Te de Oregano (Oregano Tea)
It’s officially cold and flu season — if you’ve fallen ill with a scratchy throat, icky cough, body aches, and fever, there’s nothing quite like my grandma’s recipe for Te de Oregano (a.k.a. Mexican Oregano Tea) to see you through to healthier days.
Made with just 3 simple ingredients in 5 minutes, this earthy-flavored mug of warm coziness is the best holistic remedy for nearly anything that ails you.
Why I Love This Recipe (and Why You Will, Too)
What is up with this season? I feel like I have been fighting a cold since the New Year. Tripledemic, we’re ready for you to go home now, mm-kay? I went to the doctor, but all he said to do was drink plenty of fluids and sent me home.
When I spoke to my mom on the phone she reminded me about all of my Grandma’s home remedies. How could I have forgotten?!? I immediately made myself a mug of te de oregano with Mexican dried oregano just like my grandma used to make.
When my kiddos are sick I always make them this oregano tea, but when I’m the sick one instead of the caretaker, it’s easy to forget what to do. I finally decided to take care of myself and made myself this cozy and comforting tea several times daily.
And, wouldn’t you know it? I was feeling better within 3 days. I am always amazed how good ol’ fashioned home remedies work.
Does Drinking Oregano Tea Have Any Proven Health Benefits?
As it turns out, this holistic remedy is far more than just an old wives’ tale — it really does have some healing properties! A 2011 study demonstrated that oregano oil is effective at treating respiratory illnesses, particularly some of the more virulent infections that affect kids.
It doesn’t really surprise me that oregano is a healing herb, but there are many immune-boosting qualities this humble plant contains. Aside from being an essential flavoring component, oregano is also filled with:
- Anti-inflammatory compounds
- Anti-viral, antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal compounds
What can oregano cure?
Oregano has expectorant properties, so it is very useful to treat cases of excessive cough and bronchial problems. Hellooooo colds, flus, and COVID! While it isn’t a cure (and I’m not a doctor!), I can speak from experience that it did help to get all the junk out of my lungs.
After some research, I’ve also come to find out that oregano is also great for:
- poor circulation, and
- alleviating menstrual cramps.
What do I need to make oregano tea? Ingredients & Equipment
First, let’s talk about ingredients. For this recipe, you only need 3:
- Mexican Oregano – I love the citrusy undertones of Mexican oregano, but Italian or Greek oregano will also work.
- Water – If possible, use filtered water for the best flavor. But then again, if your nose is stuffy, you might not be able to tell!
- Honey – This is optional, but helps to take some of the sharp herbal edge off the tea. Honey is also a lovely holistic healer in its own right — it can soothe a sore throat, help to suppress coughs, and is chock-full of vitamins and nutrients.
In terms of equipment, you don’t need much either. I bought myself this tea maker that is pretty darn incredible — you add the oregano leaves to the chamber, pour over boiling water, let it steep, then dispense it directly into your mug.
If you don’t have a tea maker, feel free to make your own teabags with cheesecloth, use a metal tea infuser, or simply use a mesh strainer to catch the leaves as you pour the tea into your drinking vessel.
Aside from that, you just need a way to get your water boiling hot, so a saucepan, tea kettle, or electric kettle will do the trick. You’re also welcome to boil the water in your microwave.
- While some teas require different water temperatures to evince the best flavor, herbal teas are happy with a full, rolling boil of 212F.
- While a minimum steep time of 5-10 minutes is recommended, you can leave oregano to steep for as long as you like. Just note that the flavor will become more pronounced the longer it sits.
- Make sure you are using fresh herbs to get the most benefit — dried herbs and spices only have a shelf-life of 6-12 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
I used to give this tea to my kids when they were feeling under the weather, but I’m not a doctor. I would suggest that after the tea has brewed you add an ice cube to tame the temps for little ones.
ALSO, please note that you should never give honey to a child under the age of 12 months due to a risk of botulism. Many healthcare providers also suggest that, like peanut butter, you give your tots their first taste of honey outside a hospital in the event that they have bee allergies.
Funnily enough, Mexican oregano is part of the verbena family and is related more closely to marjoram than other types of oregano, whereas Greek or Italian oregano is part of the mint family. As a result, Mexican oregano has notes of citrus and anise, which I find absolutely intoxicating.
More Home Remedies
- Grandma’s Home Remedies
- Chamomile Tea and Cinnamon Tea
- Hibiscus-Cinnamon Tea
- Winter Pomelo Ginger Margarita
Te de Oregano (Oregano Tea)
- 4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons Mexican dried oregano
- honey, optional
- Boil water and add dried oregano leaves.
- After the water with the oregano has boiled, remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes.
- Use a strainer and remove the oregano leaves.
- Serve hot. Sweeten with a spoonful of honey if desired.
Photography by Jenna Sparks
Originally published: December 2018
7 Comments on “Te de Oregano (Oregano Tea)”
Dear Yvette, I bought some fresh dried mexican oregano at farmer’s market this summer, so I made this last night, andxabout again tonight. Loved it! Just as you described! Never heard of this before, thank you so much for sharing.
Many, many years ago, my husband made me what must have been oregano tea (he’s from Jalisco, I’m not). He did not sweeten it at all and tried to get me to drink it. Of course, I treated it like poison, white girl that I am. I later mentioned it to my Mexican sister-in-law who told me that she liked it, but mentioned sweetening it. I have never tried it again, but now, maybe, I might.
Very good recipe I love it. ❤️
Did not know. May I ask you if you would DM me type of tea pot you purchased.
Best wishes for 2023
My go-to tea for a sore throat or cough. I make it the same way, but also add freshly squeezed lime juice. Supposedly, this old remedy has its reasons… oregano as an expectorant and anti-inflammatory; honey to soothe your throat; and lime juice to cut through infection. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for providing this information. I have been searching and searching for herbs that will help with sleep. I have tried so many different herbs and combinations and still have serious insomnia issues. My insomnia is due to a traumatic brain injury that resulted from a near death bicycle accident 5 years ago and the doctors prescribe medications that I refuse to take.
So, oregano does contain relaxation qualities that can help with sleep? If this is the case, I will start sipping a small mug of it every evening.
Best tea for coughs, mom always made it for us. Next time don’t be so stubborn,and get it done, my darling daughter.