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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I Heart Herbs - Oregano

*Please note - The information provided is collected from my various herbal books, classes, and personal research. I am not a doctor. Always, always, always consult your physician or qualified healthcare provider before beginning any new treatment. Do your own research and think for yourself. Don't believe everything you read. Questions are good!

from my magick garden
Oregano

Latin Name: Origanum vulgare

Plant Family: Lamiaceae -the mint family

Constituents: carvacrol, caryophyllene, thymol, limonene, pinene, ocimene, magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, copper, potassium, niacin, beta-caroetene, manganese

Character: slightly bitter

Actions: antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory,antiparasitic, antiseptic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antiviral, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic, tonic

Harvesting: Begin harvesting the leaves and stem tips when plants are 4 to 5 inches high. The flavor will improve after the flower buds form, just before flowering. To harvest, cut the stem tops down to the first two sets of leaves. Dry the leaves in a warm, dry, shaded place, and store them in an airtight container.

Oregano comes from the Greek
and means "mountain of joy."


Medicinally

Oregano is a fantastic antioxidant. A USDA study found
that oregano has the highest antioxidant activity of 27 fresh culinary herbs.

Hippocrates used oregano as an antiseptic and as a cure for stomach and respiratory ailments.

In the 15th century, Paracelsus used oregano to treat diarrhea, psoriasis, vomiting, jaundice, and fungal diseases.

As far back as Ancient Greece, people were using the crushed leaves of oregano to keep food from spoiling, ease itchy rashes, treat coughs, and bring down the swelling of a toothache.


Culinary

Oregano contains vitamin K, manganese, iron, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C.

Add oregano to salads, casseroles, soups, sauces, pates and poultry dishes.

Dried oregano is especially good with tomatoes, beans, eggplant, zucchini, and rice dishes such as pilaf and risotto.
oregano drying in my kitchen

Oregano is often used in tomato sauces, fried vegetables, and grilled meat.

Together with basil, it contributes much to the distinctive character of many Italian dishes.

It is commonly used by local chefs in southern Philippines when boiling carabao or cow meat to eliminate the odor of the meat, and to add a pleasant, spicy flavor.

Oregano is a widely used ingredient in Greek cuisine.

In Turkish Cuisine, oregano is mostly used for flavoring meat, especially for mutton and lamb.

In barbecue and kebab restaurants, it is usually found on the table, together with paprika, salt, and pepper.

The dish most commonly associated with oregano is pizza. Oregano became popular in the US when returning WW2 soldiers brought back with them a taste for the “pizza herb”.


Oregano is also great for food preservation.

According to Catherine Donnelly, Ph.D., professor of nutrition and food science at the University of Vermont, "Oregano is one of the best bacteria killers" because its phenols, a type of antioxidant, destroys the cell membranes of bacteria.

For ultimate flavor, add fresh oregano in the last few minutes of cooking.


Essential Oil

Oregano essential oil boosts the immune system.

It helps fight fungal infections and enteric parasites.

Oregano essential oil clears sore throats, cold, flu, influenza, fevers, and ear infections.

It helps relieve painful menstruation.

It is an effective remedy for upset stomachs and indigestion.

Oregano essential oil helps heal psoriasis and eczema.

It is also considered an anti-allergenic.

Oregano essential oil is a natural sedative which calms down hyper-sensitivity and gives relief from allergies.

Oregano essential oil blends well with bergamot, cedarwood, chamomile, eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, and tea tree.




Folklore

Oregano is a protection herb.

Plant oregano in front of your home to ward against negative magic, or tuck a few pieces over your door for protection.

Keep a few pots on your kitchen counter or in your bedroom to ensure happiness for all those who live in your home.

Rural Greeks crowned newlywed couples with boughs of oregano to wish them joy in their marriage.

On an energetic level, oregano builds will power and clarity of thought.

It releases energy that no longer serves any purpose.

Oregano helps in letting go of attachments and creating space for something new.


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Peace, Inspiration, & Love,
~Amy
 Amy Riddle, C.C., Holistic Alchemist and Manifestor of Dreams is a life coach, tapping facilitator, reverend, creatress, teacher, writer, herbalist, and all out muse. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Alternative Medicine with an emphasis on herbs. She is a certified professional life coach with the Life Coach Institute of Orange County. Amy craves to inspire others to be healthy and whole in body, mind, and spirit. She has an affinity for striped socks, stinging nettle, and all things faery.