One of my neighbors gave me a slip of oregano a few months ago, and it has grown wilder than my wildest expectations!
The other day I realized that it is time to do something with it. But what?
I clipped off all the trailing ends that looked prepared to take over the yard, and ended up with a huge aromatic pile of "oregano tips", shown here in front of the remaining garden that doesn't look at all trimmed.
Visions of pizzas and guacamoles swam through my head as I carried my bundle back to the house. I want to use several of the cuttings to dry and store, but wanted to try some other interesting things ... experiment around a bit ... so I decided to start with an Oregano Oil, which has lots of medicinal, as well as (hopefully) culinary, uses.
Numerous university studies (Georgetown, Cornell, Tennessee, etc.) and independent research have shown Oregano Oil to be a potent antimicrobial. The ever growing body of evidence is showing Oregano Oil to be useful as an antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal agent rivaling even pharmaceutical antibiotics in it's ability to eliminate microbes. Remarkably it accomplishes this without promoting the development of drug resistant strains and other problems often attributed to the use of standard antibiotics. In addition to this already impressive list of abilities Oregano Oil is also a powerful parasitic expellant, is valuable as a food preservative, and has been used to decontaminate foods from potentially harmful pathogen's. Carvacrol has been identified as the chief constituent behind Oregano Oil's extraordinary properties.
This is where I'm hoping to get some help!!!
How might one use oregano oil in cooking?
Is there anything interesting that I can do with fresh oregano?
Anybody have any ideas?
(N.B. Essential oils are usually obtained from plants through the process of steam distillation, for which I do not have the proper equipment. The following method will not result in a pure essential oil, but in an oil that contains the essential oil of the plant.)
First, I filled a large bottle with torn fresh oregano leaves.
Then topped it up with vegetable oil.
And now I've left the covered bottle in a sunny spot for ... well ... I've read about lots of different times ... from 6 days to 20 days ... so I figure I will just check it regularly until it is the strength I want.
You'll have to stay tuned for the final verdict as well as any interesting ways I find to use it ... I will provide regular updates in the blog ... however, I did check it a few minutes ago, after about 24 hours of sitting in a warm sunny place. I found that you smell very little of the aroma of oregano just by smelling the open bottle, but when I put a dab on my wrist, it had a definite but gentle aroma.