Whether used fresh or dried, oregano is a popular medicinal and culinary herb that has been used since forever. Member of the mint family, Lamiaceae, oregano is known for its numerous health benefits. It possesses potent antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties and can help you in the treatment of various health problems.
Oregano contains vitamins A, C, E, and K, magnesium, iron, fiber, manganese, niacin, and the carotenoids zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin and lutein. It has potent antioxidant properties and its effectiveness for preventing many diseases is incredible. This herb can help our body to detoxify. It is very beneficial for treating various ailments including balancing the hormones.
Having one of the highest antioxidant activity ratings, oregano is great for neutralizing free radicals.
Dried oregano contains 3% volatile essential oil, rosmarinic acid, borneol, and triterpenoids (oleanolic and ursolic acid).
Oregano in Cooking: Reduced Oxidation by 71%
According to a study, adding a spice blend that included oregano to meat before cooking managed to reduce the level of malondialdehyde in the meat by 71% and levels in individuals’ urine by 49%. The following ingredients were used in the blend:
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
How to Use Oregano for Medical Benefits
Oregano can be used in many ways in order to get its maximum benefits. It can be used fresh, dried, in its oil form, or taken as tablets as a supplement.
Steeping a tea is the most common way to use oregano. You can make this tea with fresh or dried oregano. You should steep 1-2 tablespoons of oregano in a hot water for 5 minutes. It is recommended to consume this tea 3 times a day.
For treating microbial infections, such as athlete’s foot or other fungal based infections, you can apply oregano oil topically. Dilute the oil and apply it two times a day.
As we said before, oregano can be taken as tablets, capsules or enteric coated tables. You can purchase them online or from herbal supplement stores.
Anticancer properties in Oregano
Oregano is a great source of antimicrobial and antioxidant compounds. It is a potent parasite fighter. Only 1 teaspoon of oregano has the same antioxidant power of 2 cups of red grapes. It is packed with the phytochemical quercetin, known for its ability to promote apoptosis and prevent cancer growth.
According to a recent study, the main component of oregano known as carvacrol possesses potent cancer-fighting properties. Moreover, this compound has powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It is very beneficial against breast cancer and other cancer cells. However, a further research needs to be done about the anticancer properties of this powerful compound.
Health Benefits of Oregano
Oregano is extremely beneficial for treating numerous health issues, including:
- Cough and cold
- Digestive disorder
- Muscle pain
- Heart conditions
- Heartburn (acid reflux)
- Urinary tract infections
- Menstrual cramps
- Repelling insects
How to Use Oregano for Maximum Benefits
This oregano tea will effectively heal cough and cold, infections, sinusitis, bronchitis, chronic asthma, dyspepsia, rheumatism, etc.
- 4-6 tablespoons of dried oregano leaves
- 2-3 cups of water
- A slice of organic lemon to increase bioavailability (optional)
- Organic raw honey to taste, if desired
If you have a tea infuser, use it to make your cup of tea. If not, follow the instructions below!
Put the water in a small pot to boil and turn off heat when boiled. Add oregano leaves and let it steep for 4 minutes. Leave it to cool then strain the leaves and add honey to taste. To obtain its maximum benefits, drink this tea throughout the day.
Add Oregano Leaves In Your Cooking
Oregano is known to be a highly versatile herb, used in various dishes. It is usually used in tomato-based dishes, including chilli, pizza, and spaghetti bolognaise. You can use it fresh or dried. In its dried form it has a more concentrated flavor.
It can be also added to soups, salads, and broths.
Tips for using oregano in cooking:
- You should add the oregano leaves almost in the end of the cooking process in order to prevent it from losing its flavor
- Make sure to use it a little at a time since too much oregano can make the meal bitter
- To release the essential oils, crush dried oregano leaves in your palm before cooking
- For every tablespoon of fresh oregano leaves you should use 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- Oregano goes well with many vegetables and meats like those containing broccoli, cauliflower, lamb, zucchini, and aubergine. You can also use it with onion, thyme, parsley, basil, garlic, and olive oil.
Use Oregano Oil as a Natural Antibiotic
Besides being used in the kitchen, oregano oil can be used in the treatment of many infections, including Candida. It has the ability to prevent the growth of E. Coli, the bacteria responsible for the urinary tract infections. You should take a few drops of the oil orally, in order to treat yeast infections. It fights food-borne pathogens and parasitic infections.
Oregano oil can be used in many different ways:
- Topically for athlete’s foot or nail fungus. Soak your feet in water with a few teaspoons of oil. You can also rub the diluted oil (1 drop of oregano oil in a teaspoon of coconut or olive oil) on your skin/nails.
- Inhaled to treat sinus infections or colds. You should put a few drops of oregano oil in a pot of steaming water and inhale the steam. However, be very careful not to get burned!
- Under your tongue to help treat infections or parasites. You should mix 1 drop of oregano oil with 1 drop of carrier oil. Place 1-2 diluted drops under your tongue and hold it for a few minutes. Rinse your mouth with water. It is recommended to repeat the procedure 4 times a day.