Oregano and Its Many Medical and Culinary Uses

The Many Uses of Oregano
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Definition of Oregano by Merriam Webster

1: “a bushy perennial mint (Origanum vulgare) with leaves that are used as a seasoning and a source of aromatic oil 

— called also origanum,  wild marjoram 2: any of several plants (genera Lippia and Coleus) other than oregano of the vervain or mint families.”

“Oregano oil contains high levels of important compounds in its leaves and smaller stems. Oil manufacturers dry the leaves and stems, then steam-distill the plant matter to extract as many compounds as possible.

Brief Overview of Oregano

Oregano oil contains:

  • carvacrol, the main active compound in oregano oil and a type of antioxidant called a phenol
  • thymol, which may help protect against toxins and fight fungal infections

While oregano oil contains a significant amount, the compound thymol occurs most abundantly in thyme.” -MedicalNewsToday

Medical Uses

“Oregano is used for respiratory tract disorders such as coughs, asthma, croup, and bronchitis. It is also used for gastrointestinal (GI) disorders such as heartburn and bloating. Other uses include treating menstrual cramps, rheumatoid arthritis, urinary tract disorders, including urinary tract infections (UTIs), headaches, and heart conditions.

The oil of oregano is taken by mouth for intestinal parasites, allergies, sinus pain, arthritis, cold and flu, swine flu, earaches, and fatigue. It is applied to the skin for skin conditions including acne, athlete’s foot, oily skin, dandruffcanker sores, warts, ringworm, rosacea, and psoriasis; as well as for insect and spider bites, gum disease, toothaches, muscle pain, and varicose veins. Oregano oil is also used topically as an insect repellent.” -WebMD

Fighting Urinary Tract Infection

“Interesting research has been done by the United States Department of Agriculture on Oregano oil’s ability to consistently kill E. Coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella, common and sometimes deadly foodborne pathogens.

According to the Mayo Clinic, most urinary tract infections are caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli. But drug-resistant strains of E-coli have developed, making urinary tract infections harder to treat. A major advantage of using an essential oil to fight germs is that pathogens do not develop resistant strains to essential oils. 

Clinical studies have proven that bacteria do not develop resistance to oregano oil, but continue to be destroyed by it over time. As a broad-spectrum anti-microbial, it will destroy both urinary tract bacteria and yeasts, unlike most antibiotics.” -Health Freedom Resources

Healing Small Cuts or Wounds

Because of the ingredients in oregano oil, carvacrol, and thymol, you can prevent a bacterial infection from forming and help the wound heal by making a paste or diluting oregano with a carrier oil.

healing small cuts and wounds with oregano 
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Oregano Ointment Recipe for Small Cuts or Wounds

Ointment ingredients:


  1. Using a small double boiler, or heating a pan on your lowest setting, melt the coconut oil and beeswax until liquified. 
  2. Then add all essential oils, and mix thoroughly. 
  3. Now, pour the mixture into a small jar or tin and solidify in a cool place or your refrigerator.
  4. To apply, rub the salve/ointment on minor cuts and scrapes.
  5. If you need to draw out an infection, wrap a bandage loosely but firmly around the location and change out every few hours.
  6. Store the salve between uses in a cool place to keep it solidified.

Remember, when you apply essential oils you are not familiar with to your skin, test a small patch first.

Herbal Pastes for Both Medical and Culinary Uses

Fresh herbs are not always available, but yet you want the benefits and flavor they offer all year. One way to do this is to take your extra herbs your garden produces and ones you don’t wish to dry and make different herbal pastes.

Let’s take a look at how to make herb paste, and also at the traditional health benefits associated with some of the herbs.

Choosing the Right Type of Herbs for Food and Medical Pastes

When making herb paste, focus on herbs that have soft leaves such as oregano and mint. Others include:

  • basil
  • mint
  • oregano
  • marjoram
  • parsley
  • chives
  • cilantro
  • dill
  • lemon balm

To make, you will need a food processor and the following ingredients:

Simple Herb Paste Recipe

How to make herbal Pastes
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The Herbal Acadamy


  • A few handfuls of your chosen herb
  • A small amount of olive oil 


  1. Separate the leaves of the herbs from the stems
  2. Place the herbs into a food processor and pulse until the herbs are chopped fine.
  3. Continue to process the herbs as you add a drizzle of olive oil until the texture is a smooth paste.
  4. Once your paste has reached the desired consistency, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or freeze it in ice cube trays for later use. No ice cube trays? No worries. You can also freeze your paste by spreading it onto a cookie sheet or baking pan lined with wax or parchment paper.
  5. Before you pop the pan into the freezer, use a butter knife to score the paste into squares that will be easy to break apart once it’s frozen.
  6. After freezing, place your cubes or squares into labeled zip-top baggies or airtight containers.”

