Herb Of The Week – Cuban Oregano

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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 if you are pregnant however 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!


This blog post is linked to the following wonderful blog hops:

Homesteader Blog Carnival

42 thoughts on “Herb Of The Week – Cuban Oregano

  1. 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. 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.

  3. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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!

  7. Karen I am so going to try this. I’m planting my beds at the farm this year and want a whole herb garden so I’m going to follow your herb of the week posts. Glad you linked it to Simple Saturdays.

    Hugs from Oklahoma,

    Cottage Making Mommy

    1. Valerie you will love it! I love hosting Simple Saturdays every week with you 🙂 Thanks for your kind words!

  8. Very hardy plant but not frost resistant; I pot mine and take it indoors for winter. An invaluable ingredient in Cuban black beans. You can grow an entire plant from a single leaf.

    1. Thanks for your comment Paul! I love our plants so much! Now I have to try cuban black beans for sure!

  9. Hi Karen Lynn, Cuban oregano has a high water content and can easily be blended into a marinade or sauce. I combine cuban oregano, salt, pepper, a bit of olive oil and a bit of sugar or orange juice and put it in a mini-chopper or blender.
    The resulting emerald green sauce is great as a marinade for chicken or pork. I’ll also use it as a side sauce. This sauce freezes well, too!

    1. Thank you Anna Grace…..wow I have not tried this but you are tempting my taste buds for sure sounds like it is amazing! Thank you so much!

  10. I have the large leaves version smells very strong. The smaller leaves are very pungent, I had it once but it did not grow very good in the house. Thanks for the posting.

  11. It grows like a weed here in Orlando. Friends from Puerto Rico call it Oregano Brujo (Plectranthus amboinicus) and use it in their sofrito instead of culantro, I believe. I’ve used it in a pinch (no pun intended) when I forgot to buy mint or even parsley. I pinch the tops to make it branch. It produces tiny stalks of tiny blue/purple (I not good with colors) orchid-like flowers.

  12. Dear Karen Lynn,

    Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to share your knowledge and passion with those who want to learn. I enjoyed reading your post on Cuban Oregano, and was researching how to make a tea for my husband when I noticed something suspicious. Unfortunately, it appears that your post on Cuban Oregano has been plagiarized by some owner/operator/employee of an undeserving website. It’s not a good idea to follow unsolicited links, so I do not include one to the website where I found your stolen material; however, you will probably find the same result I did using your own search engine and the search term “cuban oregano tea.”
    Such bottom feeders ignore the morals that most of us value. For your sake, and that of other authors (and honest people), I hope this matter will be resolved in your favour, Karen Lynn, and that the offending parties will receive what they deserve. I also write in the hopes that others who read this will do the same in defense of authors’ copyrights, and inform the owners of copyright when it is violated. It is very, very important.

  13. It repells mosquito’s ..at brushing against it it gives off the odor of the plant and lingers awhile..I planted it on the sides of my entrance .

  14. I put these leaves into my cat litter box for odor control it works. I tear them up and throw them on top. Or mix them into litter.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Geof! It’s easy to grow here in Coastal NC but we do have to bring it in to the greenhouse in the winter! Thanks for stopping by!

      1. Hi, Karen, I saw your “coastal NC” reference and am wondering where you might be. . . we live in Chadbourn, NC — near Whiteville — we’re about an hour inland due west from Wilmington. I’d love to connect! Thanks for sharing herbal stuff . . .I love herbs — trying to get my herb garden started back up! Daddy has lots of cuban oregano — you’ve made me want to give it another try. It seems so fuzzy, I’ve hesitated to use it in cooking. . . . 🙂

        1. I would love to connect when all this craziness is over! You are about an hour from us Tonnye! Oh yes it does have that fuzzy texture but you can use it in a lot of ways…..let me know what you think if you try it. Stay safe!

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