Oregano is a culinary herb that belongs to the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is native to the Mediterranean region and is commonly used in Italian, Greek, and Mediterranean cuisines. Oregano has a strong, aromatic flavor and is known for its ability to enhance the taste of many dishes.
Here are some key points about oregano:
- Culinary Use: Oregano is most commonly used as a dried herb in cooking. It pairs well with tomato-based dishes, pizzas, pasta sauces, roasted vegetables, and grilled meats. It is also a key ingredient in many spice blends, such as Italian seasoning and herbes de Provence.
- Varieties: The two most common varieties of oregano are Mediterranean oregano (Origanum vulgare) and Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens). Mediterranean oregano is the one typically used in European and Mediterranean cuisines, while Mexican oregano has a slightly different flavor profile and is often used in Mexican and Latin American dishes.
- Medicinal Properties: Oregano has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for its potential health benefits. It contains several compounds with antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, including carvacrol and thymol. Oregano oil is sometimes used as a natural remedy for respiratory issues, digestive problems, and as a topical treatment for skin conditions.
- Cultivation: Oregano is a hardy perennial herb that can be grown in both garden beds and containers. It prefers well-drained soil and full sun. Oregano plants can be propagated from seeds or cuttings, and they benefit from regular pruning to maintain their shape and promote healthy growth.
- Other Uses: Apart from culinary and medicinal uses, oregano is sometimes used as a fragrant herb in potpourri, soaps, and perfumes. Its essential oil is also used in aromatherapy.
It’s worth noting that while oregano is generally safe for culinary use, concentrated oregano oil or supplements should be used with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional, as they can have strong effects and may interact with certain medications.
Overall, oregano is a versatile herb that adds a delightful flavor to many dishes, and it also has a long history of traditional medicinal uses.
Types of Oregano
There are many different types of oregano, but the main three are listed below Trusted Source :
European oregano: It is also called wild marjoram or winter marjoram. This type of oregano is especially found in Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the United States. It can be used to get relief from cough, headache, nervousness, toothache, and irregular menstruation etc.
Greek oregano: Also known as winter sweet marjoram or pot marjoram. Oregano is extracted from Origanum heracleoticum L.
Mexican oregano: This type is also known as Mexican marjoram. It is found especially in Mexico and surrounding regions and is used as a flavoring in Mexican foods such as pizza and barbecue sauces.
Benefits of Oregano
1. Benefits of Oregano for Heart Health
Cardiovascular problems are a type of chronic inflammatory condition in which cells take longer than normal to heal . This can be due to many reasons, such as smoking, diabetes and inflammation. The essential oil of oregano has anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce inflammation and the risk of heart disease. Plus, it also has cardioprotective properties, which may help keep the heart healthy Trusted Source .
2. Reduce the risk of cancer
The benefits of oregano leaves can be helpful in preventing cancer. Thymol, carvacrol and some other anti-carcinogenic properties are found in oregano. These can prevent cancer cells from growing and reduce the risk of cancer . In particular, the benefits of oregano may prove to be effective in preventing colon cancer cells from growing. It has proapoptotic effects, which can kill cancer cells and help reduce the risk of cancer . Apart from this, it is important to note that these home remedies can reduce the risk of cancer to some extent, but it is not its cure. In such a case, if someone suffers from it, it is necessary to get medical treatment done.
3. Increase immunity
The benefits of oregano leaves can also be found in increasing the ability to fight against diseases. Many nutrients are found in oregano, such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-E . All these three vitamins are considered to be effective antioxidants. These vitamins can help in increasing the immunity of the body. These can reduce the effects of free-radicals on the body and protect cells from their effects . For this, boil oregano leaves in a glass of water and consume that water. Oregano tea can also be consumed in the problem of cold and sore throat.
4. Benefits of Oregano for Depression
It may come as a surprise to know that the benefits of oregano can also be found in fighting depression. In fact, in a research published by NCBI National Center for Biotechnology Information, it has been found that Carvacrol Carvacrol- a type of compound, which is also a natural antibiotic element present in the essential oil of Oregano can also act as an antidepressant agent. Can do. A study done on rats in the lab showed that it has an effect on the dopaminergic system dopamine – a type of hormone and neurotransmitter . Having an effect on the dopaminergic system may help reduce symptoms of depression .
5. Relief from indigestion
The essential oil of oregano has many biological properties, such as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidative, that may be beneficial to the body. It reduces the number of gut-damaging bacteria such as E. coli and can help improve the immune system of the gut. In addition, it may also help reduce inflammation of the gut , which may provide some relief from indigestion.
The antioxidant properties present in oregano essential oil help in keeping the gut healthy by reducing the oxidative stress of the gut . For this, adding one or two drops of oregano oil to a cup of peppermint or lemon tea can be consumed. In this way, oil of oregano can reduce the problem of indigestion, but more research is needed on this.
