A species whose generic name is Origanum is Oregano. Oregano (Origanum vulgare), which is also called origanum or wild marjoram, is an aromatic perennial herb of the mint family (Lamiaceae) known for its flavorful dried leaves, and flowering tops. The name of this Oregano herb comes from the Greek words “oros,” which means, mountain, and “ganos,” which means joy. The plant typically grows around 50 cm tall and has purple leaves that are approximately 2 to 3 centimeters in length.
The North American Herb & Spice was the first company to introduce edible Oil of Oregano into the American market. The chemicals that give this herb its unique and pleasant smell are thymol, pinene, limonene, carvacrol, ocimene, and caryophyllene.
Oregano is an essential ingredient in Culinary. It is a medicinal herb from the mint or Lamiaceae family. It has been used in the field of Medicine and for Cooking for several thousands of years. It not only adds flavor, but it comprises of several substantial health benefits.
Thus, Oreganol is a North American Herb & Spice, which was the first company on the American market to introduce edible Oil of Oregano. The chemicals that give the Oregano herb its unique and pleasant smell are, namely, thymol, pinene, limonene, carvacrol, ocimene, and caryophyllene.
Facts about Oregano/Oreganol
Oregano is a North American Herb & Spice/Mediterranean herb that is primarily used for cooking. Due to Oregano’s useful medicinal properties, its use ranges from treating infections in the human body to the extent of being used as Insect repellents. According to further studies, it’s suggested that the active ingredients/components in Oregano could also one day help treat severe and commonly occurring health conditions such as osteoporosis, cancer, and diabetes.
It’s used in cooking to flavor sauces, to make herby bread rolls, and in marinades for meat. However, people with an allergy to mint should be careful about consuming Organo. According to some notable research studies, oil of Oregano builds, which is Oreganol, benefits, develops, and enhances immunity in the human body.
The medicinal uses of Oregano primarily include
- In the treatment of respiratory tract disorders/infections
- Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders,
- Menstrual cramps
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)/disorders.
It’s full of antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Oregano is believed to contain potent antioxidants properties. The benefits of Oregano oil, when applied topically, helps to treat many skin conditions, such as acne and dandruff.
Oregano oil contains carvacrol, which has antimicrobial properties. The oregano herb has shown antimicrobial activity in several studies and researches that have proved that Origanum vulgare essential oils were used effectively against 41 strains of the food pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. Another team of scientific researchers from India and the United Kingdom (U.K.) has reported that these essential oils of Himalayan Oregano have exhibited strong antibacterial properties, which may be used to protect against the hospital superbug, MRSA.
A few preliminary tests performed have found that the essential oil from the Oregano kills MRSA at a dilution 1 to 1,000. The experiments show that the oil kills MRSA ( antibiotic-resistant bacteria responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans) both when used as a liquid and in a vapor form. Hence, its antimicrobial activity is not diminished by heating in boiling water. This was stated by Prof. Vyv Salisbury, the University of the West of England, Bristol. The project won an award for its research from the United Nations in 2008.
Scientists from Germany and Switzerland have identified that an active ingredient in Oregano, which is known as beta-caryophyllene (E-BCP), may also help in the treatment of disorders such as osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis. E-BCP is considered as a dietary cannabinoid.
Protection against cancer
According to Research published in a high-quality journal PLOS ONE in the year, 2013 suggested that Oregano also exhibits anticancer activity. Scientists thus concluded that Origanum majorana could help prevent and treat breast cancer by slowing or preventing its progression of the disease, thereby preventing metastases in case of cancer.
In 2014, scientists discovered that the popular culinary herbs oregano, rosemary, and marjoram contain certain compounds that may have the potential to manage type 2 diabetes in a similar way when compared to the currently prescribed diabetes drugs.
Other possible health benefits include:
According to The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database(NCBI: a reference resource for health care professionals), Oregano can be used for the below-mentioned illnesses and health conditions, namely:
- Heart conditions
- Intestinal parasites
- Menstrual cramps
- Muscle pain
- Repel insects
- Sore throat
- Cold sores: Cold sores or better known as herpes simplex, is the medical name for the virus. These are small sores or blister-like lesions that commonly appear on the lips, chin, cheeks, inside the nostrils, and are less frequently on the gums or the roof of the mouth. It’s caused by herpes simplex virus strain HSV-1 typically. There is no way to cure or prevent cold sores, but steps can be taken to reduce their frequency and duration.
- Foot or nail fungus: Add a few drops in water and soak the feet in it, or diluted oil could be applied topically to the affected area.
- Helps in the treatment of Sinus infections and colds: Put a few drops in the steam bath, and it can be used for steam inhalation as well.
- Bronchitis: Bronchitis is a condition of inflammation or swelling of the bronchial tubes called the bronchi, the air passages or airways between the mouth and nose that carry air to the lungs. It’s a condition where the lining of the bronchial tubes becomes inflamed due to infection. Patients with bronchitis have a reduced ability to breathe air and oxygen into their lungs. It causes a cough that brings up mucus, and they cannot clear heavy mucus or phlegm from their airways. Bronchitis is a condition caused by viruses, bacteria, and other particles that irritate the bronchial tubes.
