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Aphrodite grows it in her garden on Mount Olympus, and it was used in love potions and spells.

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According to a 2011 study published in the , oregano essential oil distilled from a Moroccan species of oregano demonstrated antimalarial activity in addition to being a powerful antioxidant.

The researchers also found oregano essential oil may act against human breast cancer cells.

“Vulgare” refers to the herb’s status as a common roadside weed — it was a medicine available to anyone and everyone in ancient Greek society, Jenn Dazey N. “If you’re using something locally, it’s more likely to have survived and developed the phytochemicals that would be more useful to you on a local level,” Morris said.

“It all depends on what you need it for.” When choosing an oregano oil, however, it’s more important to choose a manufacturer that grows their oregano organically and distills it in a virgin carrier oil — preferably organic — than to choose a locally sourced oil, Morris said.

The most common medicinal species of oregano used in modern times, Origanum vulgare, originally grew wildly on Greek mountainsides. Using oil of oregano distilled from local oregano may have certain benefits, Morris said.

Its name supposedly derives from the Greek term “oros ganos,” which translates to “joy of the mountain,” according to the popular story. Oregano seeds made it over to North America about 200 years ago, where the species continues to flourish, Dazey said. Dazey, for example, grows oregano in her garden in the Pacific Northwest while Artemis Morris, N. She hypothesizes that herbs and plants develop specific resistance mechanisms to bacteria, insects and fungi in their environment — when we eat these plants, we benefit from the defense mechanisms plants have been developing for thousands of years.

“We’ve already made resistant bacteria to those more natural and safer alternatives to antibiotics,” Dazey said.

“So my strategy when it comes to oregano oil is use it as one part of a strategy.

“No matter what you do, as far as an antibacterial agent, you need to make sure you do probiotics.” When used as an antibiotic, oil of oregano may also cause a Herxheimer reaction in some individuals, Morris said, which occurs when harmful microorganisms release toxins as they die. It belongs to Lamiaceae, the mint family, and it was used throughout the ancient world, from Syria to Egypt to Greece.

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