6. Reduce stomach pain
Many times abdominal pain can occur due to dietary disturbances, constipation, indigestion, food poisoning and many other reasons . In this case, the benefits of oregano can also be taken to get relief from stomach pain. A compound called monoterpenic phenol is found in the essential oil of oregano, which may help reduce stomach pain to some extent . For this, you can consume one to two drops of Oregon oil in a glass of water or juice.
7. Relieves joint pain
If someone is suffering from joint pain, then Oregano plant is no less than Sanjeevani herb for them. A monoterpic phenol compound named carvacrol is found in Oregano. This compound has anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce joint swelling caused by osteoarthritis. In joint pain, the benefits of oregano leaves can be taken by making its tea . For this, boil some of its leaves in a cup of water every morning and consume that water. If you want, you can also massage with essential oil of oregano.
8. Relief from inflammation
When it comes to the benefits of oregano, its benefits also include antiinflammatory properties and for this essential oil of oregano can be used. Research published by NCBI has found that using this oil can help reduce skin inflammation. Not only this, but the Carvacrol element present in it can also help in reducing the inflammation of ulcer and healing its wound .
9. Benefits of Oregano Leaves for Diabetes
The benefits of oregano can also be seen in controlling type diabetes . In this regard, the results of research done on diabetic rats in the lab have come to the fore. The extract of oregano leaves is believed to help control the increased levels of glucose and insulin in the body. In addition, it can also improve lipid metabolism and can help keep the liver and kidneys healthy in people with diabetes .
10. Relief from cold and fever
Oregano can be used to reduce the symptoms of cold, fever and common cold. The essential oil of oregano has anti-influenza properties, which can help reduce the symptoms of the common cold. Along with this, the oregano plant is rich in antiviral and antibacterial properties, which fight infection-causing viruses and bacteria and can reduce the common cold .
11. Give relief from anemia
Iron deficiency in the body causes anemia . Iron helps the body build hemoglobin, which is a type of iron-rich protein . The benefits of oregano can be seen for people suffering from anemia. Oregano leaves are rich in iron, which can help prevent iron deficiency . For this, dry leaves of oregano can be boiled in water and that water can be consumed.
12. Keep bones healthy
Talking about the benefits of oregano leaves, it can prove to be beneficial in keeping the bones healthy. Many nutrients are needed to keep bones healthy. At the top of this comes the name of calcium and calcium is found in abundance in oregano leaves. In addition, it contains other nutrients that may help keep bones healthy and strong, such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese. Along with this, beneficial vitamins for bones are also found in Oregano, such as Vitamin-C, Vitamin-A and Vitamin-K .
13. Benefits of Oregano for Skin
Essential oil of oregano can be used to prevent or reduce the effects of skin infections. It has antibacterial properties, which kill the bacteria that cause infection . Also, it has anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties, which can reduce inflammation in the skin. It also has anti-carcinogenic properties, which may help protect against the risk of skin cancer .
14. Benefits of Oregano for Hair
The use of oregano can also prove beneficial for people suffering from hair loss. Research has found that oxidative stress may be a factor in hair loss . As we mentioned earlier in the article, oregano can act as an effective antioxidant, so it can be said that its antioxidant properties can help in reducing oxidative stress and preventing hair fall. .
After knowing the benefits of oil of oregano and leaves of oregano, let us know about its nutrients.
How to Use Oregano
To avail the benefits of oregano for health, it can be used in the following ways:
- Oregano tea can be made, which can provide the benefits of oregano leaves. For this, boil oregano leaves (fresh or dry) in a cup of water. After boiling well, filter the water and consume it.
- A few leaves of oregano can also be added to ginger or masala tea.
- To take advantage of the benefits of oregano, it can be used as a spice in chicken, vegetable, pizza, pasta and other dishes.
- Oregano leaves can also be consumed by adding them to the soup. Its leaves will give a different flavor to the soup.
- Oregano can be used in all the three forms of fresh, dry and oil.
Note: Before using oregano for any specific problem, consult a dietician or doctor once regarding its proper quantity.
Uses of oregano for skin:
- two drops oregano oil
- 2 tbsp coconut/olive oil
- cotton wool
- Mix both the oils in a bowl.
- Apply it on the affected area with the help of cotton.
- This experiment can be repeated twice a day.
- By adding four to five drops of oregano oil in hot water, steam can also be taken from it for 10 minutes. It is important to be careful while inhaling the steam.
Uses of oregano for hair:
- 2 to 3 drops oregano essential oil
- 3 to 4 tbsp coconut/olive oil
- Take three to four spoons of coconut/olive oil in a bowl and heat it slightly.
- After heating, add two to three drops of oregano essential oil to it.
- Now massage your hair with this oil for about 20 minutes.
- After massaging, leave the oil in the hair for about 10 minutes.
- Finally, by applying shampoo, wash the hair with cold water.
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