The name of the herb comes from the Greek word “oros”, meaning mountain and “Ganos”, which means joy. It usually grows about 50 cm tall and has purple leaves about 2-3 cm long.
The chemicals that give the herb its unique and pleasant scent are thymol, pinene, limonene, carvacrol, ocimene, and caryophyllene.
It contains powerful antioxidants and anti-bacterial properties.
Facts about oregano:
Here are some important facts about oregano. More detail in the main article.
Oregano is a Mediterranean herb that is used for cooking and medicinal purposes, ranging from the treatment of infections to the repelling of insects.
Active ingredients in oregano can help in the treatment of osteoporosis, cancer, and diabetes.
Use to give flavor to sauces, make spicy rolls, and in marinades for meat.
People with an allergy to mint should be careful with consuming oregano.
Health benefits of Oregano:
Oregano has been used in herbal medicine since the ancient Greeks.
Hippocrates used it as an antiseptic.
Possible medicinal uses of oregano include the treatment of respiratory diseases, gastrointestinal disorders (GI), menstrual pain and urinary tract disorders.
Applied locally it can help treat a number of skin conditions such as acne and dandruff.
1) Antibacterial properties
Oregano oil contains an essential substance, called carvacrol, which has antimicrobial properties.
The herb has shown antimicrobial activity in a number of studies. A group of researchers discovered that Origanum vulgare essential oils were effective against 41 strains of the food pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.
Another team from India and the United Kingdom (UK) reported that the essential oil of the Himalayan oregano has strong antibacterial properties that can protect against the hospital superb bacterium MRSA.
2) Anti-inflammatory properties
Scientists from Germany and Switzerland identified an active ingredient in oregano, known as beta-caryophyllene (E-BCP), which can help treat disorders such as osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis. E-BCP is a nutrition cannabinoid.
3) Protection against cancer
Research published in the journal PLoS ONE in 2013 suggested that oregano exhibits activity against cancer. The scientists concluded that Origanum majorana could help prevent and treat breast cancer by delaying or preventing progression.
In 2014, food scientists discovered that the popular culinary herbs contain oregano, rosemary and marjoram compounds that may treat the type 2 diabetes in a similar way to some currently prescribed drugs.
Other possible health benefits
According to The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, oregano can be used for the following diseases and conditions:
- cold sore
- muscle strain
- a toothache
- bloated feeling
- a headache
- heart conditions
- intestinal parasites
- an earache
- a sore throat
- ward off insects
- menstrual pain
Oregano essential oil, made from Origanum vulgare or Thymus capitatus, can help with the following problems:
Foot or nail fungus: A few drops in the water and let your feet enjoy it, or apply it as diluted oil locally on the affected area.
Sinus infections and colds: Use a few drops in a steam bath and inhale.
Note: Each essential oil must be diluted before use, either with a carrier oil, such as olive oil, or in water, or for a steam bath.
More research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of oregano as a treatment.
Cooking Tips with Oregano:
Oregano is a Mediterranean herb that fits well with pizzas and pasta sauces.
Other ideas include:
sprinkle meat or chicken with oregano for more flavor
to use in marinades
chop and mix in bread dough to make sandwiches
to add to a fresh salad
Here are some tips:
Add it to the end of the cooking process for maximum flavor
The smaller you cut or grind, the more flavor will be released
Start with a small amount, too much of the food can make it bitter
A teaspoon of dried oregano corresponds to a tablespoon of fresh oregano
It is available dried or fresh in supermarkets, or you can grow it yourself in a pot on a window sill or a balcony or in the garden. It is a perennial, which means that it will continue to grow throughout the year.