Oregano herb

Oregano herb

Oregano herb

Specification & Spread

Oregano herb— herba origani
Common oregano — origanum vulgare l.
Labiate family — lamiaceae (labiatae)
Other names: marjoram, bush basil, origanum, least basil.

It is a perennial herbaceous rhizome plant 30-60 cm tall.
The stems are erect or ascending, branched, tetrahedral.
The leaves are opposite, short-petiolate, ovate or oblong-ovate, entire, rarely unclear finely toothed, dark green, lighter underneath.
The flowers are pentamerous, small, the calyx is purple, five-toothed, two-lipped corolla, purple-pink (sometimes white).
The inflorescence – panicle-thyroid.
The fruit – cenobium, disintegrating into 4 lobes (erema).
The plant has a pleasant, fragrant smell.

It blooms from July to September, the fruits begin to ripen from August.

Spreading. The European part of the country, the Caucasus, the south-western regions of Siberia. The main blanks are held in Ukraine, Belarus and central Russia. The possible harvesting of the raw materials in the Altai. The perspective introduction of oregano in culture.

Habitat. It grows sparsely in dry forests, on forest edges and clearings, along the slopes of ravines, in upland and floodplain meadows. In places it forms small thickets.


The chemical composition of oregano

Oregano herb contains 0.3-1.2% of essential oil, which consists of:

  • phenols – thymol (up to 10%) and its isomer carvacrol,
  • sesquiterpenoids (12.5%),
  • monoterpenoids – geranyl acetate (up to 5%), etc.

The oil has a pleasant smell and has bactericidal properties.
Oregano herb selected:

  • phenolic acids (up to 12-20%),
  • flavonoids,
  • ascorbic acid,
  • tannins.

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Harvesting.The harvesting of the raw materials is carried out during the flowering period (July – the first half of August). The leafy tops up to 20 cm long are cut off with knives, sickles or pruners, separate thick stems, impurities.

Security measures. When harvesting the raw materials, harvesters can not pull out plants with roots, as this leads to the destruction of thickets. It is necessary to leave 25-30% of flowering shoots for seed renewal. The harvesting of the raw materials on the same arrays can be carried out for 2-3 years in a row, then – a break for 1-2 years.

Drying. The herb is dried in attics with good ventilation, under the eaves. The raw materials are laid out in a thin layer (1-2 plants), periodically turned over. The temperature of artificial drying should not exceed 40 ºС.

Storage. It is stored in a dry, well-ventilated area according to the rules of storage of essential oil raw materials.

External signs of raw materials

Whole raw materials

Whole or partially crushed leafy flowering stalks up to 20 cm long.
The leaves are opposite, petiolate, ovate or oblong-ovate, acuminate to apex, finely toothed or almost entire, 2-4 cm long.
The stems are tetrahedral, softly pubescent or almost naked.
The inflorescences are multifloral sprawling corymbide-paniculate tirsy; the flowers are small, 3-5 mm long.
The bracts are longer than the calyx, oblong, sharp.
The calyx is with triangular lanceolate teeth, naked or with sparse hairs.
The corolla is double-edged, up to 8 mm long. The colour of the leaves is green above; below it is pale green; the stems – green or purple; the bracts and the calyx – brownish-purple or greenish-brown; the corolla – brownish-purple or brownish-pink.
The smell is fragrant.
The taste is bitter-spicy, slightly astringent.

Milled raw materials

The pieces of leaves, stems, inflorescences, as well as individual flowers passing through a sieve with openings with a diameter of 7 mm.
The colour is greyish-green with brownish-purple inclusions.
The smell is fragrant. The taste is bitter-spicy, slightly astringent.


The pieces of leaves, stems, inflorescences, as well as their parts, passing through a sieve with holes 2 mm in diameter.
The colour is greyish-green with brownish-purple inclusions.
The smell is fragrant.
The taste is bitter-spicy, slightly astringent.

Properties and application

Pharmacotherapeutic group. Expectorant and antiseptic agent.
The pharmacological properties of oregano

Oregano herb renders sedative effect:

  • stimulates the secretory function of the digestive glands,
  • peristalsis of the gastrointestinal tract and biliary excretion,
  • tones up the smooth muscles of the uterus,
  • possesses expectorant and sanitizing properties of the respiratory tract,
  • increases urination and
  • increases lactation.

It provides local:

  • anti-inflammatory,
  • painkiller and
  • antiseptic effect due to the content in the essential oil of thymol.

Application of oregano

Oregano herb is used as a sedative when:

  • neurosis,
  • insomnia.

It is effective:

  • in the absence of appetite,
  • low acidity of gastric juice,
  • atonic states of the gastrointestinal tract,
  • flatulence
  • cholecystitis and
  • biliary dyskinesia.

As a diaphoretic and expectorant, oregano is used for:

  • bronchitis,
  • acute respiratory diseases.

Oregano herb infusion is taken when:

  • angina,
  • whooping cough
  • chronic and acute pharyngitis and tonsillitis.

It also used for inhalation.

Oregano infusion is recommended for rinsing as a hemostatic, sedative and anesthetic for:

  • periodontal disease,
  • gingivitis,
  • stomatitis.