Oregano Varieties

There are several oregano varieties. A leafy, perennial herb from the mint family, Oregano is commonly used in Italian, Spanish and Mexican dishes. It can also be used as a decorative plant or medicinal treatment. Oregano is originally from Greece, and its name means "mountain of joy."

Italian Oregano

Italian oregano has 1 ½ inch leaves and blooms with beautiful flowers in the summer. The plant typically reaches a height of 18 inches and has a sweet aroma that is less strong than other varieties of oregano. Combining Italian oregano with basil creates a signature flavor common in many Italian dishes, such as pizza, pasta sauce and seafood dishes.

Greek Oregano

The Greek oregano plant is shorter than Italian oregano but still has the same white flowers when in bloom. Greek oregano has a much stronger flavor and fragrance than other varieties.  Greek oregano is used in a wide range of dishes, such as frittatas, meat loaf, macaroni and cheese, fish and salads.

Golden Oregano

Golden oregano is said to be one of the most beautiful kitchen herbs. It has small, golden leaves and has pink or purple blossoms in the summer. The leaves are scented and flavored and also very attractive to butterflies and bees. The plant only reaches about six inches high, but can spread to be three feet wide.

Wild Oregano

The oil of wild oregano has been proven to be one of the most effective natural antibiotics in the world. Even in a small amount, this oil will kill nearly every bacteria, as well as fungus, parasite and virus. Better still, it has no negative side effects and no prescription is required to purchase it.

Whether you use it for culinary, decorative or medicinal purposes, oregano is a versatile and beneficial plant. With all the uses of this plant, it's no wonder that it brought the Greeks a "mountain of joy."

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