- Oregano is known botanically as Origanum vulgare and is called wild marjoram in many parts of Europe since it is closely related to the herb that we know as sweet marjoram. It is a small shrub with multi-branched stems covered with small grayish-green oval leaves and small white or pink flowers. In Mediterranean climates oregano grows as a perennial plant, but in the harsher climates of North America, they grow as annuals.
- Oregano is an excellent source of vitamin K and a very good source of manganese. It is also a good source of iron, dietary fiber, and calcium. Oregano contains vitamins A, C, and E, as well as fiber, folate, iron, vitamin B6, calcium, and potassium. Additionally, oregano contains potent phytochemicals that provide potential health benefits.
- One active agent in oregano is rosmarinic acid, which is a strong antioxidant that may support immune system health. Oregano has one of the highest antioxidant activity ratings, with 42 times the antioxidant punch of apples. According to one study:”…intake of herbs [including oregano] may…contribute significantly to the total intake of plant antioxidants, and be an even better source of dietary antioxidants than many other food groups such as fruits, berries, cereals, and vegetables.”
- Carvacol and thymol, two phytochemicals in oregano, are powerful antimicrobials. Research has shown essential oils from oregano may kill the foodborne pathogen Listeria and the superbug MRSA (making it a useful addition to hand soaps and disinfectants). According to one of the researchers involved in the MRSA study:”We have done a few preliminary tests and have found that the essential oil from the oregano kills MRSA at a dilution 1 to 1,000. The tests show that the oil kills MRSA both as a liquid and as a vapor and its antimicrobial activity is not diminished by heating in boiling water.”Studies have also found essential oils of oregano to be useful against certain Candida species.
- Oregano contains beta-caryophyllin (E-BCP), a substance that inhibits inflammation and may also be beneficial for conditions including osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis, as well as metabolic syndrome.
- Oregano also has potential anti-viral activity, and a spray containing aromatic essential oils from five plants, including oregano, was found to significantly relieve symptoms “immediately” in those with upper respiratory infections.If you come down with a cold or the flu, oregano oil can also be useful. Generally, the higher the carvacrol concentration, the more effective it is. Interestingly, oregano encourages sweat production as a mode of detox, and ingesting it may help your body to get rid of unwanted phlegm in your lungs.
- Oregano extract has been shown to “lead to growth arrest and cell death in a dose- and time-dependent manner” in colon cancer cells. A phytochemical in oregano, carnosol, has also been “evaluated for anti-cancer property in prostate, breast, skin, leukemia, and colon cancer with promising results.”
- Oregano is packed with fiber, so despite its small size, it can have a major impact on your digestive system. Fiber is an essential element of a healthy digestive system, as it can increase the bulk of your stool and stimulate peristaltic motion, which moves food through the digestive tract and excretes it efficiently. Also, fiber helps to maintain the health of the gut and increases nutrient uptake, so the food you eat does more for you!
We’re farmers and not doctors so none of this should be treated as medical advice for you. We’re only sharing our personal experience and testimony, which may not be relevant to your specific medical condition. Talk to your doctor about your own personal diet and care and please don’t sue us because we’re trying to help people in need and lawyers are super expensive and every dollar we spend on a lawyer can’t be spent helping others grow food. Thanks!!!