Oregano is a perennial member of the mint family that is native to the Mediterranean region, as well as South America, Asia and Europe. The herb is widely used in Indian, Moroccan, Spanish, Mexican, Italian and Greek cuisines. Although oregano is generally thought of in most of the world as the standard pizza sauce seasoning, the flavor profile of the herb varies depending on species. The oregano featured so prominently in Italian cooking is actually Greek oregano, which is also cultivated in Italy and Egypt. Mexican oregano, on the other hand, which is native to Mexico, Central and South America, lends a milder and slightly lemony flavor to foods.
Mexican oregano, also called wild marjoram, is a perennial member of the mint family native to Europe, Asia and the Mediterranean region. Mexican oregano shares a similar flavor profile with its cousin, Greek oregano, but is a different species of plant native to Mexico, Central and South America and is more closely related to lemon verbena. As such, it has a mild citrus-like quality, combined with a hint of pine.
In addition to cooking, Mexican oregano is used to prepare infusions, oils and ceremonial incense for use by Curanderos, the shamans indigenous to Mexico and the Southwestern U.S.