Caribbean Oregano (Plectranthus amboinicus L.)

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May be grown in your vegetable or herb garden or as a potted specimen. The leaves of this succulent herb are fleshy and strongly aromatic. Leaves are often used in Caribbean cooking and also as a substitute for sage. The leaves are used medicinally in India as a cure for coughs.

Caribbean Oregano Flower
Caribbean Oregano Flower

Origin

Caribbean oregano is a plant native to the Caribbean islands. It is also known as Puerto Rican oregano, Mexican oregano, or Caribbean thyme. The leaves of Caribbean oregano are used to flavor food. Caribbean oregano has a strong flavor that goes well with chicken and fish dishes.

Consumption

Caribbean oregano can be consumed fresh, dried, or as a tea. Caribbean oregano tea is said to have medicinal properties and is used to treat colds and stomach problems.

Cultivation

Caribbean oregano can be grown in the Caribbean islands and in other tropical areas. Caribbean oregano prefers a sunny location and well-drained soil. Caribbean oregano can be propagated from seed or cuttings.

Pests and Diseases

Caribbean oregano is susceptible to root rot and fungal diseases. Caribbean oregano is also attractive to slugs and snails.

Nutritional value 

One hundred grams of Caribbean oregano leaves contain:

-energy: 305 kJ (73 kcal)

-carbohydrates: 6.7 g

-dietary fiber: 3.3 g

-fat: 0.7 g

-protein: 4.4 g

-vitamins: A, B6

Health benefits

Caribbean oregano is a good source of antioxidants. Caribbean oregano is also said to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Caribbean oregano tea is used to treat colds, stomach problems, and headaches.

Soil and Water

No special soil requirements are known. Average water needs – do not overwater. Part sun to shade.

Cold

Will be killed by frost.

Pruning

Pruning will promote branching and can rejuvenate an old lanky plant.

Propagation

Roots easily from cuttings placed in soil.

Pests

None are known.

Harvesting, storage, and preparation

Young leaves have a milder flavor. Using too many leaves could overwhelm the flavor of a dish; when used in moderation the taste is pleasant and similar to sage. The flavor is very amenable to beans. The leaves can be used fresh and chopped finely or dried for storage and crumbled. Drying the leaves can take quite a while, especially if they are left attached to the stem.

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