This is some Greek oregano that established itself somehow in one of my rock beds last year and seems to be doing just fine again this year:

Oregano is a perennial herb that originates from the Mediterranean region and can naturally be found in the cuisines of that part of the world (Greek, Italian, Middle Eastern, Spanish, some French, Turkish, etc.) and places influenced by that part of the world (Mexico and Cuba, for example).   It does well in partial shade and doesn’t really need a whole lot of attention.  It’s fairly low growing and seems to be just fine in places with marginal growing conditions (i.e. my shady rockbed).   I think oregano would be one that would be a good choice for food-minded guerrilla gardeners and/or those practicing permaculture due to these reasons.  Although it is a perennial, it is often grown as an annual in cold/temperate climates.   I think I just got lucky with the mild winter this year and it managed to make it through the winter or reseed itself.  It can be grown in a container fairly easily as well.

When cooking a little bit goes a long way with oregano and sometimes it’s better to err on the side of caution when winging it with a recipe.    Typically oregano is added towards the end of a recipe because excessive heat can alter the flavor.  It’s probably most widely known in our part of the world for being in most anything Italian with tomatoes (marinara, pizza, etc.) and in many Mexican dishes.    It also goes well with a bit of mint on lamb for a Greek-influenced dish.

Not only is it good in pasta sauce, it also has some notable medicinal qualities.   Oregano is considered a good herbal antiseptic and used as a remedy for respiratory conditions like colds, bronchitis, tonsillitis and asthma, especially infused into a tea.    The essential oil has been used to ease inflammation, especially in toothaches and joints.    Like many other herbs, oregano aids in digestion by stimulating bile flow and reducing flatulence.  Oregano contains vitamin K, some essential fatty acids, antioxidants and  fiber.