This beautiful green bouquet of fresh Oregano leaves will be made into tea a bit later. Although Oregano tea is not the most enjoyable of teas, unlike Tarragon tea or Lemongrass tea which I both like, the leaves are known for its medicinal benefits – as a natural treatment for colds, cough, and flu.
The Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is a culinary herb from the mint family (Lamiaceae). The verdant leaves have a strong, aromatic, citrusy scent and slightly bitter flavour, and can be used in cooking either dried or fresh. It is often used in marinades, vegetable salads, or added into tomato sauce or pesto.
There are different kinds of Oregano. I found that the ones we grow at home are Cuban Oregano (Plectranthus amboinicus) which has hairy, succulent leaves and fleshy stems. In the US, it is known by other common names including “Mexican Mint”, “Spanish Thyme”, “French Thyme”, and “Indian Mint”. In the Philippines, it is simply called Oregano.
The Oregano is a perennial plant, which means it can live in your garden for more than two years. I have had my Oreganos for over two years now, and it has quickly grown and multiplied from a single plant in one pot to a number of plants in different planters.
If you have a home garden, Oregano is a wonderful plant to have. It is very easy to grow from stem cuttings and doesn’t require a lot of work. It thrives in a well-drained soil, placed in a partly shaded area. I love its deep green color and the lush leaves look gorgeous with all my other herbs.
Do you have an herb garden? Do you have Oregano? I haven’t tried cooking with it, but if you know a recipe that makes use of fresh or dried Oregano leaves, please do share it in your comments.