Oregano, Wild Marjoram Origanum vulgare Lamiaceae

Дата канвертавання25.04.2016
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Oregano, Wild Marjoram

Origanum vulgare Lamiaceae

The name Oregano is from to Greek word meaning joy of the mountain.

Botanical description: A herbaceous perennial native to Europe and naturalised in the Middle East. It has a preference for chalky soil and therefore is often found close to the sea. It grows to 80 cm. As with all members of this family it has square stems which are red; the leaves are elliptical and the deep pink flowers are held in clusters. Oreganos hybridise easily and the progeny can be extremely variable in taste and in pungency. A lot of the taste and therapeutic effect of Oregano is due to its essential oil content and this is affected by levels of sunlight – needless to say that in a bad Irish summer the quality of locally produced oregano can be quite poor and not worth drying

Part used: The aerial parts and essential oil/hydrosol. Gathered when in flower.

Cultivation and harvesting:

They are easily raised from seed in the spring or can be propagated by dividing clumps in the spring or autumn. There is a golden form Origanum vulgare “Aureum” which seems better adapted to the Irish climate, forms a great ground cover, hass a good flavour and is sometimes called golden marjoram.


An amazingly invigorating and empowering herb. It gives strength to our immune system, is a stimulating nervine and helps balance our digestion and our gut flora. A true adaptogen and wonderful for bringing the energy of summer sun to food in the winter. Pungent, warming, astringent.

Constituents Essential oil containing carvacrol, thymol, beta-bisabolene,caryophyllene, linalool, borneol; Tannins; Resin; Sterols; Flavonoids

Actions Carminative; Choleretic; Antiseptic-antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral; Analgesic; Anti-inflammatory; Emmenagogue; Rubefacient; Expectorant

Traditional/current uses Wind and flatulence; Coughs, colds, tonsillitis, bronchitis, asthma; Delayed periods; Herb can be used as a poultice for muscular pain and stiffness; Essential oil diluted and applied externally to toothache and aching joints; both the herb internally and the oil externally can be used for treating wart, especially molluscum contagiosum; the internal use of oregano oil has become popular for treating Candida albicans

Sweet marjoram is also the source of an essential oil widely used in aromatherapy. Oregano oil has not traditionally been widely used in aromatherapy due to its’ high level of phenols; it has recently gained popularity both internally and externally as an antiseptic. However, it should be used cautiously, no more than 2 drops 3 times daily taken in a suitable exciepient for no more that 3 weeks. It should not be used for children under the age of 12 or during pregnancy or breast feeding.

Widely used in cooking; a traditional pot herb; used in Italian cooking, particularly in tomato sauces, meatballs and for pasta. Add to soups and stews or in summer wild herb salads. The essential oil is used as a preservative/anti-oxidant in the food industry. In Mexico a member of the Lippia genus is called oregano, but our native can be substituted in recipes calling for Mexican oregano. Related species are Origanum marjorana/ Marjorana hortensis (Sweet Marjoram) and Origanum onites or Pot Marjoram. Sweet marjoram is more tender and is often grown as an annual in Ireland. Pot marjoram is less flavoursome but more hardy.

Oregano vinegar

Loosely pack a clean dry jar with dried oregano and cover with organic cider vinegar. Shake to release any trapped air bubbles. Allow to macerate for 2-4 weeks in a warm place then press off, wonderful in salad dressings.

Tomato oregano pesto

230 g brazils

40 g fresh oregano

55 g lemon juice

250 g soaked sun dried tomatoes

25 g water

6 cloves garlic

90 g olive oil

30 g hemp oil

Place all the ingredients in the food processor and blend to a smooth consistency. Can be spread on bread or stirred through pasta, or used on baked potatoes.

Oregano pesto

1 litre loosely packed oregano leaves

A handful of pine nuts or cashew nuts

3-5 cloves garlic

Dessertspoon of balsamic or cider vinegar

Salt to taste

Place ingredients in food processor and start to blend. Drizzle in olive or hemp seed oil until desired consistency is reached.

Molle chilli powder blend

1 part chilli powder

1 part ground black pepper

1 part ground cumin

1 part ground coriander seed

2 parts oregano

1 part cocoa powder

1 part garlic powder

Herb Provencale blend for soups and stews

9 g fennel seed

9 g black pepper

5 g sage

5 g thyme

10 g oregano

Grind herbs together in a coffee grinder

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