Origanum vulgare, or oregano (also known as pot marjoram) is a perennial in the lamiaceae or labiatae family. It is usually found in dry grassy areas and blooms July-September.
Oregano has been used medicinally and culinarily for thousands of years. The plant can help treat colds, mild fevers, indigestion, and painful menstruation. Additionally a tea brewed with the leaves can help promote restful sleep. Used externally, oregano can ease muscle pain, as well as symptoms of bronchitis, arthritis, and asthma. The essential oil derived from the leaves can be used as well to soothe tooth pain. Oregano is a popular cooking spice as well, particularly crucial to many Mediteranian cuisines. Oddly enough most commercial dried “oregano” does not come from this plant but instead from a blend of other (often unrelated) herbs.