Oregano, scientifically known as Oreganum Vulgare.
It is a plant native in the Mediterranean and Central Asia. The etymology of the name derives from two ancient Greek words: mount and offspring which means the shining mountain. It grows in sunny, arid, stony and dry – arid lands, never in wet and swampy. In Greece, the most common variety is the Hirtum. Wild oregano can be found at all altitudes and in all regions of the country. It is bushy shrub, grows up to 80 cm with leaves up to 4cm and white flowers. It is an excellent bee plant. It self-grows at all altitudes and in all parts of the country. Oregano is harvested between June and July, before and during the early stages of flowering that reaches the greatest amount of essential oil. The essential oil content varies between 3-5% and in exceptional cases, only the greek oregano, reaches 7%. The main essential oil substances are the carvacrol and the thymol, attributing the biological activity of the oregano.
20gr Oregano contains 10mg vitamin C and 3.6mg vitamin E that protects from the gums, teeth and red blood cells.
- It has a strong antioxidant effect due to the flavonoids it contains.
- The main constituents of oregano, carvacrol and thymol, can inhibit the growth of many fungi and bacteria.
- Research has shown that oregano kills germs in the same way as antibiotics such as penicillin, streptomycin and vancoubacin.
- The essential oil inhibits the growth of yeasts that some of them are responsible for oral infections and vaginitis.
- Study of Long Island University U.S.A. believes that carvacrol could be used preservatively in the treatment of prostate cancer. Its antioxidant action slows aging due to cell protection.
HOW TO USE:
- As Beverage: Tea oregano helps in hypertension, atherosclerosis, facilitates the mobility of intestines, digestion and relax the nervous system.
- In cooking: It gives the meat a strong flavor while stimulating its nutritional value. Serve with oily dishes, oven dishes, stew and fresh salads. Dried oregano is recommended for grilled meals, lemon spit and mustard.
- As essential oil: It has anti-aging benefits and disinfectant properties. It helps reducing flaming. It fights the cold and helps in flatulency, constipation, diarrhea and gasses.