Dittany

ORIGANUM DICTAMNUSDittany

General  Information

Origanum Dictamnus or “dittany” is an old , indigenous plant in Crete. It is well known from antiquity for its pharmaceutical properties. It is also called erontas (love), stathari, stamnohorto stamatohorto and stomatohorto. It grows in mountainous regions on slopes of gorges or ravines, but also on steep, seaside cliffs.

It is a semi-mody shrub whose shoots reach up to 40 cm. The plant is fuzzy and has a velvet texture. The leaves are a greenish- white colour. Its flowers are pink and its fragrance is exquisite.

In ancient times they considered that dittany had the capability of helping the body reject iron arrows when a person was wounded. Aristotle cites :”When the wild goats on Mount Psiloriti were wounded by hunters’ arrows, they ate dittany or they chewed it and spread it on their wound so I would detract the poison and the arrow and it would protect them.” Diskouridis healed war wounds with it. According to mythology, Aphrodite healed Aeneas with this plant during the Trojan War. Hippocrates recommended using the plant as a healing patch for the lungs and swelling.

It is consider to impart strength and vitality to old and weak organisms or bodies and that is why it  is also called “erontas”- the plant of youth. Nothing is better than a warm bath infused with (dictamnus) dittany leaves.

INDICATIONS/ PROPERTIES

One of the most important properties of dittany is its antioxidant and antimicrobial action. It is believed to be a “medicine” by plain folk because traditionally it is known for its healing and styptic properties. It has also been used to alleviate stomach and intestine pains, as a poultice on abcesses and pimples and as a diuretic aid.