Combining Herbs for More Flavor

You can try different combinations of herbs once you are comfortable with making single pastes. There isn’t a limit, other than your particular tastes, as to how many herbs should be blended at one time.

List of different combinations.

  • Basil + Oregano
  • Parsley + Chives
  • Lemon Balm + Parsley
  • Marjoram + Oregano + Chives
  • Dill + Oregano + Basil + Parsley

How to Use Herbal Pastes

Herb pastes are versatile and are used in hot and cold foods and for medicinal type purposes. For culinary uses, they add wonderful flavors, antioxidants, and nutrients to your health. For medicinal, they also help heal naturally by using their powerful properties.

Food Uses

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • sautéing and stir-frying
  • flavoring soups or stews
  • seasoning baked or steamed veggies
  • stirred into pasta dishes or pasta salads (similar to pesto)
  • mixed into hummus as a spread for bread or crackers
  • spread onto chicken or meats prior to baking
  • seasoning grain dishes like rice or quinoa
  • mixed with mayo, mustard, or other condiments

More Than Just Seasonings

The Herbal Acadamy

“Whether you are enjoying them as a tea or a paste, basil, oregano, and lemon balm have some of the most versatile health applications of all the herbs in our list above.


Ocimum basilicum

  • expectorant
  • nervine
  • carminative

Outside of its uses in the kitchen, herbalists know that basil can help deal with intestinal cramps, nausea, and gas thanks to its carminative properties. It’s beneficial for the lungs, too, and can provide a welcome respite from a cough and cold-related congestion in the lungs and sinuses.

Garden basil’s cousin, Holy basil (aka Tulsi), is well known for its nervine properties. Not surprisingly, garden basil also has nervine properties and can promote calmness and clear thinking. Because of this ability, basil can be beneficial for stress-related headaches.


Origanum vulgare

  • antifungal
  • expectorant
  • carminative

Oregano has a reputation among herbalists as a traditional lung remedy, and for a good reason — like thyme (also revered for its role in lung health), oregano contains the volatile oil thymol. Both herbs were traditionally used as expectorants and to ease lung congestion. Used for topical application as well as enjoyed internally, oregano can help the body fend off fungal infections. You can learn more about thyme for nutrition and healing here.

Lemon balm 

Melissa officinalis

  • diaphoretic
  • nervine
  • antiviral

Yet another tummy-soothing carminative, lemon balm has a proven track record as a reliable mood booster with immune system benefits. It has been shown to have antiviral properties in laboratory and clinical trials (Hoffman, 2003), especially if used topically for viral-related skin problems.

It’s a popular herb for children because of its pleasant flavor and excellent safety record, and many herbal mammas know that a cup of warm lemon balm tea and a hot bath for their little ones can help stop a cold or flu from setting in (it works for big people, too)!”

Fresh Oregano Pesto

Prep Time 10 mins

Total Time 10 mins

Course: Appetizer, Main Course / Cuisine: Italian Servings: 6 / Calories: 195kcal / Author: Nicole Beaulieu

Making Pesto with Fresh Oregano or Basil
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Ingredients for the Pesto

  • 1 cup fresh oregano leaves, no stems
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste

For the Pasta

  • Pasta I used farfalle
  • Cherry tomatoes cut in half, optional
  • Parmesan cheese grated, optional


  • Combine all the pesto ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse until well combined.
  • If you’re using this for pasta, reserve some of the pasta water for the next step.
  • Now combine cooked pasta, pesto sauce, and pasta water in a skillet and cook on medium-high until well combined. 
  • Add the cherry tomatoes at the very end, and top with parmesan cheese.


You can use this recipe for any fresh herbs you have, including combinations of those herbs, as long as they add up to 1 cup in total. If you have time, try toasting the pine nuts on a dry pan on medium heat for a few minutes before blending the ingredients. This will add a wonderful dimension of nutty flavor. Pistachios make a great substitution for pine nuts if need be. 

The nutritional information is for the pesto only and does not include the pasta. Please keep in mind that nutritional information is an estimate and can vary depending on the ingredients used. Did you try this recipe? Don’t forget to comment and leave a star rating!


Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.1g | Protein: 4.4g | Fat: 17.8g | Saturated Fat: 3.2g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 164mg | Potassium: 238mg | Fiber: 5.4g | Sugar: 0.7g | Calcium: 354% | Iron: 6%

Outdoor Uses of Oregano

How to Use Oregano Oil to Heal Spider Bites

by Uncategory 

Oregano Oil Uses
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“The use of oregano (Origanum vulgare) dates back to ancient times when the ancient Greeks used as an antiseptic. Now, talking about spider bites in specific, it works because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

When applied, its essential compound – carvacrol – kills the microbes and prevents the infection from occurring. Further, beta-caryophyllin (E-BCP) in oregano oil heals the itchiness and redness.

Spider Bite Ointment

Ingredients and Directions

  • Mix 3-4 drops of oregano oil, 2 drops of lavender oil, and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a bowl. 
  • Apply it on the infected skin region, massage gently, and allow it to act.
  • You can also make a mixture containing 4 drops of oregano oil, 1 drop of camphor oil, and 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

Key Points To Note for Spider Bites:

Though the essential oils mentioned above work effectively, bites from poisonous spiders require immediate medical attention.

Seek medical care if you experience any one of the following:

  • Trouble in breathing
  • Severe pain around the bitten part
  • Abdominal cramping
  • The bite spreads or gets worse even after a first aid
  • You are not sure if the bite was actually from a poisonous spider
  • Allergic reactions
  • Swelling in the lips, throat, eyes, or tongue
  • Severe itching or numbness occurs.”

Indoor Uses of Oregano

More Powerful Than Other Cleaning Products And Even Prevents Resistance 

by Off The Grid News

“You can use oregano oil cleaning solutions in any location, including around children and pets. You don’t need to worry about staining your clothes or leaving behind an unpleasant residue when cleaning with oregano oil. It smells lovely, and you can use it on practically any surface.

Oregano oil cleaning solutions can replace any cleaning solution with the exception, perhaps, of dish and laundry detergents. This is because those items tend to need additional ingredients to get the job done. While some bacteria become resistant to chemical cleaning solutions, oregano can kill even the most durable strains of viruses and bacteria.

DIY Oregano Oil Cleaning Recipe

Luckily, it is incredibly easy to make your own oregano oil cleaning solution. It lasts indefinitely, and you can store it in a cool, dark location between uses so that you never have to run to the store for cleaning supplies ever again.

You can purchase oregano oil from an herbal or holistic medicine store, or you can create your essential oregano oil by steaming freshly picked oregano leaves over boiling water. Either way, using oregano oil is the key to a healthier home and body.

The most important part of making effective oregano oil cleaning solutions is never to use refillable plastic spray bottles. These can leach chemicals into your cleaning supplies, thereby reducing the effect of your cleaning solution and also increasing its toxicity. Instead, purchase a glass spray bottle with any kind of screw-top and sprayer nozzle.

To make the cleaning solution, simply combine a cup of water, twenty drops of essential oregano oil, and two teaspoons of castile soap. If you are looking to create a solution with more powerful antiseptic properties, add some white vinegar and lemon oil as well. Oregano oil also pairs well with other essential oils such as peppermint, lavender, and rosemary. So, if you dislike the scent as you are cleaning with oregano oil, you can always experiment with other blends.

Shake the solution, no matter the blend, thoroughly each time you use it. Make sure you store the mixture in a dark place as sunlight can oxidize essential oils and render them useless.”

Diffusing Oregano Oil

Due to the high levels of carvacrol and thymol in oregano oil, it offers incredible benefits when used as an aromatherapy routine, or diffused in your home. For instance, it can help loosen mucus buildup in your sinuses. This is also one reason people say it helps with snake bites and other poisonous spider bites. “The process aids in alleviating respiratory problems. It can prevent viral infections and even lessen your body’s sensitivity to allergens.”

Ending Notes

Oregano is very easily grown and will produce a bumper crop indoor and outdoor as long as you have the plants in a sunny location. It is not poisonous unless you take in an extreme amount. Just like all herbs and plants, they are beneficial but don’t eat an entire bush in one sitting.

There are other beneficial uses of oregano then what is listed, but this is where I would like you, the reader, to leave a comment as to how you use this wonderful herb in any area of your life.

Knowledge first comes from understanding and then from experiencing, listening, and allowing yourself to be taught by those who are willing to teach. I love hearing about different approaches and uses of what I write about, so please feel free to share your knowledge.

With that, I pray you all have a blessed and healthy week.

Heather Earles and Herb 'N Wisdom™
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-Heather Earles

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