Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

Harvesting and subsequent drying of leaves and flowers is necessary. In gastronomy it is used as a condiment like other aromatic plants.

In cosmetics, its essential oil is a common ingredient in soap and perfumery.as for its medicinal properties, oregano has antispasmodic, stimulant, expectorant, diuretic, sudorific, antiseptic, healing and antioxidant properties.

It lives in high areas. It is scarce in our municipality, it is easier to find it in the surrounding mountains. It is a plant that is disappearing, so it is better not to take it without knowing how and when and plant it, it is not difficult to grow


Origanum vulgare,
commonly known as oregano, is a species of the family Lamiaceae (formerly Labiaceae), native to western or southwestern Eurasia and the Mediterranean region. It is used as a condiment and in the preparation of herbal teas. The parts used are the bracts of the inflorescence, both fresh and dried, although dried they have much more flavor and aroma.


It is a perennial herb that forms a small stunted shrub about 45 cm high. The square-shaped stems, which often take on a reddish hue, branch at the top and tend to leaf out at the bottom. The leaves are opposite, oval and broad, between 2 and 4 cm, with entire or slightly toothed margins and hairy on the upper side. Its tiny white or pink flowers, borne in tight, highly branched terminal inflorescences, are protected by tiny reddish leaves.

The aromatic essence, lemon yellow in color, is composed of a stearoptene and two types of phenols, mainly carvacrol and thymol to a lesser extent, found in glands scattered throughout the plant.The roots contain stachyose and the stems contain tannic substances.

The related species, Origanum majorana, from Asia Minor, has a totally different flavor, since its essential oil lacks phenolic compounds. Some crosses between the two species (golden oregano, also called golden marjoram) have an intermediate flavor.

Folk medicine

Its properties have been widely studied, the most important being its antioxidant, antimicrobial and, in fairly early studies, antitumor, antiseptic, and it is also considered tonic and digestive.

In folk medicine, the infusion of oregano has been used as an aid in the treatment of coughs.

Hippocrates used oregano as an antiseptic, as well as a cure for stomach and respiratory diseases. A Cretan oregano (O. dictamnus) is still used today in Greece as a palliative for sore throat.

Oregano has high antioxidant activity, due to a high content of phenolic acids and flavonoids.In test tube studies, it has also demonstrated antimicrobial activity against strains of the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.

In traditional Austrian medicine it has been used, both internally and externally, for the treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract and nervous system.

Active ingredients

Retusin flavonol can be found in Origanum vulgare.

Oregano is used in cigarettes and smoked to stimulate memory as a nootropic drug.

Oregano essential oil is composed mainly of monoterpenoids and monoterpenes. However, concentrations of specific compounds vary widely, depending on geographic location and other variable factors. More than 60 different compounds have been identified, the major ones being carvacrol and thymol, ranging from 0 to more than 80 %, while minor abundant compounds include p-cymene, γ-terpinene, caryophyllene, spathulenol, germacrene-D, β-fenchyl alcohol and δ-terpineol.

Drying of plant material affects both the amount and distribution of volatile compounds, with methods using higher heat and longer drying times having a greater negative impact. A sample of fresh whole plant material shown to contain 33 g/kg dry weight (3.1 g/kg wet) decreased by less than one-third after air convection-dried heating. Much higher concentrations of volatile compounds are found towards the end of the growing season.

Culinary uses

Oregano is an aromatic herb highly appreciated gastronomically, as it brings an intense personality to the elaborations in which it participates as a condiment, even influencing the language (the expression “…”).Not all the bush is oregano”, which alludes to both the cuisine and its etymological origin,means “grass that brightens the mountain”). Among the most significant dishes in which oregano is added as a flavoring agent are mojos, marinades and sauces such as bolognese. It stands out in Mediterranean cuisine, especially in Italian cuisine, where it is a very characteristic flavor. It is a common ingredient in recipes such as lasagna, Torta di Ricota, Creole soup, enchiladas mineras, pizza, baked tomatoes, Neapolitan chicken breasts, cauliflower soup, stewed potatoes, garlic bread, tuna zahareño, pirozhki (stuffed Russian buns) or fricassee. Some of the major European brands pack viridis, heracleoticum, illyricum, angustifoliu and capitatum.