Origanum dictamnus

Diptam - Dost (Origanum dictamnus )

The Burning Bush - Dost (Origanum dictamnus ), also Cretan dittany, Dittam, Diktam or Diktamnos called, is a species of the genus Dost (Origanum ) in the mint family ( Lamiaceae). In Greek it is " Δίκταμο " ( Diktamo, Katharevousa: dictamo ), in the Cretan dialect " Έρωντας " ( Erontas, " love") called. The Burning Bush - Dost is related to the spread in Central Europe oregano or oregano (Origanum vulgare).


The leaves of the burning bush - Dost are quite young reddish, later green and covered with a furry fluff. The plant can grow up to 40 cm high and blooms from April to June pink to purple - red.

Distribution and location

The Burning Bush - Dost grows endemic to the Greek Mediterranean island of Crete. The growth sites are located across the limestone areas around the island with an accumulation in the western part. The plant thrives in Kalkfelswänden, in crevices, and on gravel at the bottom of the gorges from sea level to 1900 m and is usually in the Shatt documents.


The name of the plant is probably derived from the Greek words " Dikte " and " thamnos " from, so shrub or bush growing in / on Diktigebirge. The Latinized name Dictamnus was used by Linnaeus for the gas plant from the family of Rutaceae.


The Burning Bush - Dost was first published in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus in Species Plantarum.


Diktam is considered a universal herb. Infusions of Diktam to promote wound healing, tea of Diktam alleviate many digestive problems. The Greek physicians of ancient times believed that Diktam can cure all diseases. There is also the term " Artemideion " for this herb, which is attributed to the goddess of birth and new life Artemis. Infusions of Diktam in water or wine should be able to accompany births conducive.

Smell and taste are strong and similar to wild marjoram. Diktam and its mixtures with other herbs such as Syrian member cabbage and sage are still widely available on the island of Crete ( " Cretan mountain tea " ) and exported.

Because the natural stock falls despite conservation measures (the plant is still collected in the main distribution area in the prefecture of Chania for rare and difficult controls) and the demand from the rest of Europe is rising, Diktam is now also cultivated. So there is near Ano Viannos fields where the pink is grown to strong violet flowering herb. Also, in some monasteries of the island of Crete and in some gardens, the plant is cultivated as a medicinal herb. The herb is collected just before flowering in May to June.


The legend claims that when Cretan wild goats were ( Kri-Kri ) hit by an arrow of the hunter immediately ran them to a point where this herb grew to eat it. Immediately slipped the arrow from the injured animal and the wounds closed.

Aphrodite is said to have cured with Diktam the Trojan hero Aeneas.