Posts tagged ‘Oregano’

February 24, 2015


This is a picture I took in Mexico of an Oregano plant, also known as Wild Marjoram, but should not be confused with Origanum majorana, which is Marjoram. There are many common names of one plant that are confusing, so it’s best to use the universal Latin name to identify a plant. Latin names are usually in italics, to differentiate in print. The first Latin name is called the Genus, and the second name is the species of the plant. While marjoram and oregano are from the same Genus Origanum,  they are very different species: Origanum vulgare is Oregano, and Origanum majorana is Marjoram. 

The leaves on the Mexican Oregano are scalloped, unlike the smoother edged varieties in my garden. 

What other differences are there between Mexico Oregano and Greek Oregano? 

For starters the Mexican Oregano is grown in Mexico, and the Greek Oregano is grown in Greece. 

Plants that have the same Latin name can have different chemical constituents depending on where they are growing. Habitat influences plants, and alters chemistry because of factors like altitude, soil, climate, rainfall, and a host of other conditions. 

These types of plants are referred to as Chemotypes. They are the same plant in Latin name, but due to habitat may have different plant chemistry. 

Different breeding and natural selection of a Genus like Thymus, Thyme, creates many varieties of species and subspecies. 

The Mexican Oregano may have the same name as the Greek Oregano growing in my garden, but it looks different and tastes different. They may have mainly the same chemical constituents that make up Oregano, but there is enough variation in plant chemical constituents to change flavours and aroma. They may be used interchangeably, but expect different results. 

June 1, 2012

Oregano herb

Oregano is a perennial herb but in colder climates it may become an annual, but it might come back every year. Oregano is native to the Mediterranean region and warm temperate western and south-western Eurasia parts so it likes it hot and sunny.

Oregano grows from 20–80 cm tall, with opposite leaves 1–4 cm long. The tiny purple or white flowers 3–4 mm long grow in erect spikes and in clusters around the stem.

Oregano about to flower surrounded by Viola flowers

Fresh or dried Oregano is used in Italian cooking and it is stronger than Marjoram.

Consider Marjoram Origanum majorana Oregano’s sister.

Common Name Oregano herb
Latin Name Origanum vulgare
Family Lamiaceae (Mint Family)
Parts Used Perennial– herb picked in spring/summer growing season
Target Organs Digestion, stomach, respiratory, nervous system, musculo-skeletal, female reproductive
Common Uses Digestion:digestive stomach upset, gas, bloating, indigestion,  inflammation, liver congestion, infections

Respiratory:sinus congestion, infections, coughs, colds, flu, sore throat, bronchitis

Nervous system: Stress, fatigue, mental, physical

Musculo-skeletal: Arthritis, aches, stiffness, pain,

Female Reproductive: balancing, spasms

Culinary medicinal

Properties Antibacterial, anticatarrhal, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory (general, local) antioxidant, antiprotozoal, antirheumatic, antispasmodic(digestive, respiratory, uterine) antiviral, anxiolytic, appetite stimulant, astringent, warming carminative, circulatory stimulant, decongestant, diaphoretic, stimulating emmenagogue, expectorant, nervine, rubefacient, stomachic, uterine relaxing/stimulating, vasodilator,
Constituents Essential Oil Yield: .2%  Esters: linalyl/geranyl acetatePhenols:63% carvacrol, thymol,Monterpene alcohols:50% borneol

Monoterpenes:10-40%, paracymene, terpinenes, cymene, caryophyllene, pinene,

Oxides: 1, 8 cineole,

Other: coffeic/ursolic/rosmarinic acids, gum, tannins, bitter, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron

Cautions Mild remedy in tincture form
Dosage Tincture: 1-4ml Tea: 1-2 tsp essential oil always dilute
June 1, 2012

Oregano essential oil

Oregano oil is best known for treating colds, coughs and flu. The  powerful constituents phenols are responsible for its antibiotic properties. Oregano essential oil is very strong to take internally and externally, and dilution is always recommended. I prefer to take Oregano herb in tincture form whole, because the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts and it is safer to take internally this way. Depending on my symptoms sometimes I don’t use Oregano to treat a cold or cough.

Directions: If you are going to take Oregano essential oil internally buy a diluted form and dilute it further with olive oil. Put 1 drop of diluted oregano in 1 teaspoon of olive oil and consume. Follow this with liquids it is strong! Caution is advised! Oregano is hot and irritating.

Latin Name Origanum vulgare
Family Lamiaceae
Country of Origin Mediterranean, Eurasia
Volatility Middle note
Extraction Steam distilled from herb
Colour clear, pale
Aroma warm, spicy, camphor
Caution Do not use during pregnancy. Hot stimulant! May cause skin irritation.
Primary Uses Digestion:digestive upset, gas, bloating, inflammation, liver congestion, infectionsRespiratory:sinus congestion, coughs, colds, flu, sore throat, infections

Nervous system: Stress, fatigue, mental, physical

Musculo-skeletal: Arthritis, aches, stiffness, pain,

Properties Antibacterial, antibiotic, anticatarrhal, antiseptic, anticonvulsant,  astringent, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory antirheumatic,  antiviral, antispasmodic (digestive, respiratory, uterine) anxiolytic, appetite stimulant, warming carminative, circulatory stimulant, decongestant, diaphoretic, stimulating emmenagogue, expectorant, nervine, rubefacient, stomachic, uterine tonic relaxing/stimulating,
%d bloggers like this: