Waving stems of purple-pink flowers bloom over a dense perennial mat of dark green aromatic foliage. Grows 18-24 inches tall. Best in full sun but tolerates part shade and poor soil. Re-seeds.
Traditional Healing Uses: Oregano tea has been used to relieve coughs, colds, fevers, flu, indigestion, flatulence, and headaches; to promote menstrual flow; and as a gargle for inflamed throats or mouths. Leaves have been applied to cuts and wounds, and warm leaf poultices to painful swelling. Oregano oil rubs have been used for rheumatism, muscular pain, and headaches, and oregano leaf baths and poultices to relieve aches and stiff joints.
Other Uses: As a culinary herb, it is milder than Greek Oregano, but can be used to season greens or vegetables. Flowers can be dried for use in bouquets or wreaths. In the garden, oregano is sometimes planted as a companion to beans.
Harvest: Gather leaves and flowering parts as soon as oregano flowers, avoiding woody stems. Some gardeners cut stems to the base in early blooms and cut a second time in late summer.
Preparation: Pour 1 cup of boiling water on 1 teaspoon of dried herb and let steep 10-15 minutes, 3 times a day.