“Organum,” or Oregano comes from the mint family, (Liliaceae). Oregano is originally from warmer climates, such as the Mediterranean region.
Oregano originated and was originally first used by the Greeks. The Goddess Aphrodite was believed to have created this herb. It was to be a symbol of joy growing in her garden. The word oregano derives from the Greek phrase “Eros,” meaning mountain, and “ganos,” meaning joy. Hence, “joy of the mountains.”
The Romans were the next to use oregano. It was their love of herbs that triggered the spread of herbs throughout the kingdoms of Europe and Northern Africa.
During middle age’s oregano was one of the herbs commonly used for medicinal purposes. The leaves would be given to the patients to chew. The Chinese believe it helps with treating fever, an upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting.
During the Second World war, Oregano was discovered by a few soldiers in the Italian Campaign and brought back to the United States.
1. Natural Antibiotic
The immune system’s function is to protect the body from bacterial and viral infections, including the adverse effects of exposure to environmental contaminants. Both the innate and adaptive features of the herb protect and remove new and recurrent exposure to harmful molecules.
One of the most common infections is Staphylococcus Aureus Bacteria. It is typically the cause of food poisoning and skin infections. The two most essential components from oregano are rosmarinic acid and thymol, which are both potent antioxidants and anti-bacterial compounds themselves.
Oregano is a natural antibiotic. The carvacrol in the herb helps to fight bacteria, such as pneumococcal disease that leads to bronchitis and pneumonia infection. Studies also show that oregano is also useful in treating medically resistant bacteria as well.
By adding oregano to the diet, and sprinkling it on your daily meals, you can improve your immune health, preventing and reducing the possibility of bacterial or viral infection from, invading pathogens.
2. Help Lower Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in our blood. Our body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, but high levels of cholesterol can increase our risk of coronary heart disease.
With high levels of LDL cholesterol, fatty deposits can develop in our blood and cling to artery walls. These deposits grow, making it difficult for blood to flow through our veins. Eventually, these deposits break free suddenly and form a clot that causes a heart attack or stroke.
High cholesterol can be an inherited condition. It’s often unhealthy lifestyle choices that cause its onset. However, high cholesterol is a preventable disorder, and a healthy diet along with regular exercise can help the patient reduce their cholesterol reading.
High cholesterol has no symptoms, making it a “silent killer.” You’ll need to visit your doctor for a blood test to determine your cholesterol level.
Cholesterol runs through our blood and attaches to proteins. This combination of proteins and cholesterol is called a lipoprotein, with the two different types of cholesterol being HDL and LDL. LDL cholesterol is the only causative factor of coronary heart disease, and carvacrol, the primary polyphenol antioxidant in oregano is believed to help lower cholesterol.
3. Treat Yeast Infection
A yeast infection is a fungal infection on the mucous membranes or the skin, with the most common type being a vaginal yeast infection – otherwise known as “candida,” and fungal infection of the throat or toenails.
Yeast is a fungus. It is harmless, but overgrowth can result in infections, including thrush and gut problems. The most common form of yeast is called Candida, which is the most common cause of yeast infections worldwide. In test studies, oregano oil proves effective in treating five different types of Candida, including those that cause infections in the mouth and vagina.
Extreme levels of the yeast Candida are also associated with some gut conditions, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. A fungus called “Candida albicans” is a common cause of these infections.
There is a range of treatments is available for yeast infections, including self-administered home remedies. One of the best treatments is Oregano fresh herb or oil.
4. Improve Gut Health
The lining of our digestive tract is just one cell layer thick. These highly specialized cells called enterocytes form a barrier between our bloodstream and our immune system.
The cells are cemented together with proteins called tight junctions, which form a protective barrier that ensures what food or fruit is processed by the enterocyte cells in a way that our body can handle. It is when these proteins, or tight junctions, break down, that we start to develop issues with our digestive system.
The ill effects of a leaky gut are because our immune system has been exposed and undefended to chemicals, bacteria, and foods that send inflammatory chemicals through the body. A study gave oregano oil to a few people who had gut symptoms as a result of a parasite infestation.
After treatment for six weeks, all participants experienced a reduction in parasites, and 77-percent found they had disappeared. Participants also experienced a decrease in fatigue associated with the symptoms as well.
5. Could Help Relieve Pain
Oregano oil has been scrutinized and tested for its painkilling effects. A study on mice, given ordinary painkillers and oils, including oregano oil, for their capacity to alleviate pain showed promising results for pain relief.
