Preserving Your Oregano Harvest

History of Oregano

Origanum vulgare

This herb is a native plant of the Mediterranean, where it is known as oregano, while in the British Isles it is known as Marjoram. In Greek mythology, Amarakas, a servant of the king of Cyprus was so distraught after dropping a bottle of perfume that he fainted with fright. The Greek Gods were so upset with him that they turned him into the oregano plant! Venus, the goddess of love is said to have been the first to cultivate oregano in her garden. The Greeks wore Marjoram woven into a crown to be worn at weddings to assure wedding happiness.

The Romans and Greeks are credited with spreading oregano throughout Europe, as they were fond of using the herb in their herbal bath soaks and perfumes and in message oils.

A related species, Sweet marjoram, Origanum marjorana, from the Greek "oros ganos", meaning Joy of the Mountain, was believed to bring peace and happiness in both earthly pursuits and beyond into the afterlife. If Sweet Marjoram was found growing around a tomb, it is believed that the spirit would be happy in the afterlife.

In Englsh lore, if a young lady wanted to get a glimpse of her future husband she would bathe herself in a mixture of herbs, including Marjoram, woodworm and marigold, on St. Luke's Day and, it is said, her beloved would appear in her dream.

Culinary Uses of Oregano

Oregano and Sweet Marjoram are staples in Italian sauces and meat dishes, as it goes particularly well with tomato and mushroom dishes from around the world. This is also one of the main ingredients in Bouquet Garni, used in French cuisine as it goes well with vegetables of all sorts!

Medicinal Uses of Oregano

Sweet Marjoram or Oregano tea has been a remedy for helping settle upset stomach, ease bad colds, calm the nerves, and relieve tension headaches. It is also the traditional remedy for such respiratory ailments as asthma and bronchitis. A mixture of olive oil and marjoram was used as a rub to relieve the pain of arthritis on the joints.

Due to the high content of Thymol, it is one of the best antiseptics available. For temporary relief of a toothache, the fresh herb can be chewed or the essential oil can be rubbed on the gums. If you are having trouble sleeping, try putting a few drops of the essential oil onto your pillow.

Aromatherapy Uses of Oregano

Due to the hazards associated with the use of Oregano essential oil, it is not recommended for casual use and should be avoided at all costs while pregnant! The oil has severe effects on the mucous membranes, acting as an irritant on both the membranes and the skin.

When using in aromatherapy, the Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana) essential oil is used instead. The most outstanding property of this essential oil is its warming effect on both the mind and the body, making it very useful in treating insomnia when added to a warm bath right before bedtime. This will relieve not only your tired mind and body, but will help relieve the stuffiness and congestion from the common cold. More recently, the oil has been used to treat high blood pressure and heart conditions as it has a dilating effect on the blood vessels. This makes it an extremely effective oil to use when mixed with Lavender essential oil for massaging tired muscles and warming the skin.

Harvesting Oregano
Drying Oregano
Oregano Flavored Vinegar
Oregano Flavored Oil
Oregano Flavored Butter
Herb Jar Labels