Oregano has been long used for its potent healing properties and its broad plethora of health benefits. Most of its advantages are attributed to its anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties.
Oregano contains vitamins A, C, E, and K, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, fiber, niacin, zeaxanthin, carotenoids lutein, and cryptoxanthin. It possesses detoxifying properties as well, which makes it beneficial for treating many conditions, including balancing hormones.
Oregano has one of this highest antioxidant activity ratings and is listed at 175,925 for oxygen radical absorbance capacity or ORAC value. As a matter of fact, it contains over 42 times the antioxidant punch of apples.
As for dried oregano, it is worth mentioning that it contains numerous compounds, including volatile essential oil, borneol, rosmarinic acid, and triterpenoids, meaning oleanolic and ursolic acid.
Oregano In Cooking: Reduced Oxidation By 71 Percent
Oregano is highly versatile and thanks to its aromatic flavor it goes well with many foods including veggies, eggs, and salad dressings. It is recommended to add it to meat before cooking it, as it may diminish the toxic compounds formed during the cooking process.
According to a certain study, adding a blend of antioxidant-rich spices to meat prior cooking reduced the oxidation in them meat by 71% and the level in participant`s urine by up to 49%. The blend consisted of garlic powder, ginger, oregano, paprika, black pepper, cloves, rosemary, and cinnamon.
How To Use Oregano For Medical Benefits
Oregano can be used in various ways to reap its benefits. Its leaves can be used fresh or dried, and it can also be taken as tablets or in its oil form.
Steeping a tea is one of the most common ways to use oregano for medical benefits. You need approximately 5-10 grams or 1-2 teaspoons which should be steeped into a cup of hot water for a few minutes. It is recommended to have up to three cups of this tea a day.
As mentioned in the very beginning, you can also use it topically to treat a fungal based condition or take it in its oil form or as tablets or capsules. Oregano capsules and tablets disintegrate in the stomach, while enteric coated tablets disintegrate in the intestines.
Anticancer Properties In Oregano
Oregano is packed with antioxidants, and as little as a teaspoon of this spice has the same power of two cups of red grapes regarding their antioxidant activity.
According to a study published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, carvacrol found in oregano is a potent anti-cancer agent, particularly in the case of prostate cancer.
“Oregano has been studied quite a bit,” said lead investigator Supriya Bavadekar, assistant professor of Pharmacology at Long Island University’s Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “There are so many beneficial effects such as antibacterial properties and anti-inflammatory properties. There is also some literature that shows this compound has some effects against breast cancer and other cancer cells.”
Health Benefits Of Oregano
- Heart conditions
- Heartburn (acid reflux)
- Digestive disorder
- Muscle pain
- Intestinal parasites
- Repelling insects
- Urinary tract infections
- Menstrual cramps
How To Use Oregano For Maximum Benefits
Regular consumption of oregano tea helps heal a cough and a cold, infections, chronic asthma, bronchitis, rheumatism, sinusitis, and much more.
2-3 cups of water
4-6 tablespoons of dried oregano leaves
A slice of organic lemon to increase bioavailability (optional)
Organic raw honey to taste, if desired
Put the water in a small pot to boil
Remove from heat when boiled
Add the oregano leaves and let it steep for a few minutes
Strain the leaves and add lemon and honey, to taste
Sip warm during the day for optimal results
Add Oregano Leaves In Your Cooking
As mentioned in the very beginning, oregano is highly versatile, and it goes well in many dishes, particularly tomato-based dishes like pizza, chili, and spaghetti bolognese.
Tips for using oregano in cooking:
- Add the oregano leaves at the end of the cooking process so that it doesn’t lose its flavor
- Use oregano a little at a time as excessive use can cause the meal to become bitter
- Crush dried oregano leaves in your palm before cooking, to release the essential oils
- Use a teaspoon dried oregano for every tablespoon of fresh oregano leaves
Use Oregano Oil As A Natural Antibiotic
Oregano oil is one of the most potent antibiotics, capable of fighting off many infections, especially Candida infections. You can use it differently, depending on the health issue:
- Inhaled to treat sinus infections or colds ( Put a few drops of oregano oil in a pot of steaming water and inhale the steam)
- Under your tongue to help treat infections or parasites (Dilute the oil with a carrier oil and place it under the tongue. Hold for a few minutes before rinsing it off)
- Topically for athlete’s foot or nail fungus ( Soak the feet in a basin of water with a few teaspoons of oil, or rubbing the diluted oil on your nails/skin.)