphrodisiac comes from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty, love and sensual pleasure. She herself reputedly used Dittany of Crete for itshealing and therapeutic properties.

Dittany of Crete, The lure of the mythical and magical Dittany of Crete has enthralled and mystified for centuries. Hippocrates, Aristotle and Theophrastus all extolled the virtues of the ‘miracle cure’ plant in various ancient writings.

It is endemic only to Crete and has many myths and legends attached to it. Dittany of Crete is said to have been given to Crete by the mighty Greek god Zeus and was used by the goddess of love and beauty Aphrodite.
Dittany of Crete is a healing, therapeutic and aromatic plant that only grows wild on the mountainsides and gorges of the Greek island of Crete. It has been used as ‘miracle cure’for a variety of ailments, as an aphrodisiac and as a beauty aid.
  1. Origanum dictamnus, known in Greek as Δίκταμο (Diktamo) is a perennial aromatic plant that grows wild only on the Greek Island of Crete. It is known by a variety of names including Dictamnus Creticus, Dittany of Crete, Dittany, Diktamo, Eronda and Cretan Dittany. It grows in the famous Gorge of Samaria and other smaller gorges in the White Mountains as well as in the other mountain ranges of Crete including Mount Dikti. Origanum Dictamnus is a many branched plant with discoid to ovate grey-green leaves that are sited in pairs opposite each other. The slender arching stems and lanate leaves are covered in a velvety white down and are 13-25 mm in sizeThe flowers are pale pink to purple and have a deep lilac corolla with many deep pink coloured overlapping bracts. The colourful flowers forming a cascade of elongated clusters are in bloom in the summer months. The flowers are hermaphrodite meaning they have both male and female organs and are pollinated by bees attracted to their scent and bright colour. Dittany of Crete with its rich herbal scent is perhaps one of the rarest herbs in the world. Yet it has been used by generations of Cretans as somewhat a panacea for all ailments. The Cretans drink it as a Cretan tea, infusion or tisane as part of their famous and extremely healthy, long life giving Cretan Diet.

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