Origanum (Oregano)

Other names: mountain mint, winter marjoram

Scientific name: Origanum vulgare

Common names:

Ayurvedic names: Bhringraja kul

Chinese names: Ao le gang, Niu zhi, Ao le gang cao

Bangladesh names: Jowan, Yamani

Arabic names:    المردقوش  (al murdaqoosh)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Fabaceae

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Whole herb

Collection: Summer

Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: upto 32 inches

Actions: Aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, pungent, stimulant, stomachic

Known Constituents: essential oil, volatile oil, tannins, resin, sterols, flavonoids

Constituents Explained: 


Traditional Use:

Used like many common spices for the stomach and digestion.  The oil has been used in the ear, and on tooth ache.1

Externally it has been used for swelling and sprain.  

Clinical Studies:

The present investigation is focused on antibacterial potential of infusion, decoction and essential oil of oregano (Origanum vulgare) against 111 Gram-positive bacterial isolates belonging to 23 different species related to 3 genera.

Infusion and essential oil exhibited antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus saprophyticus, S. aureus, Micrococcus roseus, M. kristinae, M. nishinomiyaensis, M. lylae, M. luteus, M. sedentarius, M. varians, Bacillus megaterium, B. thuringiensis, B. alvei, B. circulans, B. brevis, B. coagulans, B. pumilus, B. laterosporus, B. polymyxa, B. macerans, B. subtilis, B. firmus, B. cereus and B. lichiniformis. 

The infusion exhibited maximum activity against B. laterosporus followed by B. polymyxa and essential oil of oregano exhibited maximum activity against S. saprophyticus followed by B. circulans. 


Saeed S, Tariq P. “Antibacterial Activity Of Oregano (Origanum Vulgare Linn.) Againsta Gram Positive Bacteria.” 2009 October http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19783523