Thursday, May 21, 2015

Health and Culinary Benefits of Oregano

This summer heat is terrible. Everyone is complaining about it. This heat is making a lot of people sick. That includes me. I've been coughing for several days now probably because of sweating too much -- as the old people say, uubuhin ka pagnatuyuan ng pawis.

Since I always try home remedy first before taking pills, I decided to rely on my childhood cough medicine -- oregano.

When I was a kid, my mother would always boil oregano leaves whenever I have cough. Initially, I did not like the idea of drinking the concoction. But because of my mom's persistence, I learned to like it eventually.

When I was in high school, I found out that oregano is also used for other health purposes. Aside from healing cough and other respiratory tract problems, it is also used for urinary tract infections. They say it also aids in treating gastrointestinal problems.

They say all these is because it has antibacterial properties. On top of that, they also say it has antioxidant properties. Since it is has antioxidant properties, it is safe to say that you can drink this for prevention of different kinds of diseases.

What you need to do is to boil several oregano leaves until they become soft and the water turns greenish. My mom also adds other medicinal plants like sambong leaves and basil. Sometimes, she squeezes calamansi on the concoction to improve its taste (do this once you've removed it from fire).

Aside form health benefits, oregano also has culinary uses. I usually use it when I cook chicken using turbo broiler. I put oregano leaves together with basil, tomatoes, onions and garlic at the bottom of turbo broiler. It gives the chicken a distinct but subtle flavor. It also gives the chicken an appetizing aroma.

I have also tried putting oregano leaves in almondigas (albondigas)-- misua with meatballs. Since almondigas has a very simple taste, adding oregano makes it a little fancier.

I've also used oregano with grilled bangus (milkfish). I added it with the tomato, onion and garlic mix that I stuffed in the belly. My original intention in adding oregano was to mask the smell of the fish (lansa) but I found out that it also added an interesting flavor to it.

If fresh oregano is not available, you can use the dried oregano that's available in most supermarkets. You just rub it on the meat you're going to grill to make it special.

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