Oregano oil significantly reduced the pain in the mice, with effects most commonly used painkillers fenoprofen, and morphine. A similar study found the carvacrol in oregano oil reduced pain in rats as well. The problem was that the rats became dose-dependent, requiring higher dosages to maintain the same results.
More research in determining the appropriate dosage for animals and humans is needed to enable effective treatment in humans. Applying diluted oregano oil to the skin will help protect smaller cuts and scrapes on the skin as and when they repair themselves. Thymol and carvacrol can defend these types of wounds from bacterial infections.
Always dilute your oregano oil with a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil before applying it to the skin.
6. Cancer-Fighting Properties
A couple of studies have noted that carvacrol, one of the composites of oregano oil, more than likely has cancer-fighting properties.
In other studies, on cancer cells, carvacrol has demonstrated excellent results against lung, liver, and breast cancer cells. Symptoms of cancer may vary widely, or they may not occur at all. Some patients have abnormal bumps, unexplained fevers, night sweats, or unintentional weight loss.
Some of the most common types of cancer are Breast Cancer, Prostate cancer, Basal cell cancer, Melanoma, Colon cancer, Lung cancer, Leukemia, and Lymphoma. Cancer kills more than 600,000 Americans every year, and doctors expect to diagnose more than 1.7-million cases in 2019.
Oregano has been found to inhibit cell growth. Preliminary studies have shown that carvacrol in oregano oil, inhibits cancer cell growth and causes cell death in lung, liver, and breast cancer cells. Using oregano oil alongside your chemotherapy treatment may help reduce symptoms of pain.
7. Helps with weight loss
Oregano oil’s carvacrol content may help with weight loss.
In a study, some mice had a regular diet, some a high-fat diet, or a high-fat diet with carvacrol. Those given carvacrol with their high-fat diet gained significantly less weight and fat compared to those given a high-fat diet. Carvacrol seemed too excessive to reverse the development of adipose tissue cells.
Oregano oil has a large part to play in the role of weight loss. It is worth trying as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Studies suggest that the carvacrol in oregano increases metabolic rate, causing the body to burn more calories.
Use fresh Oregano, boil water, add a teaspoon of honey and a couple of leaves into the hot water, and drink. Try doing this twice a day for a few months, and if there is no weight loss, it will not do any harm except improve your health.
8. Have Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Inflammation is part of the body’s natural healing system which helps fight injury and infection. While inflammation is beneficial in small quantities, when it starts to get out of control – we may end up developing “systemic inflammation.”
An inflammatory response occurs when the immune system goes into action without an injury or infection, so it has nothing to fight. Therefore, since there is nothing to heal, the immune system cells that protect us, start to destroy healthy organs, arteries, and joints.
Research shows that the carvacrol in oregano oil reduces inflammation. Some studies found that oregano oil, including thyme oil, reduces inflammatory markers in the bloodstream. Carvacrol, in oregano oil, is one of the critical components of the anti-inflammatory effect of the oil, reducing inflammatory markers in studies of mice administered with the oil.
Apply the oil to swollen paws or swollen ears of pets; it reduces the swelling immediately and soothes symptoms of pain and irritation.
9. Boost Immune Function
The GI Tract is home to more than 60% of the immune system. By improving digestive health, you give your immune system a boost, increasing your resistance to infection with viral, bacterial, and fungal pathogens.
We already discussed the anti-inflammatory effect of adding oregano to your diet. By reducing inflammation in the digestive tract, you improve the health and function of the immune system. Adding oregano into your diet helps to relieve digestive inflammation leading to the expansion of the intestinal wall and a condition known as “leaky gut.”
If you consume oregano with your meals provides a potent anti-viral effect, stopping the growth of bacteria and fungi like Candida. Most people have Candida growing at manageable levels in their digestive system. However, overexposure to sugary foods can cause an imbalance in Candida growth, leading to symptoms.
Consuming oregano with your meals helps to keep Candida growth under control. There’s also interesting research showing oregano provides a protective effect against viral infection with influenza. All of these benefits come from the immune-boosting properties of oregano.
10. Natural Bug Repellant
If you’re heading out to the campsite for the weekend, take along some oregano oil for a natural bug repellant. Many commercially-available bug sprays come with harmful ingredients that aren’t good for your skin or bloodstream. Making homemade bug spray is more affordable and just as effective as buying ready-made products from the store.
Oregano oil contains polyphenols and active ingredients that chase away the bugs. You can mix 20-drops of oregano essential oil with a teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil as a natural bug repellant. Rub the oil onto your skin, and you’ll keep the bugs away.
You also have the option of diluting 25-drops of essential oregano oil in a cup of distilled water and adding it to a spray bottle. Spray down your arms, legs, and the back of your neck every few hours for effective bug protection. The carvacrol found in oregano is the active ingredient responsible for chasing pesky pests away and holding them at bay.
