Herb or Spice
History, Folklore & Properties
Oregano – once thought to be a gift from Aphrodite, the goddess of love, the Greeks and Romans used the herb in love potions and spells to bring the passion back to a relationship. The leaves were also used to crown married couples for good luck. Often it was thought that if you anointed yourself with oregano oil before going to bed that you would dream of your future love. Aphrodite, though the goddess of love, was not the goddess loyalty or faithfulness. Therefore if you used Oregano it was usually because you were letting go of old love and welcoming in a new one.
In other cultures, if you wrapped the leaves of the herb around your head before going to bed it was thought that you would have physic dreams and see your future. In addition many cultures including the Egyptians used Oregano as a powerful sedative, a narcotic, and a poison. Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine, used oregano as an antiseptic as well as a cure for stomach and respiratory ailments.
Oregano is native to warm-temperate western and southwestern Eurasia regions as well as the mediterranean region. It is a perennial herb. Even though the two herbs are very different, it is sometimes called Wild Marjoram.
Taste & Flavor
Oregano is essential in many different types of cooking. Often paired with Basil (and on occasion Thyme), and though its taste might be bitter, Oregano adds an earthy, fresh flavor to meals. This herb is used often in Italian cooking in such dishes as pizza and pasta sauce. Though the dried herb is more flavorful than the fresh, the aroma and flavor of the fresh herb is great for salads, works well with spicy foods, and fish.
Oregano has long been thought of as having major healing properties. Though modern medicine has not supported ancient claims that the herb can heal certain ailments it has proved that Oregano has some healing properties. A high antioxidant, Oregano has demonstrated anti-fungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. In the 18th Century, doctors used the herb to treat coughs and asthma.
A high grade quality of oregano can be so strong that it almost numbs the tongue. As it is a very strong sedative, it should not be taken in large doses. Taken as a tea, extract, in capsule form, or oil extract, Oregano is said to treat colds, influenza, mild fevers, indigestion, stomach upsets, painful menstruation and sleeplessness. Oil of oregano has been found helpful against ear infections. Practitioners of alternative medicine often recommend oregano as an herb essential to aid in the recovery of a variety of ailments.
Magic and Potions
Oregano is the herb of tranquility, happiness, good luck, health, and protection. Make a tea or burn like incense for letting go of someone you love: boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife or any other person that his hard to let go of.
Oregano can also be planted around your house for protection. If the leaves are scattered inside your house it is said to protect the house; place in a sachet and wear on your person for good luck and good health.
In my Opinion
I have not tested Oregano to see if it will bring me a new love, protect my home, or make me dream the next winning lottery tickets. What I do know about this aromatic herb is that it tastes phenomenal in the salads I make, on roasted vegetables like potatoes and corn. If applied with the right measurement, married with the perfect ingredients, you can pair with a wine that will result in an unforgettably amazing meal.