Health Benefits of Oregano

June 23rd, 2014 by Dr. Keith Nemec

Oregano as most know is used for flavoring, however new studies are showing that oregano has many other benefits for its use. The Greeks have used oregano for centuries for aiding in the cure of various ailments. The 19th Century had herbal doctors recommended oregano for general well-being. Constant studies are being performed to generate more uses for increased health benefits of oregano.

Oregano does not contain cholesterol and contains dietary fibers which aid in the control of levels in blood cholesterol. Oregano contains Vitamins A and C, calcium, fiber, iron, manganese, Niacin, Omega fatty acids, Vitamins E and K, Riboflavin, Thiamine and Carotene. Oregano contains minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.   The Vitamin K, magnesium and calcium in oregano is important for the promotion of bone growth and bone density maintenance. Vitamin K is also important for the production of blood clotting proteins. Potassium aids in controlling blood pressure and heart rate and iron aids in the prevention of anemia.

Oregano is very high in antioxidants and is also considered an antiviral which aids in the protection of cells against free radicals and aids in the protection of fighting infections. Oregano contains properties that also allow it to be considered an antiparasitic and can also be found in some bug repellants.

Oregano oil contains the essential compound called carvacol which makes the oregano oil a very antimicrobial product. Other oils contained in oregano would be caryophyllene, limonene, ocimene, and pinene. Researchers from Britain and India have found that the essential oil from oregano is strong enough to kill MRSA, which is a hospital superbug. Another group of Portuguese researchers have found that oregano oil was effective against Listeria and 41 other strains of food pathogens. The carvacol is also being used for continuous studies as showing that oregano contains components that may prevent the spread of cancer and/or slow down cancer cell growth especially for those with breast cancer. Additional studies are currently being done for the use of oregano and its carvacol properties for prostate cancer. With the addition of thymol, oregano becomes a powerful antibacterial as it can increase the protection of bacterial diseases and infections to include colon and the urinary tract.

Oregano has been used as an antifungal product and it may aid the prevention of candida growth. German scientists found that a key ingredient contained in oregano called beta-caryophyllin (E-BCP) could be effective in the treatment of osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis.

Other uses for oregano have been for respiratory ailments such as asthma, bronchitis, coughs, and croup. Oregano for treatment can also be included for headaches, menstrual cramps and heart conditions. External application of oregano oil has been used in the treatment of acne, canker sores, rosacea, warts, varicose veins and psoriasis. Heartburn and bloating are other gastrointestinal disorders which oregano can be used for.

Additional research is being completed on the effects of oregano for the management of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

It is always best to use raw, fresh oregano that is very green in color with firm stems.

Let your medicine be your food first and foremost.

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