Thursday, May 08, 2008

Spice : Oregano

Latin Name: Origanum vulgare

Alternate Names:
Wild Marjoram


Parts Used: Above ground portion.

Properties: Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Aromatic, Carminative, Cholagogue, Diaphoretic, Digestive Tonic, Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Stimulant, Stomach Tonic, Tonic.

Internal Uses: Amenorrhea, Bronchitis, Colic, Cough, Dysmenorrhea, Dyspepsia, Fever, Flatulence, Headache, Indigestion, Measles, Motion Sickness, Mumps, Nausea, Neuralgia, Pleurisy, Rheumatism, Tonsillitis

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.

It helps headaches due to nerves.

Topical Uses: Bruises, Colds, Congestion, Flu, Headache, Joint Pain, Sinus Congestion, Sprains, Swellings, Toothache

Topical Applications: Use as a liniment, poultice or compress for bruises, sprains, swellings, headache and painful joints. Bath herb for colds and flu. Inhalations of tea to clear congested lungs and sinuses. Hair rinse. Chew on leaves or apply diluted oil for toothaches. Perfume.

Culinary uses: Used to season vegetables and sauces in German, Greek, Italian, Mexican and Spanish cooking. Use to season pizza, chili, meat dishes, beans, eggs, relishes, dips and salad dressing. Used in bouquets, garnishes, beer, bitters and vermouth. Energetics: Pungent, Warm.

Chemical Constituents: Essential oil (carvacrol, thymol), terpenes (borneol, terpinene, terpineol), flavonoids, tannins, bitters.

Contraindications: Avoid large medicinal dosages during pregnancy.

Comments: The genus name, Origanum is from the Greek words oros and ganos, meaning 'joy of the mountain' in reference to the plant's beauty when growing on mountainsides. Romans made wreaths of Oregano to crown young couples.

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