If you are into unique new teas, then try this Cuban oregano tea recipe. The tea has a pleasant, oregano and thyme flavor with mildly spicy and warming notes.
To make the tea, simply steep the leaves in boiling water for 10 minutes before straining, sweetening and serving. Here’s more on making the tea and its benefits.
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For this recipe, you will need:
- Cuban oregano leaves: fresh young leaves are better for this recipe but feel free to use older or dried leaves here (1 tsp should be enough). If you can’t find Cuban oregano, it may be listed as Mexican mint, Spanish thyme, Indian or country borage, pudina and sambarballi. Or look out for its botanical name: Coleus amboinicus. By the way, it’s available on Amazon.
- boiling water
- sweetener: this is optional but I prefer adding a little honey to the tea. You can use any of your favorite sweeteners here or leave it out completely.
How to make Cuban oregano tea
Step 1: Wash the fresh leaves thoroughly. Break them into large pieces.
Step 2: Bring water to a boil either on the stove or using a kettle or in the microwave.
Step 3: Add the broken leaves to the boiling water. Leave to steep for 10 minutes.
Step 4: Strain the leaves out of the tea. Sweeten if desired and serve hot.
Cuban oregano tea benefits
It may help gut health
A 2015 study showed the hot water extract of Cuban oregano leaves inhibited the growth of E. coli and other pathogens while stimulating the growth of the probiotic bacteria, Lactobacillus plantarum. This evidence supported the traditional use of the leaves to ease diarrhea caused by pathogens. The researchers also suggested the leaves promoted gut health especially during an infection.
The study further cited past research that showed a decoction of the leaves were traditionally used to treat asthma, cough, dysentery, and colitis.
It may have antioxidant benefits
This 2021 study explored the effects of a traditional tea that contained Cuban oregano, along with citronella and cinnamon. The tea was found to have antioxidant benefits and each component of the tea including Cuban oregano was shown to also have these antioxidant properties.
It contains thymol and carvacrol
The main volatile compounds in Cuban oregano leaves are carvacrol and thymol. Carvacrol gives the leaf its oregano smell and has possible antimicrobial, antioxidant and anticancer benefits (source: this 2018 study). Thymol, which smells like thyme (hence the name), may have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, antimicrobial, antiseptic and antitumor effects according to this 2017 UAE study. However, it is unclear if these effects translate to the tea.
Cuban oregano tea recipe
Cuban oregano tea
- 2 grams Cuban oregano leaves (preferably young leaves)
- 1 cup boiling water
- sweetener (optional)
- Wash the leaves. Tear them in half.
- Boil water (using a kettle, pot, or microwave).
- Add torn leaves to boiling water.
- Steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain and sweeten if desired.
- Serve hot.