Oregano: cultivation, properties and benefits
cultivation, properties and benefits
It is a herbaceous, perennial, bushy plant, native to the Mediterranean countries that grows spontaneously in sunny and arid places up to 2000 m a.s.l. and it is cultivated as an aromatic plant and for its therapeutic properties.
Lamiaceae (formerly Labiateae)
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
The oregano belonging to kind Origanum, family Lamiaceae, groups herbaceous, perennial, bushy plants, native to Mediterranean countries. It grows spontaneously in sunny and arid places up to 2000 m a.s.l. and it is cultivated as an aromatic plant and for its therapeutic properties.
The name derives from the Greek oros "Mountain" and from gamos «Splendor, delight» that is to say «joy of the mountain» because in the spontaneous state it colors with its flowers the mountainous and hilly stony and sunny slopes.
The stem it is erect, quadrangular, 50-80 cm tall, branched and reddish in the upper part and covered, in most of the species, by a thick down.
The root it is a blackish creeping rhizome with fibrous roots.
Leaves they are oval-lanceolate, with smooth or slightly indented margins, provided with a short petiole, often pubescent.
The flowers they are collected in panicles placed at the top of the stelias of a beautiful white - pink - red color provided with reddish-violet bracts they are hermaphrodites with entomophilic pollination especially bees and butterflies.
The fruit it is a dark colored capsule.
The plant is often confused with marjoram (Origanum majorana of the same family) as the appearance is very similar but the taste and aroma is very different as it does not contain the essential oils of oregano.
There are about fifty species belonging to the genus Origanum among which we remember
L'Origanum vulgare it is what we know and are used to buying as Origan used for both food and therapeutic purposes.
There are many varieties both selected for ornamental purposes and for therapeutic purposes:Origanum vulgare variety aureum which is used for culinary purposes from the leaves that turn golden in summer. L'Origanum vulgare hirtumor as many called Oregano heracleoticum widespread in Italy together with the vulgaris, in peninsular Asia and in the Balkan countries with leaves covered with hairs and white flowers.
L'Origanum onites it is widespread in Greece, Turkey and Asia as an aromatic plant even if in aroma and flavor it is inferior to Origanum vulgare as it is more bitter even if it is more persistent.
It has roughly the same therapeutic properties asOriganum vulgare.
L'Origanum compactum is considered by many to be a variety ofOriganum vulgare.
It is a low variety, used only as an aromatic, there is not much news about this species.
L'Origanum dictamnus, is used almost exclusively as an aromatic plant with a much more delicate taste than theOriganum vulgarein fact it is used to flavor vermouth and its leaves to dress salads. The flowers provide a very fragrant tea.
It is practically not used for therapeutic purposes.Other species are:
ORIGANUM SYRIACUM, little used in Italy whose taste is a mixture of oregano, marjoram and thyme. In Jordan the "zahtar" is very famous, a mixture of herbs very used as a condiment whose main spice is thyme and this species is used as oregano. It is not used for therapeutic purposes.
ORIGANUM GLANDULOSUM, ORIGANUM ISTHMICUM, ORIGANUMVIRENS, which are used very little for aromatic purposes and not at all for therapeutic purposes.
To grow at its best and give all its aroma it must develop in the sun, in the heat and in the air. Grown in shady and cool places, the quality and quantity of essential diols decreases significantly. It is the plants that grow near the marine areas that have the greatest fragrance.
As the vegetation dries up it is necessary to remove it.
It is not a particularly large plant so weed control must be done carefully.
The soil must be worked fairly regularly in order to remove the surface crust that makes the soil asphyxiated especially if cultivation takes place in clayey soils.
WATERING THE ORIGANO
Prefers dry soils, it should be watered little and often taking care not to soak the soil and not to leave water stagnations which are not tolerated in any way and cause root rot. The greatest water requirements occur when the plant is still young and during flowering.
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
Oregano is a plant that it easily adapts to any type of terrain even poor ones, even if it prefers calcareous, permeable and dry soils and with a good dose of organic substance.
It does not tolerate humid soils, especially in winter, especially if associated with too low temperatures.
The plants are very rustic and do not require special fertilization. At the vegetative recovery a complete fertilization with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium is done. After each cut it is good to make a new nitrogen fertilization to stimulate the plant to grow.
Oregano blooms from July to September-October and the seeds ripen from August to September-October.
For this aromatic plant we are not talking about real pruning but simply eliminating the damaged or dry parts to avoid the onset of diseases.
MULTIPLICATION OF ORIGANO
They multiply by seed, by cutting or by division of the plant.
Multiplication by seed has the disadvantage that, when genetic variability takes over, you are not sure that you will have plants that are the same as the mother plants, in which case if you want to obtain a very specific type of plant and you are not sure of the quality of the seed that you are using, it is good to do the multiplication by oper cutting or by division of the mother plant.
MULTIPLICATION BY SEEDS
If you plan to do the sowing in pots or in seedbeds of oreganothe seeds are sown in early spring in a compost formed in equal parts of fertile soil and sand. Since the seeds are small, to bury them lightly, push them under the soil using a flat piece of wood or you can pour new soil on top.
The tray containing the seeds should be kept in the shade, at a temperature around 10-13 ° C and it is essential that the soil is constantly humid (use a sprayer to completely moisten the soil) until the moment of germination.
The tray must be covered with a transparent plastic sheet (or with a glass plate) which will guarantee a good temperature and avoid too rapid drying of the soil. The plastic sheet must be removed every day to check the level of humidity in the soil and to remove the condensation that forms on the plastic.
Once the seeds have germinated (usually after a couple of weeks), remove the plastic sheet and move the box to a brighter location (not direct sun).
Among all the plants born, there will certainly be those less vigorous than others. Identify and eliminate them in this way you will guarantee more space for the most robust plants.
Once the seedlings are large enough to be handled (5-6cm) they are transplanted into the final arrangement.
If you plan to sow directly in the field or in the garden, it is necessary to work the soil in order to eliminate the superficial crust and make it at least compact and uniform and to make a bottom manure.
It is sown in spring starting from April taking care not to over-bury the seed and arranging them so that the plants are then spaced by about 30-50cm both on the row and between the rows.
If you transplant oregano seedlings grown in seedbeds, the transplant must be done in April-May.
MULTIPLICATION FOR TALEA
The multiplication by cuttings takes place in June. The cuttings must be 8-10 cm long from the non-flowering basal shoots and must be taken from a healthy and vigorous plant. They should be planted in a mixture of peat and sand and kept in a cool greenhouse (about 10 ° C) until they are rooted after which, as soon as they have rooted, they can be transplanted.
The multiplication by division of the plant is carried out in March or October.It would be preferable to keep the young plants in a cool place until they have taken root and then be transplanted in their defined place in late spring or early summer.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
Plants are not particularly prone to pest attacks. Leafhoppers and aphids can attack this plant.
The composition of active ingredients of this aromatic plant varies according to the harvest time, the cultivation conditions and how the plant is collected and stored. In principle, however, the main constituents responsible for their aromatic properties (essential oils are about 4%) are phenolics, in particular thymol and carvachlor. Other constituents of essential oils are fats, proteins, numerous mineral salts (calcium, iron, magnesium, sodium, zinc, potassium), vitamins such as thiamine, carbohydrates.
COLLECTION AND STORAGE
The flowering tops are collected at the beginning of flowering by cutting them with all the branches. It is good, if the plant is only one year old, to make only one mowing, vice versa, from the second year it is possible to do two mowings, one in July and one in September-October.
The sprigs with flowers should be dried as soon as they are picked, as quickly as possible hanging upside down in dry, dark and airy places so that they do not lose their characteristics. Once dried, the leaves and flowers must be recovered, crumbled and stored in glass jars.
It does not lose its aroma with drying.
See: «Medicinal plants: oregano».
USE IN THE KITCHEN
This aromatic plant especially in Mediterranean countries is very well known and used as a spice to flavor many dishes: salads, sauces, pizzas, meat, fish and vegetables.
In other countries it does not find such widespread use except in Mexico and America where, however, Mexican oregano is used Lippia graveolensof the family of Verbenaceae which has a composition quite similar toOriganum vulgare and a much stronger flavor and is widely commercialized in America and widely used to season chili combined with other spices such as paprika, garlic, onion and cumin.
This aromatic plant, contrary to what happens to other herbs (for example parsley, garlic, basil, thyme, etc.) with drying maintains its aroma, indeed it is stronger and more concentrated as it also happens in rosemary. This could be explained by the fact that the destruction of plant tissues makes essential oils more available and therefore they spread more in food.
CURIOSITY ABOUT ORIGIN
It is well known since ancient times for its therapeutic qualities as Dioscorides, Columella and Pliny testify. The ancient Egyptians used it in mixtures for the preservation of mummies.
It is a good repellent for ants: just sprinkle it in the frequented places and remember to replace it often. In addition to ants, it is unwelcome to many other parasites so it could be grown together with other plants that are much more sensitive.
It is also called anchovy herbto o acciughero as it is widely used to flavor anchovies. Another popular one is good mood herb because in the past it was used against depression.
LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS AND PLANTS
See: «Oregano - The language of flowers and plants».
Oregano: therapeutic properties and benefits for the intestine
Nowadays many of us suffer from intestinal pain and various problems related to the difficulty in the digestive process. Oregano, already widely used everywhere in Mediterranean cuisine, has a variety of therapeutic properties and is an excellent natural remedy thanks to its strong natural antibiotic function, it fights colds, flu states and much more.
LпїЅorigano is a very widespread and popular aromatic plant in our country. In fact, it becomes part of a large number of recipes, in particular in combination with tomato, mozzarella, fish and vegetables. It is commonly sold dry, as it manages to keep its flavor and aroma very well (and, indeed, it is enhanced). However, it can also be used fresh, especially in combination with cold dishes.
