The Mountain’s Joy
Oregano is a popular herb from the mint family with a scientific name of Organum vulgare that has been a valuable part of both culinary and alternative medicine treatments foe along time. It is closely related to marjoram (another herb from the mint family, commonly known as cousin of oregano). The word oregano comes from the Greek, meaning “joy of the mountain”. Ancient Greeks believed that cows that grazed on fields of oregano produced tastier meat. This herb is commonly used in Italian cuisine but believed to be originated in Greece. Before, Greeks used the leaves to treat sores and aching muscles while Chinese doctors use this for centuries to relieve fever, vomiting, diarrhea and itchy skin.
The leaves of oregano are the most commonly used part of the plant, but unusual for an herb, the aroma and flavor of the leaves are far greater when it is dried rather than fresh. Fresh ones are difficult to find in the marketplace because they usually sell the dried leaves. It is used for flavoring in soups, sauces and curries to meat dishes, pizza, pasta, vegetables and salads.
Many people think of oregano as simply a spice to improve and enhance the flavor of foods, but in reality, this herb has a treasure of health benefits that most of people didn’t realize at all. It is popular to us as treatment for cough and common colds, it boosts immune system, aids in speeding metabolism and digestion, treatment for menstrual cramps, reduces infections, feature anti-cancer properties, kills intestinal parasite and many more. Some uses this as mosquito repellent because of its strong aroma. This is also a good companion crop especially for cabbage family.
How to plant this herb? It can be planted thru seeds or cuttings. Plant this in light well-drained soil, it grows in moderately fertile soil so no fertilization or adding of fertilizer is needed. It performs well in part and full sunlight and it can also grow indoors, but for better result all plants needed adequate sunlight in order to grow.
As one of the herb present in the urban garden, Center for Bayanihan Economics sells this kind of herb in pots or per kilo of leaves. They have two varieties, the one that we are all familiar which is native and commonly grown in our backyard and the Italian one which is taller and has smaller leaves than the other one. Few of the costumers are looking for this to use as spice for their cuisines.