Origanum Vulgare or commonly known as Oregano was first valued by ancient Egyptians, who used this perennial herb as both a preservative and a remedy for poison. Extremely useful as a remedy for coughs and asthma, research has confirmed oregano's use as an antibacterial and anti fungal treatment for all manner of respiratory ailments. This wonderful herb can also help to stimulate the appetite and has been found to be beneficial in alleviating tooth pain. Oregano has a spicy, almost minty flavor that makes it a very popular addition to the kitchen. It is seen on pizza, in pastas, soups and sauces from around the world.
The name Oregano is derived from the Greek words "oros ganos" which means "joy of the mountains' Wild varieties of this wonderful herb thrive in the mountains of Greece.
Oregano has a long history in folk medicine as a promoter of menstruation; therefore pregnant women should avoid medicinal concentrations applications such as essential oils or infusions.
Experiment making a tasty Oregano-Pepper Cheese as a special treat for your next get together.
Use 8-10 sprigs of fresh oregano
3 cloves of finely sliced, fresh garlic
2 red chilies or 1/4 teaspoon of dried chili flakes
8 oz mozzarella cut into small, bite size chunks
1 Tablespoons each green, pink and black whole peppercorns
1 teaspoons of small capers
2 cups of good olive oil
Rinse the oregano sprigs and dry well, strip the leaves from the stems and set aside.
Peel and finely slice each clove of garlic
Wearing gloves, rinse and slice into rings the chilies, removing the seeds.
Cut the mozzarella into small bite size chunks.
In a canning or screw top jar, start layering the ingredients until they are all used. Pour the olive oil over the layers until they are covered and then tightly close the jar. Be sure to leave some head room in the jar!
Marinate the mixture for at least 1 week. Serve with fresh rustic or Italian bread slices or crackers.
Homemade Oregano butter is a tasty variation as well. In a mixer, blend 1-2 bunches of oregano, 1-2 cloves of peeled garlic and 2 sticks of sweet, salted butter. Serve on bread or crackers. This is a great compliment to soups, salads and pasta dishes. It is healthy too!