Herb of the Month – Oregano
By Sacha Begg
Oregano is a beautiful perennial herb with a dark purple flowers that the bees really love. It seems to attract them from miles around. In late summer when it flowers, it is literally alive with bees! It grows about 14 inches high and its leaves are used in cooking all sorts of savory and Italian style dishes. The Greek variety of oregano has a beautifully robust flavor, and wild oregano (also known as wild marjoram) is a great medicinal herb. For sore throats, steep as a tea with a bit of honey, or use it as a gargle for sore throats. It is an expectorant as well as a digestive aid.
How to brew a nice pot of tea:
You can make a nice tea with oregano by steeping fresh or dried stems and leaves in a pot of very hot water for about 10 minutes. Be sure to leave the lid on the pot to help keep the volatile oils from evaporating and keep all of your herbal magic in the pot. You could also add a bit of sage, yarrow, and chamomile to the mix if you feel a cold coming on, or are in the midst of one.
One of my favorite ways to use oregano is in a classic tomato sauce. It really gives it that authentic homemade flavor. A good amount of basil will only improve your sauce as well. Be sure to put it in near the end of your cooking time, or you’ll lose its fresh flavorful zing!