Greek Oregano…Or Just Oregano?

(Photo by Eurokinissi/Antonis Nikolopoulos)

Greek Oregano (Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum) is the true ‘king’ of aroma and flavor among the many oregano species. It can be found in each corner of Greece giving the air a characteristic aroma of Greek summer. International research has revealed that Greek oregano (growing in Greece) is the richest in essential oils worldwide, meaning that it has the strongest aroma. Super-hot sunny and dry days in Greece pressure the plant to protect itself from the sun by producing a high percentage of essential oils in its leaves and flowers. Essential oils give the high aroma and often the bitter flavor of strong Greek oregano. Sometimes, food industry mixes the Greek oregano with other species because the flavor as a spice grown in Greece is too strong for consumers in other countries (but not in Greece!) Rich in carvacrol, thymol, -π-cymene, γ-terpene, it is an excellent spice in the kitchen, helping the digestion of food but also enhancing our immune system during cold and flu season. Nowadays, many Greek farmers have developed businesses of dried Greek oregano as its demand is continually rising! The best way to enjoy Greek oregano is a slice of wholegrain bread or dried Cretan bread (ntakos), with a slice of tomato and sea salt flakes, a slice of Greek feta cheese, and on the above, some drops of extra virgin Greek oil and a pinch of oregano! A highly traditional and healthy choice as a snack or a breakfast, it provides you all the appropriate energy and nutrients for your day!

The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.

Evropi-Sofia Dalampira – Agriculturist-MSc Botany-Biology and PhD Candidate in Agricultural-Environmental Education and Science Communication