Thursday, December 13, 2007

Oregano – Not Just Adding Spice, Also a Known Medicinal Plant

Most people thought that oregano is just a spice that adds tastes to their pasta, pizza and other foods to satisfy their delicate tastes. But for me, it’s the other way around. Here in the Philippines, oregano is well known for its herbal powers. It can cure colds, headaches and other illness. It’s just this year when I discovered that oregano can be a spice to some foods. In Europe, its most widely used as spice because Europeans love pasta and pizza.

Oregano as a spice

A number of species of Oregano are native to the Mediterranean, all of which are traded as spices. Fresh Mediterranean or European oregano is sometimes available in gourmet produce sections of supermarkets and in Italian or Greek markets. Choose bright-green, fresh-looking bunches with no sign of wilting or yellowing.

Here in the Philippines, you can buy dried oreganos on the supermarkets at their spices section.

Oregano as a medicinal herb

Oreganos come from a plant family of lamiaceae, a mint family with a scientific name of origanum vulgare. They have a very aromatic warm and slightly bitter quality. They have also been known as a herbal medicine for its strong anti-oxidant properties. They are also known for their antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antiviral properties. They are also rich with vitamin A and vitamin C.

Oreganos can help prevent arthritis, heal wounds, insect bites, and insect stings. It can relieve upset stomach and can cure urinary tract problems. You can boil 1 cup of fresh oregano leaves in 3 cups of water for about 10 minutes. You can drink this concoction to cure colds. You can also drink the concoction daily for your arthritis.

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