Oregano is a culinary herb which belongs to the mint family or Lamiaceae family. The scientific name of oregano is Origanum vulgare. It is Native to southwest Eurasia and the Mediterranean area, oregano has been a valuable part of both culinary and alternative medicine treatments for thousands of years. The name of the herb comes from the Greek words “oros,” meaning mountain, and “ganos,” meaning joy. It typically grows around 50 cm tall and has purple leaves around 2 to 3 centimeters in length.
The health benefits of oregano include its ability to protect the immune system, prevent the onset of chronic diseases, improve digestion, detoxify the body, strengthen the bones, improve heart health, boost energy levels, and even protect against diabetes.
Oregano contains rosmarinic acid and thymol which reduces oxidative stress, free radicals, boosts your immune system and reduces the risk of chronic diseases.
Oregano prevents cancer cell growth and reduces the risk of cancer.
Aids in Digestion
Oregano contains fiber which maintains the health of the gut, increases nutrient uptake, increase the bulk of your stool, stimulate peristaltic motion and maintains the health of digestive system.
Improves Heart Health
Oregano contains omega-3 fatty acids which helps to prevent atherosclerosis, heart attack, strokes. It helps to reduce cholesterol levels and inflammation.
Detoxifies the Body
Oregano contains calcium, iron, fiber, vitamin K and manganese which helps to detoxify the body. It also maintains liver health and speeds up the process of toxin elimination.
Improves Bone Health
Oregano contains calcium, iron, and manganese which prevents osteoporosis and maintains bone health.
Increases Energy Levels
Oregano contains B- vitamins which helps to increase hemoglobin levels, oxygenate cells and muscles and boosts the energy levels.
Hippocrates used it as an antiseptic.
Oregano is used to treat respiratory tract disorders, gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, menstrual cramps, and urinary tract disorders. It is also used to treat skin conditions like acne and dandruff.
Oregano shows antimicrobial properties which helps to prevent many diseases.
Oregano contains beta-caryophyllene (E-BCP), which helps to treat disorders such as osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis
Oregano can be consumed at any time of day. Combines well with allspice, basil, bay, chili, clove, garlic, lavender, marjoram, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, parsley, rosemary and savory. Fresh turmeric is crunchy, has gingery, citrus aromas and an agreeably earthy flavor with citrus overtones.
Ways to use oregano
- Oregano is a Mediterranean herb that goes well with pizzas and pasta sauces.
- sprinkling meat or chicken with oregano for flavor
- using it in marinades or stuffings
- chopping and mixing it in bread dough to make herby rolls
- adding it fresh to salad
How to buy and store oregano
oregano should be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to three days. If you place a slightly damp paper towel in the bag with the oregano and leave some air in the bag, it may extend the life up to one week.
Season in which oregano is available
Oregano is available all year round
How to make Buttered Herbed Rice Recipe
- 2 cups Basmati rice
- 1 teaspoon Garlic, finely chopped
- 3-4 Basil leaves, roughly torn
- 1/2 teaspoon Parsley leaves , finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon Red Chilli flakes
- 2 tablespoon Butter
- Salt, to taste
- Black pepper powder, to taste
- To begin making Buttered Herbed rice, heat butter on low heat in a pan.
- Add chopped garlic and fry until they turn golden in colour. Once done add parsley, dried oregano, chilli flakes, garlic chives, basil and toss them well for about a minute.
- After a minute, add salt and pepper to the herbs. Add the cooked rice to the pan and mix well to combine. Let them cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Once done, turn off the heat and transfer it to a serving bowl.
- Serve the Buttered Herbed rice with Smoked Tofu and Grilled Vegetable salad or you can have it alone also.
