Also known as Pot Marjoram, Origanum vulgare is a perennial herb and a native of the Mediterranean region. Oregano plant derives its name from two Greek words meaning "the joy of the mountain." It is a hardy member of the mint family that has been used for flavouring fish, meat and sauces since ancient times. It was long referred to as wild marjoram.
Oregano plant is often referred to as the "pizza herb." It's a natural for all types of tomato sauces but also goes well with egg and cheese dishes. Oregano herb and basil combine to create a special flavour common in the Italian cooking we know so well.
Possessing medicinal properties dating back centuries, modern herbalists promote many potential health benefits and home-grown remedies derived from this most versatile herb.
Oregano herb has a strong flavour, but it doesn't hold up well to prolonged cooking, especially when used fresh. Harvest fresh leaves right before use. Pick several kinds of cooking herbs and make a culinary bouquet. Aromatic sprigs of Rosemary, Oregano, Savory, and Basilwaiting close by the stove will make both the creative and digestive juices flow. Oregano chopped and mixed with garlic, salt, and olive oil makes a great marinade for pork, beef, or roasted potatoes. Or use fresh leaves as a topping for homemade pizza (this is the way Oregano was first used for pizza, not as ingredient in the sauce).
Oregano is high in antioxidant activity. It is strongly sedative and should not be taken in large doses, though mild teas have a soothing effect and aid restful sleep. In the Philippinesfolk medicine, Oregano (Coleus aromaticus) is not commonly used for cooking but is rather considered as a primarily medicinal plant, useful for relieving children's coughs. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, used oregano as an antiseptic as well as a cure for stomach and respiratory ailments.
And who have not heard of Oregano oil? Oregano essential oil is effective in treating colds and flu, hay fever, sinusitis and allergies. The benefits of oregano oil don't stop there. Fungus and yeast infections as well as viral infections have all been cured, just by introducing the oregano oil through aromatherapy.
Wild Oregano oil has such potent antifungal powers that it destroys the hardest fungal forms of mutated fungi, like those created from antibiotic therapy. Digestive issues, headaches, muscle pain, gum disease, arthritis and bronchitis have been brought under control by using the oil on a regular basis.
Oregano oil is also effective when it is applied topically. Insect bites, rosacea, ringworm, psoriasis and athlete's foot, have all been cured using a mixture of the oil of oregano and coconut oil or olive oil.