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 The Origins of the Oregano Herb 
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Post The Origins of the Oregano Herb
by: Nova Person

Oregano herb was unheard of in the United States, and in most parts of the world, until after World War II, when returning soldiers came back with an appetite for the "pizza herb". Oregano at that time, and even up to this day, was a staple pizza ingredient in Italy. However, the herb did not originate in Italy.

It was the Greeks who first cultivated and used oregano for culinary and medicinal applications. They even regard it as "panakes" or a cure-all herb because of its wonderful antiseptic and healing properties. They also use oregano leaves when making wreaths to hail and honor their gods and goddesses, and to celebrate joyous occasions such weddings, childbirth and victories. Oregano is also offered to the graves to bring peace to the souls of their departed loved ones.

According to Greek mythology, it was Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, who created the herb to give happiness to mankind. It then became a symbol of joy for the Greeks. The word oregano came from two Greek words (oros meaning mountain and ganos meaning joy) which when combined literally means "joy of the mountain". It was also associated with Artemis, the goddess of childbirth. Hence, women in labor would often be seen wearing wreaths made of oregano for protection and safe delivery.

True to its name, oregano is often seen in ancient Greece as the bright and seemingly happy herb plants growing alongside hills and mountains. But it served another purpose there, because the Greeks believed that livestock such as horses, goats and sheep feeding on oregano leaves yield tastier and more tender meats. Another reason to be happy, it seems.

The popularity of the oregano herb spread throughout the Mediterranean region such as Turkey, Sicily and Spain. When the Romans conquered the Greeks, they found oregano in most Grecian homes. They instantly fell over the new flavor that this herb offers and incorporated it in their cooking. They used it to flavor meats and fishes. Italian dishes involves a lot of sauces, and since oregano goes so well with tomato, cheese and egg-based dishes, it wasn't surprising that the herb will became an essential part of the Italian culinary.

They also discovered its medicinal value and used it as a cure for toothaches, indigestion and diarrhea, cough and colds, fever and rheumatism. With the expanding Roman Empire, oregano's fame and its many uses and applications, easily spread throughout Europe and most part of Northern Africa. It is also believed to have reached China during the Medieval ages, where it also became a favored herb for cooking and a potent ingredient in many oriental drugs and medicines.

Today, oregano herb has sprouted different plant varieties, each offering its own distinct flavors and aroma. To name a few, we have the Cretan, Golden, Italian, Sycilian, Syrian, Sweet Marjoram, Hot and Spicy, Mexican and so on. Each nation seems to have its own type of oregano. It only goes to prove how beneficial and useful are the properties of these wonderful herb.

About The Author
Nova Person is an herb enthusiast, growing not just oregano but a host of other beneficial herbs in her garden. If you'd like to know more about oregano herb and how you can successfully grow and harvest one in your home, go visit her site:
The author invites you to visit:

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Mon May 24, 2010 9:46 am
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