Herbs and Spices, Oregano

Is there a difference between spices and herbs?
Spices and herbs have existed for a long time and most people use flavor additions without thinking much about the category. One might wonder if there is any difference.
In general, we can say that herbs are the tasteful (and edible) part of a plant, grown in light temperate areas. It has been grown in the west for two purposes, such as flavoring and medical use. At the same time, spices were grown in tropical areas, and as of today they imported to the west. Also spices in the same way as herbs have been attributed to medicinal properties, in the West it`s used for flavoring. Herbs have been cheap and something that has been grown , while spices have been quite expensive even for the richest.

Many will say that the difference between herbs and spices is in line with the difference between fruits and vegetables, which we can agree with. There are some botanical reasons that separate them, herbs are leaves from plants that do not have a tree , such as parsley and oregano. As mentioned earlier, these plants grow generally in the temperate climate zone, while spices come from the bark, berries, fruit, root or stem of a plant. Most often, these plants originate from tropical areas. In general, herbs smell more when they are fresh while spices often get stronger when dried. , separation is unclear and should refer to the climate in which it is grown.

Use of herbs and spice
Before clinical medicine has developed, herbs and spices were one of the few ways one had to deal with health problems. Although health effects are debatable and to a limited degree documented by strict scientific studies, there are a lot of anecdotal evidence, and herbs are also used today as a contribution to treating health problem.
While it is well known that herbs as medicine and flavoring have been used in unusual times, it is somewhat less known that herbs are also used in perfumes and aromatherapy.

Most people would agree that food would taste quite boring without a litte sprinkle of one and a little dash of the other. This book is to enable you to grow your own herbs as a food additive in your own food. It thus has the main focus on how to grow your own herbs with the best results! Yet, the book also covers some other themes, including some recipes, which the herbs that you can cultivate are an important ingredient.

Greek OreganoWhite Greek Oregano

Oregano is an herb that is a member of the mint family. The name oregano comes from Greek oros (mountains) and ganos (adornment) and is derived from the Greek phrase << enjoy the mountains >>. In the leaves of oregano it is a evaporating oil that stays in place even after drying. Although it is a common ingredient in foods around the world, it is even more used in perfume.
Oregano is still known as the main flavor in many Italian, Mexican and Spanish dishes. Most people who like the kitchen are already familiar with the dry oregano from glass purchased at the store.
Oregano is a hardy perennial plant that is easy to grow. Only a few plants will give you enough oregano to use it fresh in season and dried throughout the winter. It is available in many varieties, but the most common for use in food is << Greek >> Oregano. The more bitter (Mexican >> oregano is not true oregano, but a related plant with similar taste. It is often used dried as leaves or in a powdered form. Many describe the flavor as stronger than the usual oregano, but a bit sweeter. It is also known as Mexican merian, and is used as an ingredient in chili spices.

History and Origin
Greek mythology tells us that it was the goddess Aphrodite who invented the herb. Also this herb was used to conquer bridal couples, and placed in graves to give peace to deceased spirits. Greek doctors discovered that the herb had beneficial effects and prescribed it for some ailments as an antiseptic agent. When the Romans conquered Greece, they took much of the Greek culture, including the taste of oregano.
The fact that it was very easy to grow, coupled with the Roman expansion, cultivation and use of oregano spread to Europe and large parts of North Africa.
It was then used as spices for meat, fish and even as a flavor for wine.
Strong herbs were not used in the Middle Ages, people continued to use it as a flavoring for an otherwise boring diet, the leaves were also chewed against rheumatism, toothache, indigestion and cough suppressants.
Oregano found its way to China during the Middle Ages via the spice road that went through the middle east.
Used as a medicinal herb, it was prescribed as a fever depressant and as a tool for vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, itchy skin, cough and dental work.
It has been used to prevent acidity in beer, and to color red-tailed yarn red, laid between clothes, it will probably keep moth away.
Despite its wide extent in the world, the herb was little known in the United States, not before the American soldiers brought the herb home after the World War II.

