Oregano is known botanically as Origanum vulgare and is called wild marjoram in many parts of Europe since it is closely related to the herb that we know as sweet marjoram. Its name is derived from the Greek words oros (mountain) and ganos (joy) since not only was it a symbol of happiness, but it made the hillsides on which it grew look beautiful.
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Scientific names     

Coleus amboinicus Lour.      
Coleus aromaticus Benth.     
Coleus suganda Blanco      
Plectranthus aromaticus Roxb.     
Plectranthus amboinicus (Lour.) Sprengel     

Common names


Bildu (Sul.)
Clavo (C. L. Bis.)
Latai (Sub.)
Latay (Sub.)
Oregano (Span.)
Suganda (Tag.)
Torongil de Limon (Span.)
Zuo shou xiang (Chin.)
Botany

Suganda is an erect, spreading, branched, rather coarse, strongly aromatic, green herb, with fleshy stems. Leaves are fleshy, broadly ovate, 4 to 9 centimeters long, often heart-shaped, and somewhat hairy, with rounded toothed margins, with the tip and base decurrent. Flowers are small, and occur in distant whorls. Calyx is bell-shaped; the throat is smooth inside, with two lips, the upper lip being ovate and thin, the lower lip having four narrow teeth. Corolla is pale purplish and 5 times longer than the calyx, with a short tube, inflated throat, and short lips.

Distribution


- Cultivated for its aromatic leaves.
- Certainly introduced.
- Also occurring in India to Malaya.

Constituents


- Fresh leaves yield 0.055 volatile oil, largely carvacrol.
- Phytochemical screening yielded carbohydrates, proteins, phenols, tannins, flavanoids, saponins, glycosides.

Properties


- Aromatic, carminative, emmenagogue, diaphoretic, tonic, stimulant.
- In India, considered antilithiotic, chemopreventive, antiepileptic, antioxidant.

Parts utilized


Leaves
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Uses

Edibility / Culinary

  • As condiment, provides fragrance to salads and strong-smelling meat dishes.
  • Sometimes, used as flavoring for drinks.

Folkloric

  • In the Philippines, macerated fresh leaves applied externally to burns.
  • Leaves are bruised and applied to centipede and scorpion bites. Also, applied to temples and forehead for headache, help in place by a bandage.
  • Leaves in infusion or as syrup used as aromatic and carminative; used for dyspepsia and also as a cure for asthma.
  • The Malays used the plant juice or decoction for pains around the areas of the heart or abdomen.
  • Decoction of leaves given after childbirth.
  • In Indo-China, given for asthma and bronchitis.
  • The juice of the leaves for dyspepsia, asthma, chronic coughs, bronchitis, colic, flatulence, rheumatism. The dose is one tablespoonful of the fresh juice every hour for adults and one teaspoonful every two hours, four times daily, for children. As an infusion, 50 to 60 grams to a pint of boiling water, and drink the tea, 4 to 5 glasses a day. For children, 1/2 cup 4 times daily.
  • For otalgia (ear aches), pour the fresh, pure juice into the ear for 10 minutes.
  • For carbuncles, boils, sprains, felons, painful swellings: Apply the poultice of leaves to the affected area, four times daily.
  • For sore throats, a decoction of two tablespoonfuls of dried leaves to a pint of boiling water, taken one hour before or after meals.
  • In India, leaves are used traditionally for bronchitis, asthma, diarrhea, epilepsy, nephro-cystolithiasis, fever, indigestion and cough. Also used for malarial fever, hepatopathy, renal and vesicle calculi, hiccup, helminthiasis, colic, and convulsions.
  • The Chinese used the juice of leaves with sugar, for cough in children, asthma and bronchitis, epilepsy and convulsive disorders.
  • Leaves are applied to cracks at the corners of the mouth, for thrush, headaches; against fever as a massage or as a wash.
  • Used for bladder and urinary afflictions, and vaginal discharges.
  • Used as carminative, given to children for colic.
  • In Bengal, used for coli and dyspepsia.
  •  Expressed juice applied around the orbit to relieve conjunctival pain.

Others

  • Fresh leaves rubbed on clothing or hair at the time of bathing for its scent.

Recent uses and preparations

Respiratory ailments like cough, asthma and bronchitis: Squeeze juice of the leaves. Take one teaspoon every hour for adults. For children above 2 years old, 3 to 4 teaspoons a day.

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Studies

Antioxidant / Anticlastogenic / Radioprotective: Antioxidant, anticlastogenic and radioprotective effect of Coleus aromaticus on Chinese hamster fibroblast cells (V79) exposed to gamma radiation: The hydroalcoholic extract of CA showed dose-dependent radical scavenging against free radicals, rendered radioprotection against radiation induced DNA damage. Study results established antioxidant, anticlastogenic and radioprotective activities and suggests a potential for chemoprevention.

Antioxidant: Study of freeze-dried aqueous extract of Ca clearly established the antioxidant potency of freeze-dried extract of C aromaticus.

Mast cell stabilization property: Study showed stabilization of mast cells in rat mesenteric tissue and suggests further studies into mast cells with its role in Type 1 hypersensitivity-mediated diseases like asthma and rhinitis.

Antimicrobial: (1) Antimicrobial Activity Of Coleus aromaticus (Benth) Against Microbes Of Reproductive Tract Infections Among Women : Results suggests the herb could be an ideal choice for treating reproductive tract infections. (2) Study showed the antimicrobial effect of Coleus amboinicus, Lour folium infuum toward C albicans and Strep mutans.

Anticlastogenicity: Study of ethanolic extract of C aromaticus showed a protective effect against cyclophophamide and mitomycin-C induced cytogenetic damage.