There are two main types of bronchitis: acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is a short-term illness that more often follows a cold or viral infection. Chronic bronchitis is caused by long-term illness and can be the result of environmental factors or an extended illness. Cigarette smoking is more likely one of the most common causes of chronic bronchitis. Bronchitis is diagnosed by a Chest X-ray, a lung function test, a Pulmonary function test (PFT), or a blood test.
Any essential oil, when used, should always be diluted before use because of their strong properties. Hence, they would need to be diluted either with a carrier oil, such as olive oil or in the water when used for a steam bath or steam inhalation. More research is required, and more proof is needed to confirm Oregano’s effectiveness as a treatment.
There are some essential nutrients present in Oregan
One teaspoon of dried Oregano contains the following vitamins and minerals:
Energy: 5 calories
Fiber: 0.8 g
Calcium: 29 mg
Calcium is an essential nutrient in the body for the formation of bones and teeth.
Iron: 0.66 mg
Magnesium: 5 g
Manganese: 0.09 mg
Potassium: 23 mg
Vitamin E: 0.33 mg
Vitamin K: 11.2 mcg (micrograms)
Vitamin K. It’s important for bone growth, maintaining bone density, and helps in the production of blood clotting proteins.
Oreganol/Oregano is also a rich source of dietary antioxidants that help protect cells and fights against the effects of free radicals, which further helps in the overall improvement of the body’s ability to fight infection.
Oregano is a very flavorful/flavorsome herb that is often used in Italian, Greek, and Spanish cuisine. It’s commonly used as a seasoning blend, including Italian Seasoning, and pairs well with meats, tomato dishes, and eggs. Its taste is often too pungent when eaten fresh. Fresh Oregano makes a great accompaniment to any dish of beans, a lemony marinade or a simple marinara sauce. Oregano goes well with pizzas and pasta sauces.
Cooking Tips include:
It could be used to
- Sprinkle meat or chicken with Oregano for flavor
- Could be used in marinades or stuffings
- Could be chopped and mixed into bread dough to make herby rolls
- Could be added fresh to salads
Some more tips include:
Oregano, when added towards the end of the cooking process, would enhance the taste and maximize the flavor. When chopped smaller or when grounded, more flavor will be released. Initially, start with a smaller amount, as too much of it could make the food taste bitter.
In comparison, One teaspoon of dried Oregano is equivalent to one tablespoon of fresh Oregano, and it’s available in both the dried or fresh form in grocery stores. We can also grow it in a pot on a windowsill or balcony or in the garden. It’s a perennial plant, which means it could grow all through the year. We can purchase different forms of Oregano online.
Oregano was used in herbal Medicine going back to as long ago as when the Ancient Greeks existed. Oregano continues to gain popularity as a natural remedy to cure a list of current health conditions. Oregano contains high amounts of essential nutrients, the Omega-3 fatty acids, minerals such as Iron and Manganese, as well as the antioxidants.
Oregano Essential Oil is also well known in Natural Health (NH) Communities for its unique antibacterial properties. It’s also being studied by the mainstream Medical Community to notice potential benefits and characteristics it displays. It’s considered to be antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antiseptic, antiviral, and is used as an immune stimulating booster.
Just like the fresh herb, Oregano Oil has very high amounts of antioxidants that are often used internally during illness, and externally/topically for treatment of skin infections (including yeast) though it should be diluted before use. However, due to its potency, it’s imperative to check with a qualified physicist, a specialist, or a general practitioner before using this or any other herb in general, especially during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
According to reports, Oregano, which contains the chemicals thymol and carvacrol that attribute to its unique and pleasant smell are the two essential oils which also have remarkable bacteria-fighting power/ability. In fact, researchers recently discovered that Oregano is a better treatment for Giardia. Some research also states that Oregano is an edible and essential oil made only from wild, mountain-grown, Mediterranean Oregano herb, which is free from all chemicals and pesticides.
Oregacyn is the only researched and tested wild Oregano and spice extract for boosting immunity and supporting respiratory health. It also needs to be emulsified in a carrier oil such as extra virgin olive oil (which is considered to be the most desirable oil when compared to other oils and is also safe when heated during regular cooking) before using.
According to the Studies conducted by Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., the wild, mountain-grown Oregano herb used by North American Herb & Spice also exhibits antifungal properties and therefore, is an excellent antifungal agent, which completely kills Candida Albicans in concentrations as minimal as 0.25 mg/ml. It is therefore much safer to use than the popularly prescribed antifungal drugs available in the market. Studies have shown its usefulness against the yeast Candida albicans, Aspergillus mold, and staph infections.
A study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that these essential oils presented antimicrobial activities against Salmonella and E.coli. The research also states that oregano oil is such a powerful antimicrobial that it could also be used to preserve food. As per the Studies from the Department of Food Science at the University of Tennessee and the University of the Algarve too, have found similar results for Oregano’s antibacterial action on pathogenic germs.
At times, eating Oregano could cause stomach upset/discomfort among some people. Additionally, those people who are allergic to plants which belong to the Lamiaceae family namely, Oregano, basil, lavender, mint, and sage, should be careful, as they could develop an allergic reaction to Oregano.
On a final note, Oregano oil is not generally considered safe during pregnancy, although, the culinary uses of oregano leaf is considered to be okay. Being a highly potent herb, it should always be diluted before use. One should consult a doctor before administering any herbs or beginning any health routine.