Oregano is an amazing herb, and definitely one that everyone should have growing in their backyard herb garden. Not only does it add great flavor to your favorite dishes, it’s also a powerful medicinal herb. Many of the common culinary herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage also have healing benefits, and do double duty in the garden. The medicinal benefits of oregano are no exception, and it might even be one of the herbs that you turn to first.
Why You Should be Growing Oregano
A staple in Mediterranean, Italian, French, and Latin American recipes, oregano is highly prized for its culinary uses as well as its medicinal properties.
Whether you’re working with an outdoor garden or indoor gardening vessels, oregano couldn’t be easier to grow and requires little, if any, special treatment.
The best part? Oregano comes back every season, bigger and stronger than the previous year.
How to Plant Oregano
Oregano is one of those Mediterranean herbs that grow well in full sun, planted in lean-to-average soil that is well-drained. Climate, soil, and moisture can all cause variation in the oregano’s flavor, and rich soil tends to dilute the pungency of the flavor. This is a good plant for those sunny areas of your yard with poor soil that isn’t very suitable for other plants.
Few pests bother oregano, but keep an eye out for spider mites and aphids. Wet soils can cause root rot.
Most oregano varieties need full sun, however, the golden oregano variety does best in part shade, as its leaves tend to scorch in full sun.
Sandy loam is best suited for oregano. If planting in pots, use any well-draining, general-purpose potting soil, possibly blended with some extra sand, perlite, or vermiculite.
Do not overwater oregano. Water thoroughly only after the soil is dry to the touch.
Many herbs are considered weeds and most are not particular about the soil in which they grow. Oregano is no exception—it will grow in soil that is only moderately fertile. Do not add compost or fertilizer to its growing area. Large amounts of nutrients, such as nitrogen, can change the flavor of this herb.
It can grow anywhere
One of the important considerations that you need to make when buying a new addition to the home is the space where you can place it. This applies to plants, too. If you’re planning to plant oregano at home, there’s no need to worry as it can thrive indoors or outdoors. Just make sure you place it in a well-lit area so it can get enough sunlight.
It can help heal wounds
To avoid wound infections, you may place oregano leaves on the affected area. Its natural oils contain an essential compound called carvacol that helps disinfect a wound and avoid bacteria. It is also known to slowly treat scars.
It helps repel pests
Troubled by pests at home? Oregano has a minty scent that keeps cockroaches and mosquitoes away from the garden or pantry. You may also use it as a natural deodorizer for the kitchen. Simply mix it with essential oils such as lavender and vanilla.
It helps treat dandruff
If you’re looking for a natural remedy to treat dandruff, you can use oregano. To create the special solution that you can massage into your scalp, simply mix a half cup of dried shredded oregano leaves with olive oil.
It can help reduce allergic rhinitis
To help you deal with constant sneezing in the morning, add a couple of drops of oregano oil to your reed diffuser. The calming smell will surely help clear a stuffy nose.