Oregano is one of the most versatile and potent herbs. Its wide-reaching and research-documented therapeutic properties make it the herb of choice for what ails you. Here are 11 health benefits of oregano:
Research reported in the journal Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease showcased oregano’s effectiveness against Klebsiella oxytoca and Klebsiella pneumonia. These bacteria can infect the skin, wounds, throat, gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract and particularly the lungs.
In addition to the effectiveness against the bacteria mentioned above, research published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology showcased the effectiveness of oregano against antibiotic-resistant strep infections, particularly strep throat. This study used oregano essential oil, which is a particularly potent extract of the oil components of the plant.
Dozens of sources show that oregano has demonstrated significant antioxidant activity, making it effective in preventing or alleviating many health conditions caused or aggravated by the presence of free radicals in the body.
Free radicals are involved in the eye condition glaucoma, which causes damage to the optic nerve and can result in vision loss or blindness. If glaucoma runs in your family or you have been diagnosed with the condition, it is best to incorporate plentiful amounts of antioxidants, and particularly oregano, in your diet.
Because of its anti-infectious and antioxidant properties, oregano can be helpful in the treatment of both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. While infections have only been implicated in rheumatoid arthritis, both types of arthritis benefit from oregano’s potent antioxidant activity.
BLOOD PRESSURE BALANCER
According to the research of the renowned herbalist James Duke, author of The Green Pharmacy, oregano contains seven natural compounds that reduce high blood pressure, making it a great regular dietary addition for anyone suffering from the condition.
CANCER INHIBITOR AND FIGHTER
While oregano hasn’t been studied extensively for use against cancer, preliminary studies published in the Journal of Medicinal Food showed that the compound 4-terpineol found in oregano was effective at inhibiting the spread of cancer. In an article in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, researchers reported that oregano particularly targeted liver cancer cells to destroy them.
According to James Duke, oregano contains four anti-asthma compounds. The oil or tincture should be ingested, not inhaled, when used for asthma. Actually, it is important not to breathe too deeply when using oregano with asthma, especially the essential oil, since the powerful aromatic compounds can initiate a cough reflex that can temporarily aggravate asthma.
EMPHYSEMA AND LUNG INFECTION REMEDY
James Duke identified six compounds in oregano that help to expel mucus from the lungs (expectorants), making the herb an excellent choice for treating emphysema or lung infections. These expectorant compounds also work on mucus in the sinuses, so you might find oregano helpful in treating sinus infections as well.
VIRUS, PARASITE, WORM KILLER
Oregano is a powerfully antiseptic plant, thanks to the compounds known as carvacrol and rosmarinic acid. In one study against a variety of viruses including the herpes viruses, researchers found that oregano had high antiviral activity against most of the viruses tested. Unlike antibiotic drugs, which act only against bacteria, these compounds work against bacteria, viruses, fungi and even parasites like worms, making oregano a well-rounded antiseptic for your natural medicine cabinet.
CANDIDA FUNGAL FIGHTER
New research in the medical journal MicrobiologyOpen found that oregano worked against 6 different strains of candida fungus. Candida are harmful fungal infections linked to intestinal, vaginal and systemic infections.
Oregano is available in fresh or dried herb, essential oil, capsule or tincture formats. Add the fresh or dried herb to your soups, salads, stews, curries or other savory foods. Follow package directions for essential oil, capsule and tinctures.