Botanical Name: Origanum Vulgare
Oregano is an aromatic herb that belongs to the mint family, it can grow to about two feet in height. It is native to the Mediterranean region but is cultivated worldwide. The leaves as well as the volatile oil of oregano are used medicinally, but must be carefully distinguished as they are quite different.
There is an oregano that is use for cooking and the oregano that is use to make oil. Origanum Marjoram is the common oregano used for cooking. Origanum Vulgare is the wild oregano used for making oil.
Oil of Oregano is a highly potent purifier that provides many benefits for human health. The two important compounds that are responsible for the many health benefits of oregano are carvacrol and thymol. Studies have shown that both of these compounds can inhibit the growth of bacteria, virus and fungi which is the main causes of many illnesses in humans. Oregano oil is marketed in either liquid or capsules/ tablets forms.
Oregano Health Benefits:
- Oregano has high antioxidant properties. It is proven that it has more antioxidants than blueberries and apples. These healing properties help to prevent cancer and can slow down aging.
- Oregano has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and can be used effectively in place of pharmaceutical products for headaches, flu, sprains, strains and swollen glands.
- Oregano is beneficial for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It can also be used for general fatigue alleviation and in cases of depression.
- Oregano extract can help treat lung and sinus congestion. Mix a few drops with citrus juice or water and drink daily. You should notice a great improvement in a few days.
- Oregano is a natural treatment for yeast infection. Women prone to reoccurring vaginal yeast infections can benefit from taking oregano supplements.
- Oregano oil is highly effective as a topical treatment for bug bites, rashes, even poison ivy. Just dilute the oregano oil with olive oil.
- Oregano tea when consumed regularly can help to increase flexibility in your joints and muscles.
- Oregano oil is a good remedy for mild indigestion. You can mix a few drops of oregano oil to a small glass of milk or juice.
- Oregano can help slow the process of spoilage of food and thus minimizing the risk of ingesting harmful bacteria, parasites and fungi.
- The high content of thymol and carvacrol in oregano can help calm upset stomachs and aid digestion. Mix 2 to 3 drops of oil to a glass of juice, milk or water for a quick remedy for mild indigestion.
- Oregano is rich in fiber
- Oregano is good in maintaining the respiratory health
- Oregano can help increase menstrual flow.
- The dried leaves can also be applied in bags as a warm application to painful arthritic swellings and other conditions, including rheumatism.
Oregano for cooking: Oregano is one of the few herbs or spices that have a stronger flavor when dried than fresh. When using fresh oregano, you will probably need to use three times as much to achieve the same intensity of flavor. Oregano herb goes well with tomato sauces, lamb, cruciform vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, etc), as well as zucchini and of course about any pizza. Other spices that go with oregano are garlic, parsley, sage, thyme, pepper, basil, and dried onions.
Another important benefit of oregano in cooking is the facts that the volatile oils in oregano used during food processing may have an important role in preventing the spoilage of food and in reducing the risk of ingesting harmful bacteria, fungi, and parasites.
Oregano Tea: Dried or fresh leaf of oregano can be made into a tea by steeping 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10 grams) in hot water for ten minutes. This tea can be consumed three times a day.
Tips when buying and using oregano oil: Make sure that the oil is derived from Origanum Vulgare, and that the carvacrol concentration is at least 70%. When using oregano oil always follow the instructions on the bottle before applying topically, since highly concentrated oils may first need to be mixed with Olive Oil or Coconut Oil before application (usually one teaspoon of Olive Oil or Coconut Oil per one drop of Oil of Oregano).
- There are some confusion regarding oregano and marjoram because they are so similar in smell and flavor that they are often mistaken for the same plant, though botanists tell us that they are really quite different.
- Some oregano supplements are very concentrated, particularly the liquid form.
- Some shops sell oils with a trace of oregano and blend it with other herbs. This would not give the desired effect.
- Oregano oil may reduce the body’s ability to absorb iron. Therefore pregnant women are advised not to take Oil of Oregano regularly.
- If you are allergic to thyme, basil, mint, or sage you may also experience sensitivity to oregano oil since they all came from the same plant family.
- Be careful when taking oregano oil internally because its highly concentrated form may cause harm to the internal organ.