Many moons ago (and sometimes in our own era) brides wore a laurel of it as their wedding crown. Growing wild in the mountains of Greece, it represented happiness to infuse her special day and new life as a spouse.
Today, for many folks, it's regarded as an ordinary spice to sprinkle on pizza, into soups, on breads, in sauces and onto vegetables. It's one of my fav accents to enhance food, but there’s much more to this tasty, humble herb than its hearty aroma and flavor.
- Oldest noted growth area in the Mediterranean regions of Europe and Central Asia
- It arrived in the Americas via European travelers and now thrives in much of the region, both in the wild and cultivated gardens
- Most grazing animals love it and it provides them with organic immune system support
- Oregano and marjoram look very similar because marjoram is a type of oregano
Differences and similarities with marjoram
- Both grow as small shrubs, often with fuzzy stems. Oregano produces green, arrow-to-oval shaped leaves that can also be fuzzy. The marjoram branch of the family is smaller, and keeps to itself a bit more. It doesn't get as tall or as bushy and produces signature tiny buds that look a bit like mini-pine cones. While Oregano's leaves are green, marjoram dresses in a slightly different color, adding a greyish-hue to blend with the green in her leaves.
- Oregano's flavor and scent is bold and heavy. Marjoram's scent and flavor is lighter, brighter and much less woodsy and tasting of a tangy blend that smacks of of minted-citrus.
Why it’s good medicine
In the war on malevolent microorganisms, Oregano is an herb to be reckoned with. A natural multi-vitamin, Oregano can aid substantially in support of your immune system because it comes equipped with vitamins A, C, E and K.
Hold on--there’s more...
Oregano is a great source of fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium and vitamin B6.
Because it has such a high concentration of rosmarinic acid, it's an awesome source of antioxidants. As well, it's an antifungal and antibacterial. If used to make an infusion to render an essential oil blend, it can be ingested, or blended into a ointment and even into natural household cleaning solutions with an impressive antimicrobial effect. Studies show this herb should be effective in containing and killing MRSA, Listeria and Candida. Another good thing to know, unlike other essential oil blends, oregano doesn't lose it's ability to fight pathogens when it's boiled. That means, even in vapor form, it's still the grim reaper for germs.
For folks suffering with inflammation, osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis, and metabolic syndrome, oregano is a wonderful natural resource for symptom relief and improvement. This is one of those wonderful plants that can do loads of good and give you the feel betters just by pulling a few leaves, and rubbing them briskly between your hands and over your wrists.
If you're fighting an upper respiratory infection, oregano blended into a salve, and even breathed deep from cupped hands helps it work for you as an expectorant, to break up phlegm and help you breath easier. And you don't have to wait. When you use it, you should experience immediate results. Of course, it works really well in a warm tea or broth too. Not only will it help you with productive coughing it will make you sweat, working as a natural detox agent.
If all of that wasn't enough to convince you that you maintain a consistent supply of this awesome herb ... here's another diamond this wonderful plant comes equipped with ... carnosol. Carnosol is a phytochemical that has shown in research to lead to growth arrest and cell death in colon cancer cells. Added to that, it's been evaluated and shown promising results in being an anti-cancer agent in killing cells associated with prostate, breast, skin and leukemia cancers.
And, still more...
Have dandruff, itchy scalp or irritated skin on your scalp due to follicular inflammation? Try a cool oregano infused rinse on your head to soothe your scalp and relieve inflammation, dryness and itching. Some people use it in the same fashion to treat irritated skin from acne.
Oregano essential oil (even in very tiny amounts) is helpful with earache and toothache.
It can help alleviate menstrual cramps and bloating. It can even help with chest pain and discomfort due to heart disease. If you're struggling with fatigue, incorporating oregano into your diet can help with that too, and aid in balancing your metabolism.
Remember, oregano is really very easy to incorporate into your diet on a regular basis. It's great to season a huge variety of foods, so please don't think your only options of using it are restricted to pasta and pizza. It goes great in marinades, in salads, in sandwich spreads and soups. It's especially awesome on nachos, tortilla soup and egg salad!
If you're of a mind to get seriously proactive and want to mix up your own antioxidant spice blend, this is one researchers put together and got wonderful results with: cloves, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, oregano, paprika, rosemary and garlic. You can blend it into an EVOO base and let it steep for about three months or you can use it as a dry mix and sprinkle it into your food.
Oregano is inexpensive to buy and, of course, I recommend getting your supply from a local farmers market or gardener that grows is without pesticides or chemicals. It's also easy to grow yourself, which I highly recommend. The plant pictured in this article is owned by Victoria Warner of WarnerWords, who’s a master gardener, and she can vouch that these plants really are pretty easy to grow and cultivate so that you'll have an ever-ready supply of their leaves.
I hope I've enticed you to invest your time and interest into scoring and maintaining your own stash of Joy of the Mountain and ensuring it's a consistent addition to your natural medicine chest!
This edition's features the YouTube channel, SoakStream-Healing Scriptures. The selected video is one I play often, through the night, especially if I've been having challenging health issues.
12 For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 World Messianic Bible translation)
Thank you for your visit and, from Southern Indiana, shalom!