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Apr 15

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Herb Of The Week – Cuban Oregano

why you should grow cuban oregano

I have decided for a little while to do a Herb of The Week Feature! Herbs are of particular interest to me and a subject that I have great enthusiasm and passion for so this is a great way for me to dive in and learn more about some of my favorite herbs too.

This week my pick for the herb of the week is Cuban Oregano.   I am still going to call this plant Cuban Oregano but in other countries it can be called thyme or in India its even called Borage.  It looks like a Coleus but it is actually a member of the mint family which is fascinating to me because it’s not minty at all and it is thought to have originated in India.

This herb is my very favorite right now because it propagates so easily and it has kind of a distinct intense lemony/lime taste…a great compliment to mexican cooking and it has a property in it that helps to neutralize spice or capsicum.

These leaves are often used in stuffing and flavoring meat…..basically you could really use this herb the same way you would use sage.  Sometimes it helps me think of another herb that was typically used when I was growing up when I branch out and try something new.

**Home Apothecary**

Some cultures make a mild tea with a couple of leaves and boiling water with this plant which will eventually become a small shrub and often prescribe it for digestive problems, respiratory ailments, and arthritis.

It can be made into a syrup with tea and sugar for sore throat and coughs to help ease symptoms.

Some gardeners rub cuban oregano all over the skin and use it as an insect repellant.

It is also known for its antioxidant and antibacterial properties.

Some have processed the leaves into oil to rub on your chest for a bronchial remedy.  Oregano oil should never be taken internally it can be used externally for cuts/scrapes etc….

Hope you enjoyed taking a peek at my favorite herb this week!  We sold some of these at our plant sale this past weekend and it was great sharing with folks about all of their beneficial properties!

Have a great Monday!

Fondly,
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  1. Kristi

    Awesome—I’ve never heard of Cuban Oregano. That’s odd that it’s also called borage and thyme in other places—very interesting. I love herbology myself, so I’ll be “tuning in” to your “Herb of the Week” series for sure! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Maggie

    Years ago I grew this, such an interesting plant, the leaves seemed succulent like to me. Makes me want to start / find some again. Looking forward to more Herb of the week posts.

    1. Lil' Suburban Homestead

      Maggie I thought this would really inspire me to to grow some new herbs this spring as well! Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Steve in Greer, SC

    I placed a small pot of varigated Cuban Oregano in my shady back yard a couple of years ago and before I could get back to it, it was everywhere. It grew over the pot and thru the bottom of the pot. I would call it locally invasive it spreads so quickly. Beautiful — definitely. But it needs to be in an area with controlled borders. It makes a great “spiller” in containers, so I will certainly keep it. The winter will knock it back but it rebounds with vengeance in the Spring. I’ll have many pots of it in our Master Gardener plant sale this Sat in Greenville, SC, but I will tell purchasers to either control the borders or use it in containers.

    1. Lil' Suburban Homestead

      Steve great suggestion- I will make sure to share that information with those we sell our plants too. I guess since its a member of the mint family its just as prolific making it extremely easy to propagate. This is why I love this blog I get to meet folks like yourself that continue to help teach me about gardening and homesteading topics! Thanks for your comment!

  4. Rose Petal

    How fun that you are talking about Cuban Oregano and my daughter just came home with one she had purchased the other day (that’s what the label called it and it looks the same as above). Can’t wait for it to grow and start using it in cooking and medicinally. Thanks for your info about it.

    BTW, I have heard others also say that Oregano oil should not be used internally, but I have avoided sore throat and colds otherwise a number of times by placing several drops under my tongue and holding it there for one or two minutes (and I forget where I learned to do that). Then I swallow and usually whatever was threatening disappears. I must admit, it burnes like crazy and I’m relieved when the ordeal is over, but I’d rather suffer two minutes than get a cold. :)

    1. Lil' Suburban Homestead

      Rose Petal thats such a cooincidence! Well I think many of the experts tell us to avoid certain herbs because someone got ill etc…but don’t talk about the many people it didn’t affect. Thanks for sharing how you use it and I am glad you liked the blog post :)

  5. Shelle @ PreparednessMama

    Thanks for reminding me about this wonderful plant. I used to keep one in a big pot on my deck but it didn’t survive our move a few years ago. When I saw your picture the unique scent came right back to me! It is now on my plants to purchase list for next spring.

    1. KarenLynn

      Shelle keep me posted on this I love mine and I was told they are not doing well in our area but mine is doing great :)

  6. Julie Jennings

    Thank you for your article. I purchased this plant several months ago from my favorite plant store thinking it was a pretty succulent. Didn’t notice the smell then – only a month later when I would water my plants (I’m an apartment dweller) and notice “somebody smells really, really good!” The smell was so wonderful I finally got around to reading the tag that came with it & then had to look it up to find out if it’s indeed edible – came across this article. I LOVE herbs so I think I’ll subscribe to your blog. Thanks again!

    1. KarenLynn

      Thanks Julie for sharing your story and stopping by and sharing your adventures with Cuban Oregano! I used to call it an Herb Of The Week Segment I don’t post them every week but I will be sharing lots about herbs…..so I am very glad you subscribed. I am trying to come up with a catchy name for my herb segment maybe “The Occassional Herb” ;)…..Hope to see you again soon!

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