What is Mexican oregano? 2 Hows About This Nice Herb!

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what is Mexican oregano

We know there are different types of oregano, but have you ever heard about Mexican oregano? Many people are confused about whether it’s the same or has any difference from the typical oreganos they have in their pantries. 

So to help you uncover the answer to that question, this article will discuss what is Mexican oregano, together with its uses and potential benefits!

Origin: What is Mexican oregano?

Based on its name, Mexican oregano is native to Mexico in Central America. It’s a flowering and drought-tolerant crop, which is ideal for growing in dry climates.

Most people who have tasted it said it has an earthy flavor with citrus undertones. But why is that? The main reason is that this plant is lined with the lemon family of verbena.

Since this oregano is native to Mexico, it’s undoubtedly part of their cuisine. That means we can say that this oregano is also used as a seasoning like any other oregano. Mexicans typically used this to season their black beans, pozole, and meats. But in Latin America, it’s considered an all-purpose seasoning.

Regular oregano vs. Mexican oregano

Regular oregano, also known as Mediterranean or Italian oregano, is a seasoning different from Mexican oregano. But yes, people and chefs often use Mediterranean oregano than the Mexican variety. Maybe because we are not just quite familiar with it or how to incorporate it into our cuisine. 

But what is Mexican oregano and its difference from regular oregano?

First, regular oregano is a spice that has minty undertones. That’s why it’s perfect for pizza, grilled meats, and sauces.

Meanwhile, Mexican oregano induces lemon or citrus undertones. This is perfect in salsas and chillis. It also possesses a more intense flavor than regular oregano, making it an ideal addition to beans and tacos.

You can eat raw Mexican oregano, but you’d enjoy it more when it’s dried.

Health Facts of Mexican Oregano

Mexican oregano also contains various nutrients and vitamins. Some of it includes the following.

  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B
  • Flavonoids
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Iron

Fun Fact: Mexican oregano is also a traditional medicine used to treat colds and stomach ailments. It’s typically consumed in tea form!

How to grow Mexican oregano?

You can grow Mexican oregano in seeds or through cuttings.

Here’s how to grow Mexican oregano through seeds.

  • Use trays in planting Mexican oregano.
  • Plant your seeds ¼ inch deep using a seed-starting potting mix.
  • Put 2 to 5 seeds in a hole.
  • Put your tray in a sunny spot and keep it moist.
  • Wait for the seeds to germinate, typically two to four weeks.
  • Repot your seedlings when you see 4 or 5 true leaves and when the soil has already warmed up.

Here’s how to grow Mexican oregano through cuttings.

  • Sanitize your knife first.
  • Ensure that you get your cuttings early in the morning.
  • Cut 8 inches of stem.
  • Remove the stems located at the bottom of your cutting.
  • Dip the stem cutting in the rooting hormone.
  • Place your stem in a pot with a mixture of peat and sand.
  • Keep the soil moist but not too drenched.
  • Make sure to keep it sheltered.
  • Wait for one to two months for the roots to develop.
  • Once they have roots, it’s ready for repotting.

How to dry Mexican oregano?

Like any other herb, you can also enjoy Mexican oregano in dried form. Here are three ways how you can dry this herb!


The easiest way to dry oregano is by hanging it in a mesh bag. If you don’t have a mesh bag, use a tea towel or a piece of muslin. 

Tie the oregano into a knot, place it in the mesh bag or tea towel, and hang it up where it can get some air circulation. Let the oregano sit for about two weeks until it has dried out completely. This will depend on how much moisture there was originally in the herb. After it’s dried out, store your dried herbs in an airtight container, preferably one that seals tightly.


Here’s what you need to do when dehydrating Mexican oregano.

  • Clean your oregano thoroughly. Remove any dead leaves or stems and rinse with cool water.
  • Cut off the bottom of your oregano’s stem, so it’s about an inch long. This will help expose more surface area of the leaves to be dried, resulting in faster drying time.
  • Place your oregano on a dehydrator sheet, ensuring that none of the leaves touch each other or other objects that might interfere with their drying process.
  • Set your dehydrator to its lowest setting (95-125 degrees F) and let it run for approximately six hours or until most moisture has been removed from the leaves. You may need to turn your dehydrator off periodically to allow for more drying time if necessary.
  • You can store your dried oregano in an airtight container away from direct sunlight until ready to use.


To dry Mexican oregano in the oven, you need to preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 degrees Celsius).

Then, place the leaves in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Finally, take the cookie sheet out of the oven and let it cool completely before using or storing it.

Among all these drying methods, we recommend the first one. This is because you’ll get a more intense flavor when it’s dried naturally. But let’s admit that you need to be patient when hang-drying your oregano because it would take two weeks to dry.

Recipes ideas with Mexican oregano

Mexican oregano is a special herb with a unique flavor that’s great for more than just Mexican cuisine. Here are a couple of our favorite recipes that use this delicious herb!

Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Pasta

This is one of our favorite pasta dishes. It’s easy to make, and the roasted red peppers give it a beautiful color and flavor.

Butter Chicken

This is another winning recipe! It’s made with butter chicken sauce, traditionally made from yogurt, but you can easily adapt the recipe to use any type of butter you like. We love it because it’s so simple but also really flavorful!

Salsa Verde

This salsa verde is simple enough that anyone can make it at home. Just blend all the ingredients into your blender or food processor! Depending on the level of spicy you want your salsa, you can add as much or as little heat as you want.

What is Mexican oregano? Our Final Say!

Now that it’s time to end this post, we can say that Mexican oregano differs from the regular oregano we typically use. They only differ in aroma and flavor, but Mexican oregano can also be used in most dishes, just like the regular variety. Likewise, you can also grow and dry it so that when you’re craving a citrus-tasing oregano, you can access it anytime you like! We hope we’ve answered the question What is Mexican Oregano and given you the information you need about this herb! Feel free to share this post to someone who needs to know what is Mexican oregano!

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