How to grow oregano
Oregano is a perennial herb, which means it returns year after year (if it is not pulled up after the roots). It can be about 60 cm tall and have small leaves, usually not more than one inch in length. It has small white, pink or purple flowers that can also be eaten.
Oregano is easy to grow and grow well in most conditions, it is best in nutritious and well-drained soil. It also prefers full sunlight. Oregano should be watered regularly, but be careful not to overcome it. Allow the soil to dry completely between each irrigation. It can be planted in pots or rows 12 cm. apart.
Oregano usually uses 12-14 days to germinate. You can soak it out in warm, warm soil that stays hot. If you choose to pre-cultivate it, you wipe in moist soil, do not cover it with soil, but with plastic; keep it moist and keep it light.
The flowers are squeezed away gradually to prevent it from going into seed production and hence stop growing. You can share the plant when the plant’s center begins to fade or when the stems become too strong. You can also share the plant to make more plants. Oregano may need some winter protection in zone 5 or lower. Feel the plant with a evergreen branch, after the ground has frozen, this will protect it from wind damage.

How to harvest oregano
You can start harvesting oregano for cooking as soon as the plant begins to grow. Remember, it’s the leaves you want, throw stems. You can cut more crops a year from an oregano plant and you can cut it down until it’s only 3 cm. again and still expect you to get back soon. If you want to store fresh oregano, place it in a plastic bag filled with air and store it in the refrigerator.
Oregano is one of very few herbs that tastes more after it is dried. When using fresh oregano, you will need to use three times as much to achieve the same intensity of taste as if you use dried. Since the plant is so easy to dry there is little reason not to do it, hang it in bundles in a cool dark place with good ventilation and then store it in airtight packaging. It will last well for at least six months, and although it will lose a bit of taste for months, it will have a lot of flavor after one year, and then you will have a long time full of fresh herbs. !

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Propagation
As Oregano is perennial and comes back again year after year, it is too many not necessary to harvest seeds. If you want more plants you can share it and the two << new >> plants you get will grow up big and fine. But, if you wish to harvest seeds, this is also very easy on most other plants.

Health benefits
It has long been known that oregano has anti-bacterial properties. And as mentioned, Greek doctors used it as an antiseptic agent. Although they did not realize the exact effect, they realized that the use of oregano could prevent bacterial spread.
The active ingredients in oregano that perform this function are thymol and carvacrol.
Research in Mexico also indicates that oregano has active substances that are effective against infection of the feared giradia amoeba. It is also an excellent antioxidant. Some studies suggest that it has properties to stabilize and neutralize free radicals in a better way (grams of grams) a lot of fruits and vegetables such as apples and antioxidant blueberries.
Some companies have isolated these substances and sell the oil in capsules or in droplets. In this form, thymol and carvacrol are concentrated. Such a concentrated dose of oregano oil on the tongue or skin can cause a burning sensation.
Fresh oregano is also a source of fiber, but since it is not common to eat it in large amounts, neither the anatomy or fiber aspect is relevant when used in unconcentrated form.
Fresh oregano is loaded with vitamins and nutrients, and can be a good source of iron, manganese, calcium, vitamin C and vitamin A. It also has omega-3 fatty acids.

Oregano in food
The best thing about oregano is the taste. It is good as a supplement for soups and sauces. But be careful, too much of a good thing can be too much. Oregano is a tasty spice that is not usually used in sweet dishes. Some describe the smell as bitter and the taste so strong. And as mentioned, it is one of few herbs or spices where the taste is stronger dried than fresh. It is most often associated with Italian dishes.
If you like to cook your own dishes, you will soon discover that this spice goes well with tomato sauce, lamb and vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and squash.
Other types of herbs and spices that fit well with oregano are garlic, parsley, sage, thyme, pepper, basil and dried onion.
Sources:
www.denlillegartner.no              
www.indepthinfo.com
http://herbgardening.com
http://www.about.com
http://www.ourherbgarden.com

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Author: Oeystein

Hi, I'm a pensioner who likes to cook, my page will contain recipes advice and tips. I`m living in Norway, married to a Filipina, so in winter time we stay in Philippines and summertime we stay in Norway.

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