Dittany is a low-growing bush with fuzzy green leaves similar in shape to oregano. The hairs that cover the leaves and stem give the herb a whitish-grey sheen and soft texture. Sometimes, the edges of the leaves are purple.

It blooms in summer when pink or purple flowers with a strong herbal scent appear. The flowers look similar to hops.

It is one of the most precious and famous herbs that only grows wild in Crete.  It is not so easy to find since it grows in crevices of cliffs, gorges and mountainous terrain.

Since 2011 dittany has been on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The main threat is exploitation by collecting the herb to sell it dried. It is also a favourite with the Greek mountain goats!

Dittany is cultivated locally in Crete on a small scale and Bioaroma’s oils comes from these sources.

Dittany is called diktamo in Greek (δίκταμο) but it is also known as erontas (έρωντας) or “love” in Crete because the herb is reputed to have aphrodisiac properties.

Dittany has been used all over Europe since ancient times and some of the major uses are for sore throats, coughs and gastric ulcers. A number of compounds have been identified in the plant which have antimicrobial, anti-oxidant and anti-ulcer properties.

You can find more extensive information in this study: