Oregano is a well-known herb, well known for its use in Italian dishes such as pizza and spaghetti. It is a dried spice that is closely related to thyme, basil, lavender, and sage and is primarily used in Greek and Italian cookery. It has a robust flavour that gives warmth and a hint of mild sweetness to your food.
It can be consumed fresh, dried, or as oregano oil. However, it is much more than just a fragrant herb for your food. It has a number of health benefits, including immune system strengthening, digestive improvement, and gut health.
Despite its limited use, this herb is high in various nutrients. For example, one teaspoon of dried oregano can supply roughly 8% of your daily vitamin K requirements.
What exactly is oregano?
Oregano is a blooming plant that is native to the Mediterranean region and belongs to the mint family. However, it has now become widely naturalised all across the world.
This herb is made up either fresh or dried oregano plant leaves. The plant has tiny leaves that emit a strong perfume yet give a lot of flavour to a variety of recipes. Oregano is a common herb in Mediterranean cooking. Because it is gluten-free, it is excellent for vegan and paleo diets.
Oregano is made up of 42 different species that are found in North Africa, Eurasia, and Western India. The most common variety is Oregano Vulgare, sometimes known as Spanish Thyme. All of these species come in many forms, and choosing one to choose depends on the recipe you’re attempting to cook.
The following are some of the most popular types of oregano available:
With its flat leaves, fresh oregano has a powerful flavour and a slightly metallic taste. It does, however, have great antimicrobial properties. It also includes phytonutrients that help fight infections. Fresh leaves are commonly used to prepare stocks and soups, as well as to provide a delicate yet nuanced flavour to fish.
People prefer dried oregano over fresh oregano. It adds a flavour that compliments rather than overpowers meals, as fresh oregano may. Furthermore, dried oregano has antiviral effects. As a result, a warm bowl of soup seasoned with dried oregano can successfully treat a cold, cough, and sore throat.
Oregano essential oil is made by air-drying the leaves. Steam distillation is used to extract and concentrate the oil after it has been dried. The oil possesses antioxidant and antibacterial qualities, as well as a higher concentration of useful components found naturally in plants.
You can flavour sauces and dips with a few drops of this essential oil and use it on your skin or nose to treat colds, coughs, blemishes, insect bites, and as a cleaning agent.
Oregano in Various Forms Suitable for Use
The most common variety of oregano is “Origanum Vulgare,” sometimes known as “Spanish Thyme.” Other frequent forms are:
It has a somewhat sweeter flavour than Italian oregano and is less mild and peppery. Marjoram has various health benefits and can be used in a range of foods such as salad dressings, beef sausages, and so on.
Oregano from Greece
Greek oregano is one of the most well-known varieties of oregano. It provides a fragrant flavour to a variety of tomato-based foods and recipes. It is also high in iron, antioxidants, vitamin E, and calcium.
Italian oregano is commonly used in a variety of meals, particularly when grilling vegetables and meat. It blends sweet marjoram with traditional Greek oregano threads, and its powerful flavour is reminiscent of both plants.
Oregano from Syria
Syrian oregano, one of the tallest types of oregano, is high in vitamin C and fibre. Its leaves are mostly fresh, and it goes nicely in dips, yoghurt, soups, and salads.
Oregano de Mexico
Mexican oregano, also known as Lippia graveolens, is distinct from other oregano species. It is, however, common in Mexican recipes and has the strongest flavour.
Oregano de Oro (Golden Oregano)
The name “golden oregano” refers to its yellow to golden foliage. It has a pleasant mild flavour and is suitable for both fresh and dried culinary use.
Oregano’s Nutritional Values
Oregano contains vital elements such as vitamins A, C, and K. It also has a high concentration of iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and calcium.
Furthermore, these unassuming-looking leaves contain a plethora of other important antioxidants. Furthermore, it is very low in calories. The nutritional content of dried oregano per 100 grammes is:
265 kcal of energy
68.9 g carbohydrate
9 g protein
4.2 g total fat
42.5 g dietary fibre
Oregano Health Benefits
Oregano has numerous research-backed advantages ranging from helping digestion to combating infection:
Immunity and Antioxidant Properties
According to studies, oregano is abundant in antioxidants. These essential components aid in the battle against free radical damage in the body.
However, free radical accumulation can cause oxidative stress, which can lead to a variety of diseases and ailments. Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, chronic inflammation, arthritis, and cancer are examples of these.
According to another study, antioxidants are capable of destroying free radicals. They also protect the structural integrity of cells and tissues and help to boost the human immune system.
Bacteria are capable of causing infectious diseases and affecting any region of the body. Throughout history, herbal treatments have been used to treat such bacterial diseases. Oregano, for example, has potent antibacterial qualities and can be used to treat bacterial infections.
Carvacrol and thymol, two antibacterial chemicals found in oregano, are present. In a comparison study of sage, thyme, and oregano essential oils, oregano was found to be the most helpful essential oil against bacteria. It is now effective against a total of 23 different types of dangerous bacteria as a result of the discovery.
Inflammation is an immunological reaction that helps the body recover itself by fighting infections, injuries, and toxins. Oregano is high in antioxidants and contains carvacrol, an anti-inflammatory substance.
Oregano and its constituents may defend against viruses in addition to fighting bacteria.
According to research, the two chemicals in oregano have antiviral capabilities. They aid in the relief of a runny nose, sore throat, and the fight against a cold and cough. These two chemicals have also been shown to inhibit 90 percent of the herpes simplex virus in just one hour.
Helps in Digestion
Oregano contains a lot of fibre. It is a well-known truth that fibre is an important component that aids in the improvement of our digestive system. Its benefits stem from its ability to bulk up our stools and stimulate peristaltic activity, which efficiently moves food through the digestive tract and excretes it.
Oregano oil can be used to treat digestive issues such as bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, and stomach pains, among others.
Could Aid with Diabetes Management
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune inflammatory condition characterised by pancreatic -cell death, culminating in hyperglycemia.
A study found that oregano extract may protect against the development of hyperglycemia. It acts by decreasing the pro-inflammatory macrophage response. Furthermore, the fibre in oregano slows digestion. It prevents the sugar from being metabolised quickly, causing a spike in blood sugar levels.
Enhances Gut Health
Gut health refers to the physical status and physiologic function of the various segments of the gastrointestinal system. Unsanitary conditions, such as contaminated food and water, can result in parasite invasion in the gut, which can lead to a variety of disorders.
A study of persons infected with three parasites that cause digestive disorders found that supplementing with oregano oil completely eliminated the parasites in the majority of cases and alleviated the symptoms in the remainder.
How to Use Oregano in the Best Ways
Oregano can be used in a variety of dishes.
To use when cooking:
- You can mix fresh or dried oregano with flavorful pieces of bread to elevate any average soup supper to virtually gourmet status.
- You can also combine oregano with honey for a flavorful complement to sauces, bread, curries, and other dishes.
- Oregano is an excellent herb for tomato sauces, roasted meats, and many other dishes.
- Olive oil can also be used to make Italian vinaigrettes and marinades for chicken, lamb, and beef dishes.
- Salads can also benefit from the inclusion of fresh oregano leaves.
To Be Used Medically:
- Drops of oregano oil can be used to treat coughs, colds, and sore throats.
- To cure fungal infections, you can also use vinegar laced with oregano.
- Oregano leaves are used to clean tubs, showers, and toilets because of their antibacterial and antifungal characteristics.
- Its tea helps relieve period cramps, prevent constipation and diarrhoea, relieve muscle aches, and heal skin lesions.
Recipes Using Oregano
Tea with Oregano
Preparation: 1 Serves: 1 Time limit: 10 minutes
Fresh oregano, fresh oregano: 1 rosemary sprig
1-2 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon honey (optional)
- Gather all of the ingredients.
- Remove any dirt and debris from the oregano leaves by rinsing them.
- Steep the oregano in boiling water for 3 minutes.
- Remove it once the flavour has reached your preferred level.
