Succulents are easy to grow, attractive and aromatic. This is the case of cuban oregano. What is Cuban oregano? It is a succulent plant in the Lamiaceae family, also known as Spanish thyme, Indian borage, and Mexican mint. It is not real oregano of the oregano family, but it does have the characteristic aroma of real oregano. Cuban oregano has many culinary and traditional uses. Once you know how to grow Cuban oregano, it is often used.
For this reason, we are going to dedicate this article to telling you everything you need to know about Cuban oregano, what its characteristics and care are.
What is Cuban oregano?
Plectranthus amboinicus is a perennial succulent with fragrant leaves. It is usually grown as a houseplant, but thrives outdoors during warm seasons or summer. The leaves contain pungent oils that can be used in cooking.
Cuban oregano is said to have a much stronger flavor than Greek oregano, which is more commonly used to flavor pizza and other Mediterranean dishes. Harvesting Cuban oregano and using it in recipes can provide a flavor similar to traditional oregano, but should be used sparingly to avoid over-seasoning.
Cuban oregano is a member of the mint or nettle family. As a result, it has thick, hairy leaves with a strong, pleasant fragrance. The leaves are grayish-green with fine hairs and jagged edges. The flowers are in panicles and can be white, pink or lilac.
These plants grow to a height of 12 to 18 inches (30,5 to 45 cm) and can develop a trailing habit that makes them attractive in hanging baskets. As a buried plant, it spreads out into a small mound-like ground cover. The growing demand for Cuban oregano differs from traditional oregano because they can burn in full sun and perform better in light colored environments.
How to Grow Cuban Oregano
Choose a location with sandy, well-drained soil in partial sun for this little plant.. It is sensitive to frost, but does well year-round in tropical and subtropical regions. In temperate regions, grow the plants in containers and bring them indoors in the fall.
Cuban oregano grows primarily in spring and summer and likes hot, dry conditions. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t need water. The plants they need regular watering but cannot survive persistently wet rootsso drainage is especially important.
Growing the plant in a container makes it easier to meet Cuban oregano’s growing needs by moving it around as the seasonal sun warms certain areas of the garden. Some midday shade is needed to prevent the leaves from burning and ruining their appearance.
Its propagation is done by cuttings. For large-scale cultivation, planting in 0,9 x 0,4 m cells is sufficient at any time of the year. 27.700 cuttings per hectare are required to cover the entire land. The vegetative cycle is about 390 days. Urea should be applied at a rate of 60 kg/ha after each leaf harvest.
Uses of Cuban oregano
Cuban oregano leaves can be used like regular oregano. The harvest of Cuban oregano leaves for traditional medicinal purposes dates back centuries. It can be used to treat respiratory and throat infections, as well as rheumatism, constipation, flatulence and to help stimulate lactation.
Modern applications use it as a substitute for Mediterranean oregano, either dried or fresh. The leaves can be dried and crushed to add to meat dishes. Small amounts of the fresh leaves are used in soups and stews, as well as stuffing for poultry and other meats. Be careful, since the strong flavor of the plant can dominate over other condiments.
This little plant has attractive leaves and flowers that attract pollinators, and its use in the kitchen adds another tool to your culinary prowess.
When we talk about Cuban oregano we think only of culinary uses as a condiment for dishes and decoration in the kitchen. However, this woody herb has been widely used since ancient times to treat and/or prevent various diseases.
This is how the Chinese use it to treat fever, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, and skin problems. Traditional Austrian medicine uses it as a tea to treat disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, and nervous system, or as a topical ointment. Hippocrates used it as an antiseptic and for respiratory and stomach ailments. Chewing the leaves is recommended to relieve rheumatism, gum and toothache, indigestion and cough.
precisely for combat unpleasant cough, we recommend preparing a cup of oregano tea. Put a handful of fresh or dried oregano leaves in a liter of boiling water. Let them boil for about three minutes, then remove the pot from the heat and let the mixture sit for about five minutes. After that, filter the mixture. Serve, sweetened with a tablespoon of honey if possible. You can take it several times a day.
Modern science has confirmed the beneficial properties of oregano as a cough suppressant and expectorant. This is due to the presence of volatile oils, which have a high content of two chemicals associated with expectorant effects: carvacrol and thymol.
As a last curiosity, the generic name origanum means the joy of the mountains or the herb that makes the mountains happy, and comes from the classical Greek origanon, from the words oros (mountain) and ganos (beautiful, bright, ornamental, joy).
Regarding ingestion or dosage, it is recommended that you always consult your doctor. Used in adequate doses, oregano has few contraindications, however, allergy sufferers should be careful. It is contraindicated in pregnancy and lactation and in children under twelve years of age.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about Cuban oregano and its characteristics.