At New Directions Aromatics, our Organic Oregano Essential Oil is derived from the Origanum Compactum plant, a species native to Morocco where it is more commonly known as Zaatar – a valued domestic plant with a strong, spicy, tangy aroma and a multiplicity of therapeutic benefits. There are approximately 3 to 4 dozen species of the perennial Oregano herb, which is also sometimes referred to as Wild Marjoram due to its relation to the herb Marjoram. The name Oregano, however, is derived from the Greek term origanon, which means “acrid herb.” When the word is further dissected, the etymology given is that the word compounds the Ancient Greek terms “oros” meaning “mountain” and “ganos” meaning “joy.” When combined, they mean “mountain brightness” or “joy of the mountains.” Both the herb and the essential oil of Oregano have been used since Ancient times for medicinal purposes. Greek physicians including Hippocrates and Maimonides prescribed it for its antiseptic, disinfecting, and immune-boosting properties as well as for the general health benefits it promoted. Due to its antibacterial properties, it was used to not only preserve food but also to treat wounds and skin infections. Its curative benefits were recommended for digestive issues, headaches, insect bites, and for the relief of common colds. For its cathartic effects, it was also used as a laxative. The Greek myth surrounding Oregano tells the story of the goddess Aphrodite creating Oregano to be a symbol of happiness meant to make mankind’s life happier. Accordingly, ancient Greek bridal couples had crowns of Oregano placed on their heads due to the belief that it worked as a powerful deterrent for evil spirits. The herb was also placed on the tombs of departed loved ones for the belief that it brought them peace. When the Romans conquered Greece, they enjoyed the flavor of Oregano and began spreading its cultivation throughout Europe and North Africa, in which regions the herb was used as flavoring for meats, fish, and even wine. Its use continued into the Middle Ages, at which time it was one of the few food flavorings available. Its medicinal application also continued and people would chew the leaves with the hope of relieving indigestion, toothaches, and inflammation, and to suppress coughs. Eventually, Oregano also landed in China at this time, most likely through the Spice Route that extended from the Middle East. Chinese doctors, too, began prescribing the herb for the relief of itchy skin, jaundice, fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. In England, Oregano began to be used as an additive to tobacco snuff and as a perfume in sachets. Oregano Essential Oil is best known today for its ability to treat fungal infections, such as those of the feet and nails, and for its ability to prevent cold symptoms from worsening. With dilution, this oil can be used topically in cosmetic applications or it can be used in aromatherapy.
- The name Oregano is derived from the Ancient Greek terms “oros” and “ganos.” Together, they mean “joy of the mountains.”
- Both the herb and the essential oil of Oregano have been used for medicinal purposes since the time of Greek physicians Hippocrates and Maimonides, who prescribed it to their patients for their respiratory and digestive ailments.
- Carvacrol and Thymol are the two key chemical constituents that are responsible for the essential oil’s reputation as being a powerful antifungal and antibacterial oil.
- Oregano Essential Oil’s chemical composition consists of constituents that also exhibit antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anesthetic behavior – to name a few of its numerous beneficial health properties.
- Diluted Oregano Oil relieves cough and cold symptoms when inhaled, disinfects surfaces when used as an antiseptic cleaning agent, and soothes topical discomforts such as inflammation and itchiness when used in cosmetics like moisturizers and shampoos.