The leaves and flowering stems are strongly antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic and mildly tonic. The plant is taken internally in the treatment of colds, influenza, mild feverish illnesses, indigestion, stomach upsets and painful menstruation. It is strongly sedative and should not be taken in large doses, though mild teas have a soothing effect and aid restful sleep. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women. Externally, oregano is used to treat bronchitis, asthma, arthritis and muscular pain. The plant can be used fresh or dried - harvest the whole plant (but not the roots) in late summer to dry and store for winter use. Oregano is often used in the form of an essential oil that is distilled from the flowering plant. A few drops of the essential oil, put on cotton wool and placed in the hollow of an aching tooth, frequently relieves the pain of toothache. This plant is one of the best natural antiseptics because of its high thymol content.The essential oil is used in aromatherapy to treat the same kinds of complaints that the herb is used for.
The seed can also be sown in situ in late spring. Division in March or October. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.Basal cuttings of young barren shoots in June. Very easy. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 - 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.
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Often cultivated as a culinary herb, this is a sub-species from Greece, its flowers are white and it has a stronger fragrance. It is more commonly grown commercially because of its stronger fragrance. There are some named forms. Plants growing near the sea have the most fragrance. A good companion plant, improving the flavour of nearby plants. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies. A good companion for the cucumber family, it is beneficial to all nearby plants. The whole plant is strongly aromatic.Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
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