It is a very commonly grown herb because besides being very easy to maintain, it is incredibly useful and eclectic. It is also much loved by bees, becoming part of many wildflower honeys or, in particular cases, especially in the mountains and in the Mediterranean scrub, it becomes the absolute protagonist of foraging.
In addition to this, it has always been considered a medicinal plant thanks to its antiseptic, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic and tonic properties.
In midsummer to be dried
Oregano - Origanum vulgareSpeaking of Origanum vulgare, it is good to know that it is a genus consisting of about 20 species, some of which are herbaceous, perennial and aromatic, others are evergreen shrubs.
Marjoram - Origanum majoranaMarjoram is a herbaceous, perennial, bushy plant native to north-western African and central Asian areas. This plant belongs to the Lamiaceae family and is known to.
Oregano and MarjoramOregano and marjoram both belong to the same species, origanum are small perennials, native to the Mediterranean area, Asia and Africa, widely used in cooking. Origanum v.
Oregano essential oil
Benefits and properties of oregano
Oregano is first of all a digestive plant: its aroma is able to stimulate the production of gastric juices in the stomach, which facilitate rapid digestion.
When heavy dishes are seasoned with this herb in the kitchen, it is not only done to give flavor but also to take advantage of the benefits of the medicinal value of this herb.
The dried leaves and inflorescences of oregano they can be used to make decoctions and infusions, in this way the benefit is maximized, even if it is not a particularly pleasant herbal tea.
In addition to digestive power oregano it is generally useful for the stomach, against spasms and pains, it is a natural analgesic and expectorant.
Its filtered decoction can be tried to soothe sore throats and appears to have a disinfectant effect on the intestine, so it can be a natural remedy for parasites of the intestinal flora.
Properties and benefits of oregano
Definitely, besides being a powerful natural antibiotic, can be used as an antiseptic, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory.
A real bomb for our health: Natural infusion that cleans the colon and intestines
A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar a day can counteract numerous health problems
It makes us full of vitamins, including A, B and C. Aromatherapy and flower therapy use essential oil with oregano.
Using it often in the kitchen, it seems that it is capable of fight meteorism. The infusion is excellent, which helps us fight cellulite and orange peel.
We can also possibly use it in the form of herbal tea, especially when we have periods: powerful analgesic action.
Among the benefits, it is a natural remedy against ants for its repellent properties. So, we can grow the plant and put it on the balcony.
Usually, grow oregano it is not difficult. Indeed, especially if you live in Southern Italy, where the climate is more temperate, you will have a luxuriant plant!
It blooms in late spring and its flowering branches can be harvested. In winter, it loses them: it almost seems that the plant is dead, but it is not. Let's say it's some kind of protection.
Did you know all its uses and properties? Do you use this plant in the kitchen? Surely, we advise you to do it: the dishes take on a completely different flavor!
Oregano: properties and health benefits
Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is not just a simple aromatic herb to use in cooking, but a real natural medicine to be used to maintain health for a long time and to prevent disease.
It contains phenols, vitamins and mineral salts, among which we find iron, potassium, calcium and manganese, which make it an effective natural remedy and supplement. Oregano can be easily grown in the garden or in pots.
Oregano is a natural antibiotic, useful for protecting us from respiratory diseases. It has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antispasmodic properties. The essential oil contained in oregano is the most powerful natural antiseptic known to date, at least as regards the essences extracted from plants.
Its effectiveness against staphylococcus makes it widely used in aromatherapy, especially for the treatment of diseases affecting the respiratory tract and which can affect the bronchi, lungs and throat. The essential oil of oregano can be used for fumigations with boiling water and bicarbonate in case of colds and stuffy nose. The best essential oil is extracted from oregano from organic farming and is 100% pure.
The analgesic properties of oregano make it an effective remedy against intestinal parasites. The analgesic and antiseptic properties of this aromatic and medicinal plant play a fundamental role against fungi and intestinal parasites. Against parasites, oregano extract is used, which must be taken following the instructions of an expert.
Oregano has anti-cancer properties. Experts from Long Island University have highlighted the presence within oregano of a killer substance effective against prostate cancer. This aromatic herb contains a component that causes cancer cells to self-destruct. Its action has been tested with regard to prostate cancer, one of the diseases that most affects the male population.
We can consider oregano among the foods to exploit the antioxidant properties. In fact, the origin contains vitamin C, a substance that allows the body to develop greater resistance to both infections and inflammatory agents and free radicals, one of the main causes of premature aging of the cells of our body.
Oregano is a natural analgesic, useful in reducing pain. It is considered particularly effective in case of painful menstruation. It is possible to prepare an oregano herbal tea against menstrual pains, in the form of an infusion. Just leave a teaspoon of dried oregano leaves to infuse in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes, then filter the liquid and drink it still hot once a day.
The anti-cellulite properties of oregano allow it to be used to combat the blemish itself and the blood or lymphatic circulation disorders that can cause it. It is possible to prepare an oregano-based infusion to drink once a day using half a teaspoon of dried leaves for each 200 milliliter cup of water.