How to make SAMBAR PALLI CHUTNEY ~ INDIAN BORAGE/CUBAN OREGANO CHUTNEY
- 18-20 big Sambarballi/Indian Borage leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds jeera
- 1 cup grated coconut
- 1/2 a marble size ball of tamarind
- 1 green chilli adjust to taste
- 1 inch piece of ginger
For the seasoning:
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 sprig 6-7 leaves curry leaves
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil or any other oil
- Wash the leaves well and pat them dry. Heat a skillet and dry roast the cumin lightly for a few seconds and remove it
- Next, roast the leaves till they wilt. Remove and allow to cool
- Transfer all the ingredients to a grinder and add 1-2 tablespoons of water and grind to a semi-coarse consistency. Remove the chutney into a serving bowl.
- For the seasoning, heat the coconut oil and toss in the mustard seeds. When they stop spluttering, add the curry leaves and reduce the heat. Let them sizzle for a few seconds before pouring this seasoning over the chutney
- Serve immediately with any South Indian rice bread like idli, dosa, appams, neer dosa, pundi (dumplings) or with plain white rice and curry.
IndIviduals who are allergic to lamiaceae family should be cautious before consuming it.
Some people can have stomach problems after eating oregano.
Fast facts on oregano:
- Oregano is a Mediterranean herb that is used for cooking and medicinal purposes, ranging from treating infections to repelling insects.
- Active ingredients in oregano could one day help treat osteoporosis, cancer, and diabetes.
- Use it to flavor sauces, make herby bread rolls, and in marinades for meat.
- People with an allergy to mint should take care when consuming oregano.
- Oregano is a aromatic perennial herb in the mint family (Lamiaceae).
- It is characterized by opposite, aromatic leaves and purple flowers.
- Oregano was first used by the Greeks. In their mythology the goddess Aphrodite invented the spice. Giving it to man to make his life happier.
- After the Romans conquered the Greek, the Romans inherited the use of oregano and the Romans were the ones responsible for the extensive use of oregano all over Europe and abroad. After that, with time this herb found itself a journey from the Middle East to China.
- Oregano was not widely used in the United States until after the Second World War. Soldiers discovered the herb during the Italian Campaign and brought it back to the United States.
- Oregano is usually grown as a small evergreen subshrub in mild climates.
- Oregano is a perennial herb, growing from 20 to 80 cm (8 to 31.5 in) tall, with opposite leaves from 1 to 4 cm (0.4 to 1.6 in) long. The flowers are purple, 3 to 4 mm (0.12 to 0.16 in) long, produced in erect spikes.
- Oregano is a culinary herb, used for the flavor of its leaves, which can be more flavorful when dried than fresh. It has an aromatic, warm, and slightly bitter taste, which can vary in intensity.
- The herb has long been an essential ingredient of Mediterranean cooking.
- It serves as a culinary herb added to meat, soup, and sausages, among others, and is particularly popular in tomato-based dishes and pizza.
- Oregano is high in antioxidant activity, due to a high content of phenolic acids and flavonoids.
- Oregano is a powerfully antiseptic plant thanks largely to its constituents known as carvacrol and rosmarinic acid. Unlike antibiotic drugs that work only on harmful bacteria, these compounds in oregano work against bacteria, viruses, fungi and even parasites like worms, making it a well-rounded antiseptic to keep in your natural medicine cabinet.
- Other health benefits of oregano include ability to protect the immune system, prevent the onset of chronic diseases, improve digestion, detoxify the body, strengthen the bones, improve heart health, boost energy levels, protect against diabetes, calm nerves and even as cure for seasickness.
- Oregano has been used medicinally since the time of the ancient Greeks.
- Hippocrates, one of the greatest philosophers from the times of the ancient Greek, has found uses for oregano as an antiseptic.
- Oregano oil can be used to keep of yeast infections and can be used for respiratory health and strengthening the immune system. A drop of oregano oil on toothbrush will help completely take care of gum disease and tooth decay.
- The word “oregano” is derived from Spanish orégano, from Latin orīganum, from Greek ὀρίγανον (orī́ganon). This is a compound of όρος (óros), “mountain”, and γάνος (gános), “brightness”, whence “brightness of the mountain.”