EVOO Flavored with Oregano (Origanum Vulgare)
In addition to being commonly used in the kitchen for its pleasant flavor, oregano has been used as a drug and herbal remedy since the time of the ancient Greeks, who made compresses from the leaves to relieve sores and aching muscles. To this day, traditional Chinese doctors prescribe oregano for relief of fever, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, and itchy skin.
The active constituents are found in its leaves, and are thymol and carvacrol, which are found in thyme as well. According to researchers, both compounds help loosen phlegm in the lungs and relieve spasms in the bronchial passages. In fact, many popular cough remedies, including cough drops and skin rubs such as Vicks VapoRub, contain thymol. Harvested during the flowering season and dried on the field or under a roof, oregano has bright purple flowers and an aromatic scent. Its medicinal value lies in the oil.
Oregano is used as an herbal remedy for respiratory problems such as coughs and bronchitis, even though there is no scientific proof of its effectiveness with these conditions. Prepared as herbal tea, oregano has been used to relieve bloating, gas, urinary tract problems, painful menstruation, rheumatoid arthritis, swollen glands, and lack of perspiration. Sweetened oregano tea may be drunk as needed, while unsweetened, it may be used as a gargle or mouthwash.
It is easily grown in gardens or in pots inside the house.
To flavor EVOO, either insert one or more fresh stems, or crushed dried oregano in a clean, sterilized glass bottle and add oil. The flavor will be noticeable after about two weeks. Experiment with doses to find your own taste. Should the flavor be to strong, transfer some of the flavored EVOO in a different container and mix with unflavored oil.
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