Habitat & Cultivation : Oregano is native to Europe and naturalized in the Middle East. The plant thrives in chalky soils close to the sea. It is gathered when in flower in summer.
Parts Used : Aerial parts, essential oil.
Constituents : Oregano contains a volatile oil (comprising carvacrol, thymol, beta-bisabolene, caryophyllene, linalool and borneol), tannins, resin, sterols and flavonoids. Both carvacrol and thymol are antibacterial and antifungal.
History & Folklore : Esteemed by the ancient Greeks, oregano was considered a cure-all in medieval times. It was one of the medicinal plants cultivated by early New England settlers.
Medicinal Actions & Uses : Oregano, along with its oil, exhibits strong antiseptic properties, displaying potent activity against various bacteria and fungi, including notable effectiveness against E. coli and Candida strains. It proves beneficial in addressing both acute and chronic infections impacting the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts, such as gastroenteritis, dysentery, bronchitis, coughs, and tonsillitis. Both the herb and its oil play a role in inhibiting gut flora, contributing significantly to the management of gut dysbiosis—a condition marked by symptoms like wind, bloating, and abdominal discomfort due to the presence of harmful gut bacteria. Additionally, the diluted oil can be topically applied to alleviate toothache or discomfort in joints.