I am very excited to feature Kathie N. Lapcevic of Homespun Seasonal Living to talk a little about Oregano as a culinary and healing herb and introduce you to Living a Fiercely D.I.Y. Lifestyle ~ Rachel
Often when we think of herbal healing we think of the powerhouses of Elderberry, Echinacea, Valerian and more. Those are good, useful plants and herbs to have on hand without a doubt. However, the herbs we often think of as culinary herbs also have incredible medicinal value as well. These amazing herbs can season our food and heal our bodies, making them extra valuable in our herb gardens.
Oregano is one of these amazing double duty herbs. Oregano means ‘mountain joy’ and well that never sounds like a bad thing, does it? It has some amazing benefits too so be sure to make room in your herb garden, pantry, and medicine cabinet for this beautiful plant.
Growing & Harvesting Oregano
Oregano is a perennial herb that can be a bit invasive though is slower growing than mint.
While it can be started from seed, it’ll grow faster if you can get some of the roots from another local gardener.
Oregano likes sun but will tolerate partial shade in northern climates, folks in the deep south should give it afternoon shade for best growth. Put it in soil that drains well, too.
Snip leaves from the plant as needed during the warmer months. Harvest before flowering for the deepest flavor.
Like most herbs, oregano dries easily by simply tying in bundles and hanging in a closet or other dark, dry spot until crispy. Remove leaves from stems and store in an airtight container until ready to use.
Oregano as Medicine
Oregano is said to calm upset stomachs as well as ease headaches (Herbal Tea Gardens). It’s an antibacterial, antifungal, antispasmodic, and expectorant that is high in Vitamins A, C, and K (The Herbal Kitchen).
Infuse oregano in honey by filling a jar half full of fresh leaves and filling the jar with honey. Let the jar sit in a sunny window for about a month, turning the jar over now and then. At the end of the month, strain the leaves from the honey and store the honey in a glass jar. Use a small dab of this honey in tomato sauces to help mellow the acidity and kick up the antibacterial properties of dinner during cold and flu season.
Steep oregano in warm water as a foot soak to help sweat out a cold.
Infuse oregano in vinegar by covering fresh oregano with apple cider vinegar and let it steep for 2 weeks. Strain and store in an airtight bottle. Apply this to athlete’s foot to help fight the fungal infection.
Be sure to make room this season and for many to come by planting some oregano this spring and summer.
Living Fiercely D.I.Y.
Do you want to connect with the natural, seasonal rhythms of the earth? Creating natural medicines from the things that are growing in our yards or available to us locally is just one of many ways to build a courageous home and live Fiercely D.I.Y.
The Fiercely D.I.Y Guide to Seasonal Living e-Book will show you how to slow down and find peaceful moments in your daily life. Through weekly exercises, you will learn about the nature that surrounds you and discover how to harmonize with the gradual changes of the seasons.The lessons are short and designed to help you get in touch with the season as it presents itself to you in your part of the world and help you achieve your own homespun seasonal living goals. Visit Homespun Seasonal Living for more information.
About Kathie N. Lapcevic:
Kathie is a freelance writer, teacher, and blogger living in northwest Montana with her soulmate Jeff. She lives a fiercely D.I.Y. lifestyle in harmony with the natural rhythms of nature. You can follow her blog at Homespun Seasonal Living.
- Gladstar, Rosemary. The Herbal Kitchen: 50 Easy-to-Find Herbs and over 250 Recipes to Bring Lasting Health to You and Your Family. Newburyport, MA: Red Wheel/Weiser. 2010.
- Marcin, Marietta Marshall. Herbal Tea Gardens: 22 Plans for Your Enjoyment & Well-Being. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing, 1999.