Dittany of Crete is a native plant of island of Crete of Greece and belongs to Lamiaceae family and origanum genus. Ancient Greeks considered it to be panacea and used for healing effects in folk medicine. It grows on wild on the Crete Island and also cultivated as an herbal tea plant, condiment and spice in distilleries. Dittany of Crete is a short green white lanate shrub with stems reaching 35 cm. Stems are ascending and rooting at the base, lanate and yellow or purplish brown. Branches of first order in upper half of the stems are upto 5 pair per stem, 1.5 cm long and not ramified. Leaves are 15 pairs per stem and lower ones are petiolate, roundish to oval or ovate and tops are obtuse or acute, about 15 mm long and wide. Spikes are subglobose to cylindrical measuring 16 cm long and 7 cm wide. Flowers are subsessile and two per verticillaster. Corolla is two lipped, pink and 11 mm long; upper lips are divided into two and about 0.3 mm long lobes, lower lips are subequal and 1.5 mm long lobes. Staminal filaments are 12 to 14 mm long. Roots are 1 cm in diameter.
As various names are assigned to the plant but among them dictamnos is derived from the Greek words “Dicti’ and ‘thamnos”. The term “Dicti” refers to the name of the Cretan mountain where Zeus was raised up by the goat Amalthia and the term “thamnos” refers shrub in Greek. The aerial parts are used to treat gastric and stomach disorders and also to maintain good health.