The Greek Reporter recently published a write-up about oregano in the ancient world. Quite interesting!

Back in ancient Hellas oregano was thought to bring good luck and good health, but it also symbolized joy. This herb is known as the “brilliant joy of the mountain.” The word itself even comes from two Greek words: “oros” (mountain) and “ganos” (brilliance of joy). The story goes that oregano is the creation of none other than Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. Apparently, the Greek goddess created and grew the ancient herb high in her mountain-top garden on Mount Olympus, and made it a symbol of happiness and joy for everyone throughout the ancient lands.

In ancient times, Hellenes would plant oregano around their homes in hopes of warding off evil spirits. It is even believed that ancient Hellenes would wear a wreath of oregano on their head during sleep to encourage psychic dreams and they wore one during wedding ceremonies in acknowledgment of Aphrodite.

Oregano was also considered a source of great healing to the ancient Hellenes. Hippocrates even said “Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food.” He applied oregano oil to treat skin infections from psoriasis and cuts, and he used it to cure stomachaches. Oregano was often steeped in hot water to create tea. With the addition of some honey, this was ancient Hellenes' cure for coughs, colds, and asthma. Made into a juice-like substance which was much more potent than tea, it was even used to cure tonsillitis.