I thought I’d share with you my favorite medicinal/culinary herbs that we are working on growing here at the Johnson homestead.
First up: Oregano.
Origanum vulgare, Common and Wild Marjoram, Greek Oregano and Winter Oregano.
It’s most popular in it’s culinary uses, especially in Italian and Greek cuisine. It goes particularly well with tomato based dishes. Over here I use it in everything..soup, stew, when roasting meat or a chicken, almost every crock pot dish and even sometimes with my eggs.
Mountain Rose Herbs describes it as:
“Oregano is a warm and aromatic yet slightly bitter herb in the mint family. Good quality oregano has a pungency that numbs the tongue. The best quality oregano is grown in a warm, dry climate. The name is derived from the Greek, meaning “mountain of joy”. Sunlight encourages the concentration of the essential oils that give oregano its flavor. Two other herbs are used in the same ways as common oregano but have different culinary and medicinal properties. Mexican oregano is a plant in the verbena family that has an even stronger flavor, while marjoram is a closely related plant that lacks oregano’s essential oil and has a different, gentler “mouth feel.”
While most people are only familiar with Oregano as a kitchen spice it has surprising health benefits. Perhaps the most remarkable is it’s powerful antibacterial properties thanks to it’s two oils thymol and carvacrol. Oregano is found to be antibacterial, antiparasitic, antiseptic, immune stimulating and antiviral.
Oregano is popular in the Natural healing community but is starting to get attention in mainstream medicine as well. While studies are still being done Oregano has been found to show antibacterial and healing properties against E. Coli, Salmonella, vaginal infections, candida, aspergillus mold, staph infections, listeria and pathogenic germs. Some studies suggest it is as effective as mainstream antibiotics in killing germs and bacteria. Mark’s Daily Apple states :In fact, researchers recently discovered that oregano is a better treatment for giardia than the prescription drug commonly prescribed to treat the illness. Pretty Impressive! Good to have on hand in cases where you might have consumed contaminated drinking water. 😛
Oregano is also packed with healthy Omega-3’s, Iron, manganese, Vitamin K, fiber and antioxidants making it great for all around health.
While the fresh or dried herb can be used, oregano essential oil comes in handy as well. I’ve heard of it being used to boost the immune system internally when sick, being used topically for things like athletes foot and ringworm as well as using as a mixture with water to spray on trees suffering from fungus/mold issues.
We plan on keeping the essential oil on hand as well as using the herb we grow to makes teas, tinctures,sprays, salves…you name it.
Keep in mind I’m not a doctor, I’m just sharing things I’ve found in our journey to become more self-sufficient. Oregano/Oregano oil does need proper dilution when being used medicinally and is not considered safe under certain circumstances such as pregnancy. Consult a health practitioner before self medicating 😉