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Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is one of the most important Greek aromatic and medicinal plants.


Oregano is found in almost all Mediterranean countries of Europe and Africa, but also in the temperate zones of Asia and America. Geographical distribution (latitude, longitude and altitude) appears to be a decisive factor in the quantity of essential oil and the quality of oregano. The variation observed is mainly due to the different climatic conditions prevailing in the different geographical areas.
Oregano has been known since antiquity, it was considered so important that the name origanon comes from the words mount (mountain) and ganos (glow), meaning a plant that shines on the mountain. During the Homeric period it was common to call a person who ate oregano or oregano. The ancients used to place oregano in the graves because they believed that the dead person slept peacefully.
Oregano is a perennial plant. The spread of oregano is found in almost all latitudes and longitudes of Greece, mainly in mountainous and semi-mountainous areas. The species Origanum vulgare has the largest distribution and is the most diverse “oregano species” in Greece.
The Greek populations of this species are divided into three subspecies ssp. vulgare, ssp. hirtum and ssp.viridulum. The most widespread of the three subspecies is ssp. hirtum (known internationally as Greek oregano) and has the highest essential oil content. This subspecies is internationally regarded as the best “oregano species”, known by the trade name Greek oregano (Greek oregano), which is why it is the most sought-after, being of excellent quality.
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