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Oregano, Origanum vulgare

Oregano, Origanum vulgare

Although many people consider oregano primarily a culinary herb to enhance the flavor of food, it has been used in both medicine and cooking for thousands of years.

Origin: Oregano is native to northern Europe and cultivated in the regions of the Mediterranean.

There are two varieties of oregano; Mediterranean, also known as Greek, Turkish and European and Mexican oregano. These are actually two different plants. The Mexican oregano is closely related to Lemon verbena and has a stronger more pungent and less sweet flavor than Mediterranean oregano.   

Family: Lamiaceae or mint family.

Part Used: leaves

Name: from the Greek words “oros” meaning mountain, and “ganos” meaning joy.

Medicinal Uses: It was used in herbal medicine since the Ancient Greeks. Hippocrates used it as an antiseptic.

Oregano has been shown to be antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and known to effectively kill MRSA super bug.

It has been used to treat respiratory tract disorders, gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, menstrual cramps, and urinary tract (UTI) disorders.

Applied topically it is known to treat skin conditions such as acne and dandruff.

According to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database oregano can be used for:

cold sores, muscle pain, acne, dandruff, bronchitis, toothache, bloating, headaches, heart conditions, allergies, intestinal parasites, earache, sore throat, fatigue, repelling, insects, menstrual cramps.

The essential oil may be used in various ways: topically for athlete’s foot and toe nail fungus,

by inhaling steam with a few drops of essential oil for sinus infections and colds,

and diluted and under the tongue for infections and parasites.                               

High in fiber – despite its small size oregano leaf is packed with sufficient fiber to aid digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Oregano is a natural form of omega-3 fatty acids and thus it is beneficial for heart health.

It also assists the body’s liver function to detoxify.

By improving the metabolism and circulation it assists energizing and strengthening the body.   

Culinary Uses:

The leaves are the most commonly used part of the plant. Differing from other herbal seasonings, the aroma and flavor of the leaves is greater when the herb is dried as opposed to fresh.

Oregano is a nice complement to soups, sauces, marinades, curries, meat dishes, pizza, pasta, vegetables and salads, also added to bread dough.

Benefits of combining herbs & spices

Numerous herbs and spices have common beneficial properties. There is a hurdle effect when using a variety of herbs in daily food preparation that heightens their health benefits.

Easy to grow: Oregano is a perennial, which means that it will come back each year, and like mint it will continue to multiply and spread. 

Growing it in a pot indoors through winter is a convenient way to have a fresh supply at your fingertips, to dry in small amounts for cooking.


Oregano is not known as an allergen.  However, people who are allergic to mint and other herbs of the Lamiaceae family (oregano, basil, lavender, mint, sage) may experience a mild allergic reaction.


Author, Eve Stahl, is a Health Consultant, Herbalist and Skin Care expert. She specializes in using nature’s plants to enhance the health of people and to protect the health of our planet. To achieve this purpose she has created Garden of Eve Skin Care products for sensitive skin and all skin types. You can visit her company at: www.gardenofeve.com Prospective Affiliates visit: www.gardenofeveskincare.com/affiliate-application

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