Hi, my loves and welcome to WiccaNow. Recently I’ve been sharing a lot of guides about my favourite magickal herbs and plants, like this post about the magickal properties of elderberry. I’ve also shared a post about using fennel in magick, another all about ginger, a guide to using lemon balm and most recently a post about the magickal properties of oak and acorns. Today I want to continue on this journey by sharing a guide to the magickal properties of oregano.
Oregano was loved as a medicinal herb by the Ancient Greeks and Romans. It was used to treat a wide variety of ailment, from snake bites to nausea. The magickal properties of oregano include happiness, protection, love and communication among many others.
Disclaimer: Any medicinal benefits given here are a product of my own research and as such should not be taken over the advice of trained medical professionals. If you are ill, please go and see a doctor. Always make sure that anything you consume is 100% safe. If you are pregnant, consult your doctor or midwife before consuming something you haven’t tried before.
If you enjoy reading about the magickal properties of different herbs and plants, check out this gorgeous plant magick grimoire we’ve created! It contains 29 beautifully illustrated pages for all our favourite plants. The best bit? This version comes as a digital download, so you don’t have to wait through pesky shipping times or delays. What’s not to love? Check it out below or keep scrolling to read all about the magick of fennel!
History of Oregano
Oregano, also known as Origanum vulgare, is a flowering plant in the Lamiaceae family. This family is very large and also contains mint, basil, lavender and rosemary among others. It’s native to the Mediterranean region and Western/Southwestern Eurasia. Oregano is closely related to marjoram and is sometimes even called wild marjoram.
Oregano probably originated in Greece, where it was commonly used as both a flavouring agent for food and as a medicinal herb. It’s possible that oregano has been around since the Assyrian Empire, as early as 3,000BC.
The Greeks believed that oregano was a good antidote to poison and used it to treat skin irritations and convulsions. Aristotle believed it was good against snake bites as he had observed tortoises eating oregano immediately after they had been bitten by a snake. Hippocrates also believed strongly in the healing powers of oregano and used it regularly to treat gastrointestinal issues. He was also one of the first people to realise it’s strongly antiseptic properties.
The Romans adopted this flavourful herb as their own after conquering the Greeks. They loved the ease with which it could be cultivated and enjoyed the taste. Their love for it helped spread it throughout the rest of Europe and Northern Africa as they took it with them on their campaigns and planted its seeds wherever they went.
During the Middle Ages, oregano was widely used for its medicinal properties. People would chew the raw herb to help with everything from a toothache, to indigestion to coughs and colds.
It’s believed that oregano was introduced to the Middle East and to China in the Medieval period via spice trading routes. It was quickly adopted into Eastern medicine and was used to treat fever, vomiting, jaundice and even irritated skin.
While the English took a little while to catch on, when they discovered oregano they started using it with abandon. During the Elizabethan era (1558-1603), oregano was used for everything. It was thought to bring good luck and health, as well as being worn while sleeping to protect oneself and to have prophetic dreams. Later on, it became common to add oregano to snuff mixes. People liked the smell and also started adding it to perfume sachets.
Oregano brought to the US by soldiers returning from Italy after WW2. They called it the “pizza herb” and it’s popularity quickly soared.
Today, oregano is found in many spice cabinets all over the world and is one of the more common garden herbs available.
Fun Facts about Oregano
- The name comes from the classical Greek “oros” meaning “mountain” and “ganos” meaning “brightness”. This means that it translates to “brightness of the mountain”. It’s also possible to translate “ganos” to “joy”, meaning that may have meant “mountain of joy”.
- Certain types of oregano can be so flavourful that they almost numb your tongue.
- The Greeks believed that using oregano during a wedding would ensure joy in the marriage and using it during a funeral would bring peach to the dead.
- Ancient Greeks believe that cows which grazed on oregano had tastier meat.
- The Romans used oregano as a flavouring for everything, even wine.
- Turkey is currently one of the worlds largest exporters of oregano.
- Oregano is FULL of antioxidants. It contains between 3-30x more antioxidants than 39 other common herbs it was compared to.
- Dried (sometimes fresh) oregano is a common addition to the feta on top of a Greek salad.
Medicinal Uses of Oregano
Oregano oil has been extracted and used medicinally for centuries. There hasn’t been that much official research into the benefits, however, meaning that the FDA considers it a dietary supplement rather than a medicinal oil.
Drying oregano drastically changes the chemical makeup of it and destroys a lot of the beneficial compounds found in it. For this reason, if you want to use oregano as a medicinal plant, the best thing to do would be to make a tea out of fresh leaves or eat them raw in salads etc. Steam extracted oil is also a good form of oregano if you want to use it medicinally, this should not be consumed though.
Please note that if you are anaemic, it’s not advised to use oregano in medicinal quantities (in cooking is fine) as it may inhibit your body’s ability to absorb iron. Pregnant women also shouldn’t take oregano medicinally, again, cooking amounts are fine.
- May be effective against some bacteria which have show resistance to antibiotics.
- May help to calm nerves
- May help with symptoms of seasickness
- May help to lower cholesterol
- High in antioxidants
- May improve gut health
- May be anti-inflammatory
- May help to reduce pain
- May relieve bloating
- May help fight fatigue
- May help asthma sufferers
- May help heartburn
- May help those who suffer from dandruff
Magickal Properties of Oregano
If you want to bring a feeling of joy and lightness into your home, then use the magickal properties of oregano by making a few small sachets filled with oregano. Hang these all over the house to call pure joy to you. Planting oregano in your garden or keeping a plant in your kitchen will provide protection from negativity. Having an oregano plant in an office or room where there is often a lot of tension will reduce these feelings and help to lessen the blow of any harsh words spoken.
If you are planning on travelling, place a little oregano in your shoes to ensure that your journey is easy, safe and fun.
Cooking with oregano will bring your guests or yourself joy while also opening the channels of communication, meaning that you’ll end up having interesting and lively conversations.
Bathing in oregano will help to calm you and will give you clarity and courage if you are facing a tough situation. If you want to forget an ex, take a sprig of oregano and pinch off the top few leaves. Inhale the scent of the oregano deeply then drop the sprig and leaves and walk away with intention.
Other Magickal Properties of Oregano
- Prophetic dreams
- Animal magick
Magickal Associations of Oregano
Deities – Aphrodite and Venus
Magickal Correspondences of Oregano
Zodiac – Taurus and Libra
Planet – Mercury and Venus
Element – Air
Gender – Feminine
So, my lovelies, I hope that this guide gives you all the information you were looking for about the magickal properties of oregano! May your dreams be filled with joyful prophecies, your days be tranquil and filled with love and your life be free and happy.
Until next time,