Also known as: 
wild marjoram

Oregano is related to the herb marjoram, oregano also being known as wild marjoram. It is a perennial, although it is grown as an annual in colder climates, as it often does not survive the winter months. It grows to 20 inches, with purple flowers and spade-shaped, olive-green leaves. Although, fresh oregano adds appealing taste, the herb is among a handful that work well dried. Its spicier flavour is balanced nicely by cilantro, and it's a natural partner for cumin. If you have an excess of fresh oregano, you can dry it by tying the stems together and hanging it in a warm, dry, well-ventilated place. Oregano dried at its peak will likely have more flavour than supermarket varieties, which can vary in age. 

Commonly used in: 
Toppings and seasoning.

Health benefit: 
Among other things, brewed tea of oregano is considered useful as a mild digestive stimulator and used to relieve gas.  Oregano contains anti-oxidant ingredients that minimize the destructive effects of free radicals.  Oregano sooths bee stings and spider bites due to its ability to relieve local pain. Oregano has antibiotic properties with an ability to kill bacteria. It also inhibits the growth of yeasts and has anti-fungal properties.  It can also be used  to relieve fevers, diarrhea, vomiting, and jaundice. Unsweetened tea can be used as a gargle or mouthwash. Externally, Oregano leaves can be pounded into a paste for pain from rheumatism, swelling, itching, aching muscles, and sores.  For tired joints and muscles, put a handful of Oregano leaves in a coffee filter, mesh bag, or cheesecloth bag and run steaming bath water over it. Allow it to steep in the tub for relaxing in the warm, fragrant water.