- Fill a mug halfway with honey and stir until dissolved. Serve immediately and enjoy.
Salad with Oregano, Feta, and Tomatoes
Preparation: 4 Serves: 4 Time limit: 10 minutes
3 cups fresh oregano leaves
Tomatoes: 2-3 block Feta Cheese: 7 oz
1 teaspoon black pepper powder
2-3 tbsp olive oil
12 cup fresh lemon juice
Season with salt to taste
- Tomatoes should be cut into thick wedges.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the feta cheese into thin pieces.
- Remove any dirt and debris from the oregano by rinsing it.
- In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and drizzle with olive oil, lemon, black pepper powder, and salt.
- At room temperature, serve.
Side Effects of Excessive Oregano Consumption
When used in normal meal doses, oregano or oregano oil is safe for most people. People who are allergic to mint or members of the mint family, on the other hand, may have negative reactions to oregano.
When Used for Medical Purposes
When used for therapeutic purposes, oregano may be harmless when taken orally or administered topically. Some users, however, may experience gastrointestinal pain. Before beginning any supplement, consult with your healthcare provider, especially if you are on other medications or have a medical condition.
Oregano oil can be used to treat blemishes and acne. However, if used in doses more than 1%, it may cause skin irritation. Please dilute essential oils with olive oil or another carrier oil before usage. It can be mixed with water to create a steam bath. To avoid toxicity, you should carefully read the instructions for each product.
Rashes, stomach distress, and difficulty breathing are all frequent signs of oregano allergies. If you are allergic to oregano oil, you must avoid inhaling it. It can cause airway irritation, which can swiftly escalate into a deadly situation. If you get any of the following symptoms after taking oregano, you should see a doctor:
- Muscle ache
- Swallowing Difficulties
- Excessive drooling
Pregnant or breastfeeding women are unlikely to have any negative side effects from oregano or oregano oil. However, before ingesting any substance, it is always advisable to understand your body and any potential sensitivities. However, if you are not sensitive to oregano, it has a plethora of health benefits to offer.
Oregano is a medicinal herb with numerous health advantages. It is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal. It also aids digestion. It is also a versatile herb that may be easily included into your diet and utilised in a variety of recipes in fresh, dried, or oil form.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Can oregano be used to treat a cough?
A. Coughing is a frequent symptom of an upper respiratory tract viral illness, such as the common cold or flu. Carvacrol and thymol, both found in oregano, have antiviral effects. They aid in the relief of a runny nose, sore throat, and the fight against a cold and cough.
Q. Is oregano oil beneficial to the lungs?
A. Oregano has a number of antiviral and anti-inflammatory chemicals. They aid in the cleansing of the lungs as well as the reduction of inflammation and congestion in the lungs. As a result, it aids in the improvement of airflow.
Q: Can oregano oil assist with Covid?
A. The most common phenol in oregano is carvacrol. It is effective against a variety of germs. It also boosts immunity, which aids in the treatment of covid symptoms.
Q. Can I take oregano on a daily basis?
A. It is preferable to use oregano sparingly. However, this is due to the possibility of side effects from large doses. It could also be related to thymol, one of the phenols found in oregano.
Q: Can fresh oregano leaves be boiled?
A. Of course. Oregano leaves can be boiled in water. As a result, you can prepare oregano tea or puree to make dips.
Q. Do ginger and oregano complement each other?
A. Of course. Oregano and ginger go well together and give a fresh aromatic flavour to any dish. You can, for example, use them in pasta sauces or chop them together for salads.
Q. Can oregano tea help you sleep?
A. Antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals are found in oregano tea. It has numerous health benefits. It can be used to treat sore throats, digestive issues, sleeplessness, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Q. Is oregano beneficial to the kidneys?
A. Oregano has been used to cure ailments such as kidney stones, diarrhoea, jaundice, spasms, and flatulence since ancient times. Oregano’s therapeutic benefits are due to the presence of antioxidants, volatile oils, and other health-promoting plant compounds. More research is needed, however, to confirm its efficiency in assisting kidneys.