Oregano: More Than Just a Cooking Herb
Whenever oregano is mentioned, food comes to mind. You’re right—most people associate oregano with sauces. Oregano is also medicinal. A tasty, savory tea made from oregano can help with gas, indigestion, bloating, coughs, urinary problems, bronchial problems, headaches, swollen glands, and menstrual irregularities. Others claim it cures fevers, diarrhea, vomiting, and jaundice.
In the capsule form, the leaves are dried, crushed, and placed into the empty capsule shell. Further, even others use the dried leaves by crushing them, adding just enough water to create a paste-like substance, and using it as a cream to apply for arthritis, itchy skin, sore muscles, and swelling. For a relaxing and soothing bath, use oregano leaves in the bath water. Finally, some people make oregano oil and claim it helps relieve toothaches.
In Jamaica, people burn oregano-scented incense to ward off coughs and other respiratory distresses. Oregano has been used in ancient Greece and many other places across the globe, where people have found a different use for oregano besides cooking. Oregano is a perennial herb that is related to the mint family, and it is a very important culinary herb that is used in a lot of Greek and Italian cuisines. For cooking purposes, the leaves are used, and while some like nothing but a fresh oregano sprig, most will agree that the dried oregano is much more flavorful.
Especially in Italian cooking, you will notice a distinct relationship between the uses of oregano in combination with basil. The two always seem to create the perfect marriage, especially in a tomato sauce. Oregano is also used in many vegetable dishes as well as a seasoning on various types of meat. The Greeks would never consider cooking with oregano in their pantry. The famous Greek salad boasts the flavor of oregano. No one could imagine eating a piece of pizza without having a taste of oregano added to it.
Oregano is commonly mistaken for marjoram as the plants look very similar. Outside of the kitchen, Marjoram and Oregano are best friends and do a lot of things together. The two of them have a ton of antioxidant and antibacterial effects. Together, they are not only a great combination for flavoring food but also for preserving it. Because both of their oils are perfumery, they are placed in many different soaps and lotions. They are also used in combination with many potpourris and home décor.
There is no denying that oregano has been around since ancient times, both in and out of the kitchen. It had many medicinal properties then, as it does now. It was used in the kitchen, and it is still used there now, so those from ancient times started a tradition that is still followed to this day. Oregano’s uniqueness is fully utilized in many different ways and will be for years to come.