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Oregano is a perennial herbaceous plant. The stem is erect, branched and hairy. The leaves are oblong-ovate, stalked. The flowers are small, purplish-pink, clustered in a spreading panicle. The plant flowers from June to September.
It grows in undergrowth, on slopes, in shrubs, meadows and forests. Oregano is cultivated in gardens and kitchen gardens as a medicinal and herbaceous plant. It prefers a sunny location and slightly fertile soil. It reproduces by seeds which germinate in 10-12 days. Oregano can be propagated by seedlings. Transplanting to a permanent plantation in autumn or spring is necessary. The plant can grow for 10 years or more in one place.
For medicinal purposes, the plant is cut 20-30 cm from the ground when it flowers. The herb is spread in a layer of 6-8 cm and dried in a sun-protected shelter or artificial drying room where the temperature does not exceed +35-40 °C. The dried raw material has a natural colour, a strong aromatic smell, a bitter, pungent taste and is suitable for consumption for a year. Stored in three-litre jars.
Oregano contains 0,4-1,2% essential oil, tannins, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) – 58 mg% in stems, 565 mg% in leaves and 166 mg% in flowers. Carotene, mineral salts and organic acids are also present. The seeds of oregano contain up to 28% of drying fat, etc.
The active substances in oregano are antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and mildly bleeding-inhibiting. Its infusion is used to treat reduced gastric acidity. Oregano also stimulates the secretion of glands in the digestive tract, improves appetite, intestinal peristalsis and urine output. It is advised to take it in case of constipation, flatulence, reduced bile secretion. The substances in oregano have been shown to have sedative and antispasmodic properties. It is used in case of increased nervousness, insomnia, headaches, etc.
Information source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregano