PH’s oregano wine may reach Italy

Posted at 08/03/12 6:46 PM

MANILA, Philippines – A local drink made from oregano may make it to the annual wine festival in Turin, Italy.

Estela Taño, a member of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Wine and Spirit Cluster (WSC), said the oregano wine will go as part of the showcase of the festival if plans will materialize.

The WSC is a team focused on boosting the local wine industry.

Should things go as planned, the Philippines’ oregano wine will have ample exposure at Turin, a city known for its famous wines like Barolo and Barbaresco.

Made from the oregano plant, the drink is said to be good for the heart and for people who have asthma, prostate problems, poor blood circulation, insomnia and urinary tract infection.

It is also a good source of vitamins B, C, calcium and iron.

The product has been showcased in a trade fair in Thailand last May, and has reached the United States, Canada and the Middle East through overseas Filipino workers.

The oregano wine is priced at P295 per bottle.

Health and wellness project

The oregano wine is part of the Indigenous Plants for Health and Wellness (IPHW) project of the DA’s Bureau of Agriculture Research (BAR).

BAR also made juice, tea, vinegar and antibacterial soap from oregano for the project, and is planning to develop oregano into other products such as cough syrup, cold rubs, cream, toothpaste, shampoo, and body scrubs.

Other plants and crops used in the IPHW include malunggay, saluyot, ulasiman bato, pili, cashew, yerba Buena, onion, garlic, sesame, citronella and lemongrass.

“We hardly have an R&D program for phytochemical and antioxidant products in the past. That is despite our being blessed with so much and diverse flora. Our indigenous plant program will develop the country’s capability to produce health and wellness products like how Koreans marketed ginseng tea,” said BAR director Nicomedes Eleazar.