Anti-Inflammatory: In a carrageenan-induced rat paw edema model, the aqueous extract of Coleus aromaticus exhibited potent anti-inflammatory activity, attributed to the inhibition of mediators released from the 2nd phase of inflammation.

Antibacterial: Study showed both ethanol and hot water leaf extracts of Coleus aromaticus to possess potent antibacterial activity, the ethanol extract showing greater activity. Results provide scientific support for the centuries-old use of the plant as a medicinal herb.

Forskolin / Antioxidant / Anti-Asthma / Pulmo-protective: Study isolated forskolin, a diterpenoid, from a methanolic extract of C aromaticus. C aromaticus has been used to treat asthma. Forskolin has been thought to be responsible for its pharmaceutical activity through restoration of antioxidant enzyme activity with its ability to scavenge free radicals. The results validate the use of forskolin as an anti-asthmatic agent.

Insecticidal / Anti-Termite: Study investigating the leaf essential oil of C. amboinicus yielded six components. The major component was thymol (94.3%), followed by carvacrol, 1,8-cineole, p-cymene, spathuylenol, terpinen-4-ol. The oil was insecticidal to white termites (Odontotermes obesus Rhamb). It was more active than synthetic insecticides, Thiodan and Primoban-20 against termites, although it was ineffective against Tribolium castaneum, a stored product pest.

Galactagogue / Bangun-bangun Leaves: Participants in an Indonesian of study of Batakneese women were given bangun-bangun soup during their nursing period, most consuming a bowl of soup three times daily for 30-40 days. The study aimed to gather information about the women's beliefs and experiences in the use of the herb. The participants felt their breasts become full with breast milk. Most felt consuming CA leaves helped control postpartum bleeding and help "uterine cleansing."

Anthelmintic / Antimicrobial: A chloroform and methanol extract of leaf and leaf oil showed significant anthelmintic activity. The plant extracts also showed antibacterial activity against test organisms, with very poor antifungal activity.

Availability

Wild-crafted.
Cultivated for condiment and culinary use. 


Source: stuartxchange


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Recent uses / Philippine Inquirer. Monica Feria. Oct 6, 2007

(2)Antioxidant, anticlastogenic and radioprotective effect of Coleus aromaticus on Chinese hamster fibroblast cells (V79) exposed to gamma radiation / B S Satish Rao et al / Mutagenesis 2006 21(4):237-242; doi:10.1093/mutage/gel023 /

(3)Mast cell stabilization property of Coleus aromaticus leaf extract in rat peritoneal mast cells / Kumar A et al / Indian Journal of Pharmacology, Vol. 39, No. 2, March-April, 2007, pp. 119-120/

(4)  Antimicrobial Activity Of Coleus aromaticus (Benth) Against Microbes Of Reproductive Tract Infections Among Women

(5)Antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity of an aqueous extract of Coleus aromaticus / A Kumran and R Joel Karunakaran / Food Chemistry • Volume 97, Issue 1, July 2006, Pages 109-114 / doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2005.03.032

(6)Efficiency of Coleus aromaticus extract in modifying cyclophosphamide and mitomycin-C induced clastogenicity in mouse bone marrow cells / Prassad Naik P and Vijayalaxmi K K / Indian J Exp Biol. 2002 Sep;40(9):1020-5.

(7)Antimicrobial effects of Coleus amboinicus, Lour folium infusum towards Candida albican and Streptococcu mutans / Devi Rianti and Sri Yogyarti / Dept of Dental Material and Technology . Faculty of Dentistry. Airlangga Univerisity. Surabaya, Indonesia

(8)Screening of antiinflammatory activity of coleus aromaticus / Neelam Begum, C Mayuren, K Sateesh et al / international journal of chemical sciences, bapatla colege of pharmacy, Volume 7, Issue 4, bapatla, p.2384-2388 (2009)

(9)ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITY OF COLEUS AROMATICUS LEAVES / Subhas Chandrappa M, harsha R et al / International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, ISSN- 0975-1491, Vol 2, Issue 3, 2010

(10)Coleus aromaticus Benth act as an immunostimulant in Channa marulius Hamilton

(11)PHARMACOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF FORSKOLIN ISOLATED FROM COLEUS AROMATICUS ON THE LUNG DAMAGE RATS / D Srinivasa Rao, V Prasada Rao and K R S Sambisiva Rao / PHARMANEST
Vol.1 (1) Sep-Oct-2010 An International Journal of Advances In Pharmaceutical Sciences

(12)Pharmacognostical Evaluation of Different Parts of Coleus amboinicus lour., Lamiaceae / K K Hullatti, Prasenjit Bhattacharjee / DOI: 10.5530/pj.2011.24.8

(13)Studies on essential oils, Part 33: chemical and insecticidal investigations on leaf oil of Coleus amboinicus Lour. / Gurdip Singh1, Om Prakash Singh, Y. R. Prasad, M. P. de Lampasona, C. Catalan / Flavour and Fragrance Journal, Volume 17, Issue 6, pages 440–442, November/December 2002 / DOI: 10.1002/ffj.1123

(14)Consumption of bangun-bangun leaves (Coleus amboinicus Lour) to increase breast milk production among Batakneese women in North Sumatra Island, Indonesia / R Damanik, N Damanik, Z Daulay, S Saragih, R Premier, N Wattanapenpaiboon, ML Wahlqvist / Proceedings of the Nutrition Society of Australia (2001) 25

(15)PHYTOCHEMICAL SCREENING , ANTIMICROBIAL AND ANTHELMINTHIC STUDIES ON COLEUS AROMATICUS BENTH. / Prameela T S, Oommen P Saj / Internationl Journal of Pharmaceutical Research and Development, June 2011, Vol 3, No 4, Article 14.