Oregano is a culinary and medicinal herb belonging to the family of Lamiaceae. It has been used in medicine and cooking for thousands of years. It adds flavor and aroma and has many health benefits.
The oregano gets its name from the words “oros” and “ganos”, which means joy / splendor. That is to say, it was the plant that gave beauty and joy to the mountain. It typically grows to about 50 cm in height and has purple leaves about 2 to 3 cm long.
The chemicals that give oregano its unique and pleasant smell are thymol, pinene, limonene, carbacrol, okimene and karyofyllene. It is believed to contain powerful antioxidants and has antibacterial properties.
Oregano was used in herbal medicine even by the ancient Greeks. Hippocrates used it as an antiseptic.
Possible medicinal uses of oregano include the treatment of respiratory disorders, gastrointestinal tract disorders, periodic pain and urinary tract disorders. With topical application it can help in the treatment of certain skin conditions, such as acne and dandruff.
1) Antibacterial properties
Oregano oil contains a basic compound, called carvacrol, which has antimicrobial properties. These properties have been confirmed in many studies. A team of researchers found that Origanum vulgare essential oil was effective against 41 strains of the foodborne pathogen causing Listeria monocytogenes.
Another study has shown that Himalayan essential oil has powerful antibacterial properties, which can protect against the very dangerous Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that is a common cause of in-hospital infections.
“We have done some preliminary tests and have found that the oregano essential oil kills MRSA in a 1 to 1,000 solution. Tests show that the oil kills MRSA both as a liquid and as an inhaler and that its antimicrobial activity is not reduced by heating, ”says Professor Vyv Salisbury of the University of West of England.
2) Anti-inflammatory properties
Scientists from Germany and Switzerland have identified an active ingredient in oregano, known as beta-karyophyllin (E-BCP), which can help treat disorders such as osteoporosis and atherosclerosis.
3) Protection against cancer
Research published in the journal PLoS ONE in 2013 showed that oregano has anti-cancer activity. The scientists concluded that the genus Origanum majorana could help prevent and treat breast cancer by slowing it down or stopping it.
In 2014, food scientists discovered that the popular cooking herbs oregano, rosemary and marjoram contain compounds that may be able to manage type 2 diabetes in a similar way to certain medicines prescribed today.
Oregano: Other potential health benefits
According to The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database of Medicines, oregano can be used for the following diseases and diseases:
Oregano essential oil made from Origanum vulgare, or Thymus capitatus, can help with the following problems:
Foot or Nail Fungi: Put a few drops into the water and soak your feet in it, or apply diluted oil locally to the affected area.
Colds and Nasal Infections: Use a few drops in a steam bath and inhale.
Each essential oil must be diluted before use, either with other oil, such as olive oil, or with water, such as for a steam bath. More research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of oregano as a therapeutic agent.
One teaspoon of dried oregano contains:
energy: 5 calories
fibers: 0.8 grams (g)
calcium: 29 milligrams (mg)
iron: 0.66 mg
magnesium: 5 g
manganese: 0.09 mg
potassium: 23 mg
vitamin E: 0.33 mg
Vitamin K: 11.2 micrograms (mcg)
Vitamin K is important for bone growth, maintaining bone density and producing blood coagulation proteins.
Calcium is essential for bone and tooth formation.
Oregano is also a rich source of dietary antioxidants, which help protect cells from the effects of free radicals and improve the body’s ability to fight infections.
Oregano: Possible hazards
It can cause stomach upset in some people.
In addition, those who are allergic to plants belonging to the family of lucid vascular dicotyledons, which include oregano, basil, lavender, peppermint and sage, should be careful as they may also develop an allergic reaction to oregano.