Plectranthus amboinicus is a tender fleshy perennial plant in the
family Lamiaceae with an oregano-like flavor and odor, native to
Southern and Eastern Africa, but widely cultivated and naturalised
in the Old and New World Tropics. Common names include Cuban
oregano, Spanish thyme, Orégano Brujo (Puerto Rico), Indian Borage,
Húng chanh (Vietnam), Big Thyme (Grenada) Mexican thyme, and Mexican
The Indian Borage is very commonly grown as a potted plant. The
Indian Borage is a fast growing plant. Propagation is via stem
cuttings. To encourage a bushy plant, cut the tip of the top, insert
into the soil and instantly, you have another plant as the cutting
will grow within days.The Indian Borage ideally should be grown in a
semi-shaded and moist location as the leaves will remain a beautiful
jade-green colour. If it is getting too much sun, the leaves turn
yellow, start curling and look unsightly; if not enough sun, the
leaves turn a dark shade of green and spaced out.
The herb grows easily in a well-drained, semi-shaded position. It
is frost tender and grows well in sub-tropical and tropical
locations, but will do well in cooler climates if grown in a pot and
brought indoors, or moved to a warm sheltered position in winter.
Water only sparingly.
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 leaves have also had many traditional medicinal uses,
especially for the treatment of coughs, 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.
The herb is also used as a substitute for oregano in the food
trade and food labelled "oregano-flavoured" may well contain this
In the Indian state of Tamilnadu it is called as கற்பூரவள்ளி (Karpooravalli)
and in Kerala it is called as പനിക്കൂർക്ക (panikoorka) and has
various uses in treating cold / cough / fever. See reference