Herbs – Oregano

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Botanical Name: Origanum vulgare

Family: Lamiaceae

Also Known As: common oregano, joy of the mountain, shepherd’s thyme, wild marjoram

Although it shares the nickname joy of the mountain with its close cousin marjoram, this is more apropos for the name oregano, which is a combination of the Greek words oros, for “mountain,” and ganos, meaning “joy.” Native to Europe, this bushy herb has dark green leaves and pinkish-purple flowers. It was considered a general cure-all by the ancient Greeks, and, according to legend, Aphrodite employed it to heal Aeneas’ wounds after the battle of Troy. As a decorative feature at Greek and Roman weddings, the oregano wreath was a symbol of happiness. Long before hops came into vogue, this herb was popular for flavoring ales and beers. In addition to flavoring food in colonial America, oregano flower tops were used to dye wool a purplish color and linen a reddish-brown.

Oil and Blending Information: A pale yellow oil with a spicy-herbaceous scent is produced by steam-distilling the flowers.

Strength : 5

Scent Group : herbaceous

Perfume Note : middle

Plant Part : As Above/Flowers

Warnings : avoid during pregnancy; hazardous if used on the skin

Magical Uses: Use oregano to bring peace as well as to foster happiness and security in relationships. By encouraging focus and clarity of thought, it provides support for psychic work. It is instrumental in black and defensive magic, especially for providing protection against hexes. Associated with the afterlife, this oil brings comfort during sorrow and helps retain memories of loved ones. Oregano’s purification properties provide balance for healing emotional turmoil, laying the groundwork for positive change. Use this oil in spells to attract beauty and prosperity to the home. Oregano helps to increase vitality for fertility, as well as a more satisfying sex life. It is also associated with truth and the Otherworld.

Zodiac : Aries, Gemini, Libra, Virgo

Solar System : Mars, Mercury

Elements : air, fire

Goddesses : Aphrodite, Kupala, Venus