Oregano – Origin, Uses, Tips

OreganoOregano is a herb used in cooking and found in many spice racks that also goes by the name origanum, or wild marjoram. It is an aromatic and perennial herb that comes from the mint family and that is utilized for its flavorsome dried leaves and its flowering tops.

About Oregano

Oregano is native to the hills of Mediterranean counties and across Western Asia. It was originally grown in Greece, and was therefore first used by the Greeks. There is a legend that says the herb was created by the Goddess Aphrodite (the Goddess of love and sensuality). She saw it as a symbol of joy growing in her garden. However, the Romans would go on to adopt oregano for the taste, which quickly facilitated its spread across Europe. From here it would spread to Northern Africa and even all the way to China.

It should be no surprise then to find Oregano cropping up in so many different recipe books. You’ll find it in any Caribbean cookbook, German cookbook, French cookbook or even British cookbook. It’s commonly found in pasta recipes too across any pasta cookbook!

The name oregano actually comes from the word for mountain or joy. It translates therefore roughly to ‘joy of the mountains’.

Uses of Oregano

In cooking, oregano has many uses. It is particularly popular in Italian cuisine and works particularly well with tomato ingredients. This also makes it useful when used in a pizza oven. It can be used as a substitute for marjoram and also tastes very similar to thyme.

The best way to get to grips with a herb is always to have a go at cooking with it. To that end, try this delicious recipe for bolognaise:

  • Take your sauce pans and boil up some pasta in one, while frying ground beef and onion in another
  • Add chopped onion from a chopping board to the ground beef, along with seasoning and stock. Add some garlic with a garlic press.
  • Add a can of chopped tomatoes to the beef once browned
  • Add a large amount of tomato puree and some sweetcorn
  • Add the oregano
  • Heat until fully cooked through

Health Benefits of Oregano

In the Middle ages, Oregano was popular as a medicinal plant. It was used to cure a number of ailments ranging from

Did you know? You can also use oregano oil in order to clean your teeth! Oregano oil is popularly used for a practice called oil pulling, which involves swilling oil around the mouth in order to smother bacteria while also killing them off using the substance’s natural antibacterial properties. Oregano oil also has analgesic properties meaning that it can soothe pain on location, and this makes it effective for treating tooth pain. It’s very effective as an anti-inflammatory oil too. In some cases, it has even been used to make organic toothpaste!

Keep this in mind when you’re next in your kitchen: a whole lot of the items in your spice racks can actually be used for other purposes, such as cleaning teeth!

While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!