Leaves, flowers, roots.
Dittany of Crete has various therapeutic uses. It is said that the ancient Greeks believed to be panacea and used the herb in folk medicine for curing a range of health problems. In the Crete Island, this plant is found growing in the wild. In addition, it is also cultivated by some people for as a plant for herbal tea, condiment as well as spice in distilleries. The plant's aerial parts are employed for treating stomach and gastric problems. In addition, they are also used for maintaining one's overall health. As the dittany of Crete encloses phenol carvacrol, it possesses antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal properties. This herb is used in the form of a stomachic, vulnerary, antirheumatic and oxytocic. In folk medicine, this herb is employed for curing stomach ache, sore throat, cough, menstrual pains, and hypertension. It is also used for healing wounds and is known to facilitate child birth. The roots of the plant are employed for curing sciatica, while the juice extracted from the plant is added to wine and the mixture is drunk to treat snake bites. In addition, it is mostly used to heal rheumatism, stomach disorders and gastric problems. A warm drink prepared from the plant's juice works as anticonvulsive, thereby making the arteries and heart muscles stronger. In fact, this drink also serves as a tonic for menstruating women. You can also add some cinnamon and honey to the drink and consume it to get relief from cough. When the plant is in bloom, it is used in the form of an oxytocic, vulnerary, stomachic and anti-rheumatic. It is also given to cure gastric ulcers, stomach problems, spleen disorders, cure gynaecological and rheumatism. Dittany of Crete also helps to ease child birth. The root of this plant has a bitter flavour and it was used to heal bleeding gastric ulcers. This herb also offers relief from cold and mild stomach disorders. A poultice prepared with the herb can be applied externally on wounds and bruises for quick healing. Aside from the above mentioned uses of this herb, dittany of Crete is also useful for treating skin-related problems and also diminishing cellulite. It is also employed for treating worms in the intestines and healing cramps. You can chew the herb to get relief from throat and mouth ailments. You can also use the leaves and flowers of the herb to prepare a tisane (herbal tea), which can be consumed to cure headaches, neuralgia and period pains. It is believed that this tisane also provides relief from pains related to child birth. It is said that Aphrodite used this herb for this purpose during her labour when she was on Mount Ida on Crete. This herb is considered to be an effective aphrodisiac and, in fact, people on Crete still use this herb for this purpose. Earlier, dittany of Crete mainly grew in the wild in Crete Island of Greece, but in present times many people grow it in their gardens as well as pots. Aside from the plant's therapeutic use, it can also be grown as an ornamental plant.
The leaves of dittany of Crete are also used for culinary purpose. They are used to flavour vermouth and salads. The dried flowering tops of the plant are brewed to prepare an herbal tea. In addition, they are used to add essence to wines and liquors. You can also use the leaves of dittany of Crete to season sauces and soups.
Origanum dictamnus is cultivated in Greece�s Embaros and adjoining villages, which are located on the southern region of Heraklion Crete. People in this region used to prepare herbal tea with the leaves of the herb. They also used the herb in natural beauty products. Dittany of Crete grows best in average, arid to medium soil that is well-drained in locales receiving full sunlight. The plant is also capable of tolerating partial shade. In places having hot summers, the young plants have a preference for some shade during the heat of the day. Dittany of Crete also has a preference for soils having a neutral to alkaline pH. It grows well in sandy, gritty loams. Well-drained soils are vital for the vigorous growth of the plant. Origanum dictamnus plants are capable of tolerating drought as well as good heat, but they usually loathe high humidity. If you wish to grow Origanum dictamnus, it is advisable that you sow the seeds around six to eight weeks before the last spring frost date in your region. Alternatively, you may also sow the seeds outdoors roughly two weeks before the last spring frost date in your area. You can purchase the new plants at your local nursery where they sell them in cell packs. You need to cut down prior to the blooms as this would promote bushy growth of the plants. Generally, the flavour of the leaves is best when they are picked before the blooms appear. You can also purchase container plants for growing them indoors during the fall, but prior to frost. However, the plants usually do not grow well during the winter months. If you are growing the plants indoor, you need to reduce watering during the winter months. However, ensure that the soil does not become dry. Plants belonging to this genus are seldom, if ever, bothered by browsing deer.
Although dittany of Crete offers a number of health benefits, pregnant women and lactating mothers should stay away from using this herb as there is insufficient information about its effect on such people. Others using this herb for therapeutic or any other purposes should discontinue dittany of Crete if they have any allergic reaction. They should also check with their physicians right away.