Maybe you are not able to see it or use it anymore, but you should definitely learn about it. It is probably the first product in the world of Protected Designation of Origin and certainly the first standardized pharmaceutical formulation in the history of medicine.

In ancient times it was extracted in a mystic way from the spot where Hephaestus had fallen in Limnos, since according to the myth, he healed his wounds by using it. Tradition sets this point among villages Repanidi, Kotsinos and Varos, on the hill Despotis, Mosychlos in antiquity. Today in that location, there is a small whitewashed chapel of Christ the Savior. First Herodotus mentions Lemnia terra, whereas subsequently many scholars and physicians of the antiquity studied it, used it and wrote about it. They believed that had hemostatic effect, was curing dysentery, relieved stomach ulcer and neutralized the poison of snakes. The extraction ceremony consecrated by a priestess coming from Hephaistia. Then it was being transported to the city, where after appropriate processing, packed in small circular tablets, like the current pills, and stamped with the figure of the goddess Artemis or her protected animal, a goat.

The extraction and use of terra Lemnia continues during the Byzantine period and its reputation spreads in the Arab world. During the Renaissance, becomes known in Europe and travelers who visited or wrote about Limnos refer to it. In the West it was known as terra lemnia or terra sigillata (sealed land).

In Christian times the ceremony was combined with the celebration of the Savior and was on 6th August. They called it Agiochoma and the seal bore the figure of Christ, whereas during the Ottoman Period it was sealed with the crescent.

Small quantity of the extracted clay was given to local potters to manufacture cups and vessels.

In August 1916 we have the last reports about extraction of terra lemnia.

Analyses of both past and nowadays reveal that the Lemnia terra consists mainly of silica and alumina clay. It also contains a high percentage of iron oxides.