Leaf & Flowering top
Oregano is a perennial herb with creeping roots, 30-90 cm high, branched woody stems and opposite, petiolate and hairy leaves (1.5 cm long). The flowers are pale purple and the flowering period extends from late June to August. Each flower produces four small structures. The foliage is dotted with small glands containing the volatile oil, which gives the plant aroma and colour.
Origin and Distribution
Oregano is endemic to Mediterranean region but is cultivated in Mexico, Italy, Turkey, Dominican Republic and Greece. In India it is found in temperate Himalayas from Kashmir to Sikkim. It is a hardy plant and can be grown in all warm garden soils. Temperate to sub-tropical climate is preferred by the plant and it grows in light, well-drained soil in a sunny position.
Oregano is used in meat, sausages, salads, dressings, stews and soups. In food industry, oregano oil and oleoresin is used in food and beverages. Oregano oil is used in alcoholic beverages and in baked goods. It is a most common spice for pizza. The oregano oil possesses carminative, stomachic, diuretic, diaphoretic properties. It is used in whooping cough and bronchitis. It is also used as an external application for healing wounds. It has antioxidant and anti-microbial properties.
Indian Name of Spices
Hindi : Sathra, Mirzanjosh Malayalam : Kattumaruva Punjabi : Mirzanjosha Urdu : Mirzanjosha
Foreign Name of Spices
Arabic : Anrar Czech : Oregano French : Origan German : Oregano Greek : Origanon Italian : Origano Spanish : Oregano Thai : Origano