I found this online: (Who knew?)
Oregano is a powerhouse of flavor and packs some surprising health benefits. Oregano was held in high esteem by the ancient Greeks. The name in Greek means "delight of the mountains." Oregano is native to Europe. This creeping plant, with fuzzy leaves, is hardy to zone 5. While it does like warmth and well-drained soil it is not picky as to soil type. It likes sun but will also survive in part-shade conditions. In bloom this plant has small white flowers. It is a good companion plant. Its flowers attract bees and butterflies.
You will find oregano used widely in folklore remedies and in a variety of cooking. Oregano oil has found a place of significance in the world of natural remedies. Oregano is a potent antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-fungal. Oregano has been found to have 42 more times anti-oxidants than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, and up to 12 times more than oranges and blueberries. Some antioxidant power is lost in the drying process so use oregano fresh whenever possible. The antioxidant properties are thought to help preserve food by inhibiting the growth of bacteria. One tablespoon of fresh is equal to approximately one teaspoon of dried. Fresh oregano can keep well for several days in the refrigerator if wrapped in a damp paper towel and sealed in a plastic bag.
Oregano is found to inhibit a number of bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. Oregano has been used for coughs caused by upper respiratory infection. It is also used as an expectorant. Folk medicine has seen it used for menstrual irregularities and urinary tract infections. It has been used topically to treat skin infections. It is of great benefit to settle flatulence and stimulates the flow of bile. The antiseptic properties make it excellent to use in the treatment of mouth conditions and as a mouthwash for the inflammations of the mouth and throat. Oregano is typically used as an infusion for these afflictions. Headaches, especially ones caused by tension, may be relieved by Oregano tea. Today food grade Oregano oil can be purchased in any health food store and has many medicinal benefits. Please follow the directions. Adding oregano to food is fine anytime but do not take oregano for medicinal purposes during pregnancy.
To make an infusion at home pour boiling water over 1 tsp. of the herb and let infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3 times per day. To make mouthwash at home pour 1 pint of boiling water on 2 tablespoons of the herb and let infuse for 10-15 minutes. Reheat to use as a gargle.
Oregano cannot be surpassed in Mediterranean cooking and is often used dried rather than fresh. The leaves are frequently used in salad dressings, vegetables, and legumes. Oregano is often included in dishes that feature chilies, garlic, and onions.
Quick, Easy -N- Fast Greek Dressing
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 c. red wine vinegar (see note)
1 T. Greek oregano
5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 T. freshly ground pepper or to taste
1 1/2 T. salt or to taste
In a bowl combine the olive oil, vinegar, oregano
(rub the oregano between your palms to increase the flavor),
garlic, pepper, and salt. Combine with a wire
whisk until smooth. Refrigerate dressing in a bottle or
jar with tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously before using.
Note: You can replace the wine vinegar with fresh lemon juice.
References: The Herbalpedia 2004, The Herb Growing and Marketing Network. Silver Springs, PA
Tuesday, November 6, 2012