Home arrow Herbal Medicine arrow Medicinal Plants arrow Plectranthus amboinicus
Plectranthus amboinicus

Image of Plectranthus amboinicus

Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae

Plectranthus amboinicus is a tender fleshy perennial plant in the family Lamiaceae with an oregano-like flavor and odour, native to South and East Africa, but widely cultivated and naturalised in the Old and New World Tropics. It is also known as Cuban oregano, Spanish thyme, Orégano Brujo (Puerto Rico), Indian Borage, Mexican thyme, or Mexican mint; syn. Coleus amboinicus Lour., Coleus aromaticus Benth.


  • The leaves have many traditional medicinal uses, especially for the treatment of cough and cold, sore throats and nasal congestion; but also for a range of other problems such as infections, rheumatism and flatulence.
  • In Indonesia Plectranthus amboinicus is a traditional food used in soup to stimulate lactation for the month or so following childbirth.
  • This medicinal plant is used for abrasion, laceration, for burns, for conjunctivitis, etc.
  • The leaves are strongly flavoured and make an excellent addition to stuffings for meat and poultry. Finely chopped, they can also be used to flavour meat dishes, especially beef, lamb and game.
  • The herb is also used as a substitute for oregano in the food trade and food labelled "oregano-flavoured" may well contain this herb.