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Fortællinger fra Kreta | 10

Tales from Crete | 10

Dictamnus, Diktamo, Diffeny or as it is called in Cretan Erontas…….

Yes, dear child has many names. Erontas means love and it is not without reason that the Cretans in particular have a very special love relationship with the small plant Origanum Dictamnus, which is its legal botanical name.

The plant and its properties have been known since the 6th century, and the Greek physician Hippocrates, who has been so important in the history of medicine that he was called the "Father of Medicine", already mentioned the small plant and its effect around 400 years before the birth of Christ.

But what exactly is the small plant's properties and why has it maintained its popularity for thousands of years. Yes, first of all Diktamo grows only wild in Crete and for that reason alone the Cretans have a natural and close relationship with the plant. It usually grows 3-4 meters up steep hillsides and is therefore difficult to access for anyone other than the mountain goats who use the plant as part of their food. But it has completely unique properties that we as humans can make good use of. The plant contains several healing substances and if you Google Dictamnus Origanum you will find over 1,680 scientific articles about the small plant's positive effects on a lot, which I will not go into here. On the other hand, I would rather stick to what I myself experience by using the small plant in everyday life, where its leaves in dried form have found their permanent place in the kitchen cupboard.

If I have the slightest bit of a cold or just think the weather outside is cold, wet and dreary, a cup of tea from my dried Diktamo actually helps. Even a beginning flu takes it in a heartbeat and the recipe is very simple. You boil some water and pour over your Diktamo, which you have filled in a tea mug (I like to fill the mug 1/3 with the dried Diktamo), add a good teaspoon of liquid thyme honey, and let it steep for 8-10 minutes. After that, I pour it all through a tea strainer or coffee filter into another mug and then pour in a small splash of Raki, Schnapps or other spirit. Only about 2 cl. to give the tea a little sharpness, and then of course it must be drunk while it is still hot.

If I have the beginning of the flu, I sweat it out within a few hours, so to speak, and if it's a common cold, it helps almost immediately, and it's not so bad when you, like me, have for many years been and still am an active singer when I'm not in Crete or helping out in the shop in Denmark.

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