11. Enhance Skin Health
There is convincing evidence showing the benefits of essential oregano oil for the skin. Oregano oil can help boost recovery times from bruises and cuts, helping your heal faster. The anti-inflammatory properties of the oil also help in reducing swelling and pain in the affected individual.
You can dilute 20-drops of essential oregano oil into a carrier oil like coconut oil. Rub it directly into your skin every few hours, and you’ll find you heal faster than usual. If you’re out in the woods enjoying a walk in nature, there’s always a chance you come across poison ivy. If your skin contacts the plant, you’re going to end up with a nasty skin rash.
Fortunately, adding the blended oregano and coconut oils helps calm the skin and dissolve the poison ivy’s irritants responsible for causing the rash. Adding some oregano oil into your aqueous moisturizing cream is a great way to benefit from the polyphenols’ powerful anti-aging properties found in oregano essential oil.
12. Soothe Allergies
There is some anecdotal evidence pointing to the efficacy of oregano oil in the treatment of allergies. Medical science is at a loss to explain the biological pathways that cause allergic reactions. However, when allergic reactions occur, people need to know how their body responds to the potential allergen and what the allergen is.
Some allergens produce mild effects in people, while others can create life-threatening situations., the effects of the allergen on the person can vary from individual to individual. Fortunately, the polyphenols found in oregano provide the user with relief from environmental allergens. The antioxidant compounds act as a natural anti-histamine, preventing the spread and severity of the reaction.
Rubbing oregano oil on the skin in affected areas may provide some relief, but always ensure you blend it with a carrier. Oregano oil blended with extra-virgin coconut oil offers an excellent topical cream for treating eczema and psoriasis flareups. Add it to the skin’s affected area, and you should feel immediate relief from the itching and dryness associated with the condition.
13. Create Oregano-Infused Oil
We recommend blending it into an oil to take advantage of the potent effect of the polyphenol antioxidants found in oregano oil. You can purchase essential oregano oil from a health store and mix it directly into coconut or olive oil yourself.
You also have the option of making oregano-infused oil yourself at home using the dried herb.
Take a large jar with a lid, and fill it with dried oregano leaves. Push the leaves down into the jar to take up as much space as possible. Fill the jar with extra-virgin olive oil, and cover with a lid. Leave the jar in a cool dark place, like the back of your pantry.
Give the oil a few months to absorb all the polyphenols from the oregano leaves, and then filter it through a sieve into a separate jar or oil bottle to remove the plant matter. Now you have a concentrated oregano oil ready for use on foods or in-home remedies.
14. Anti-parasitic Properties
There are plenty of health advantages to using oregano oil in your diet. However, some of them might be totally unexpected. Did you know that oregano oil is a potent antiparasitic? Therefore, consuming oregano oil with your meals helps to prevent parasitic infections or eliminate current infections.
Parasites like worms and other bugs can ruin your health. Left unmanaged and untreated, affective individuals can develop severe problems with parasite infections. Dog and cat owners should ensure they deworm their animals and themselves at least once a year to prevent parasitic infection. However, during treatments, you can use oregano oil as a preventative measure to keep your body free from parasites.
Adding the oil into a few meals per week provides you with a preventative measure against intestinal parasites that can disrupt your digestive health and well-being. However, we recommend using the oil described in the homemade recipe we covered earlier, don’t consume oregano essential oils as it may result in digestive distress.
15. Oregano is a Tasty and Calorie-Free Seasoning
If you’re planning a meal this evening, why not add some oregano into the mix? Oregano is one of the most popular seasonings, and its versatility makes it ideal for accompanying a variety of Italian and Mediterranean dishes. Here are a few creative ways to use oregano in the kitchen.
Try this legendary pesto recipe for your next pasta dish.
- 1 cup basil
- 1 cup parsley
- 1 cup oregano
- With fresh ingredients, you’ll find this pesto is a hit with the family or with people at your dinner party.
Crush some fresh oregano leaves and add them to pizza, pasta dishes, and salads. You can also crush the leaves and mix them with vinaigrette for a delicious dressing.
If you want to season your tuna salad, add a few oregano leaves. It rounds out the flavor of the recipe, providing a new taste dynamic to the meal.
Do you enjoy baking or roasting yourself a salmon fillet? The last thing you want is a flavorless piece of fish. Add some dried oregano leaves to season the fish and unlock the flavor.
Zenfull Living is a portal of life-friendly information moving us into an alternative reality of all things natural and life-sustaining.