Oregano is a wonderful herb with many health-promoting properties. According to Mountain Rose Herbs:
It is a warm and aromatic yet slightly bitter herb in the mint family. Good quality oregano has a pungency that numbs the tongue. The best quality is grown in a warm, dry climate. The name is derived from the Greek, meaning “mountain of joy”. Sunlight encourages the concentration of the essential oils that give this herb its flavor. Two other herbs are used in the same ways as common oregano but have different culinary and medicinal properties. Mexican oregano is a plant in the verbena family that has an even stronger flavor, while marjoram is a closely related plant that lacks the same essential oil content and has a different, gentler “mouth feel.”
Oregano is a very flavorful herb that is often used in Italian, Greek and Spanish cooking. It is often used in seasoning blends, including Italian Seasoning, and pairs well with meats, tomato dishes, and eggs.
I always add it to my homemade soups and stews, especially during illness, as it is said to have antibacterial properties. According to Marks Daily Apple:
Oregano contains thymol and carvacrol, two oils which have remarkable bacteria-fighting power. In fact, researchers recently discovered that it is a better treatment for giardia than the prescription drug commonly prescribed to treat the illness.
Oregano has been gaining popularity as a natural remedy, though its use as a health-boosting herb is centuries old. It contains high amounts of Omega-3s, Iron, Manganese, and antioxidants.
Its Essential Oil is well known in natural health communities for its antibacterial properties, and it is even being studied by the mainstream medical community for its potential benefits. It is considered to be antibacterial, antiparasitic, antiseptic, antiviral and immune stimulating.
Like the fresh herb, Oregano Oil has very high amounts of antioxidants. It is often used internally during illness, and externally for skin infections (including yeast) though it should be diluted before use. Due to potency, it is important to check with a qualified specialist or practitioner before using this or any other herb, especially during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
I’ve used a drop of oregano oil in my daily oil pulling routine to help promote healthy gums.
According to this article:
Studies have shown its usefulness against candida albicans, aspergillus mold, staph infections, vaginal infections, pseudomonas and listeria. A study from the US Department of Agriculture showed that the essential oils presented antimicrobial activities against Salmonella and E.coli. Other research holds the same, stating that oregano oil is such a powerful antimicrobial that it can be used to preserve food. Studies from the Department of Food Science at the University of Tennessee and the University of the Algarve found that similar results for oregano’s antibacterial action on pathogenic germs.
A recent study from the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Georgetown University Medical Center, stated the following in regard to the role of essential oils for infections:
New, safe antimicrobial agents are needed to prevent and overcome severe bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. Based on our previous experience and that of others, we postulated that herbal essential oils, such as those of origanum (oregano oil)…offer such possibilities.
In an article published on Science Daily, the essential oil was found to be effective in killing Staphylococcus bacteria. It was also equally as effective in its germ-killing abilities as common prescription antibiotics.
Another study published in the journal, Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology found that oregano oil could lower the negative effects of induced colitis in rats and opens the door to new ideas about its benefit to the colon and liver.
How to Use Oregano
- It be consumed as an herb in culinary uses, a tincture, tea or essential oil.
- The diluted oil can be consumed to speed recovery during illness.
- Oregano Oil (diluted in coconut oil) can be used on skin infections to boost healing.
- It can be mixed in to oil as part of an oil pulling routine.
- Diluted oregano oil taken internally can help with allergies.
- Oregano oil diluted in olive oil can be rubbed on sore muscles and joints for pain relief.
- Dried oregano, in combination with other dried herbs like basil, rosemary and thyme, can create an effective facial steam for loosening congestion and calming coughing.
- It can be diluted for effective use on athletes foot and fungal infections.
- It can be helpful in redding the body of ringworm when used topically.
- It can be effective in removing warts when used diluted on the skin.
Oregano oil is not generally considered safe during pregnancy, though culinary use of oregano leaf is considered fine. Due to its highly potent nature, it should always be diluted for use on the skin or when taking internally. I am not a doctor or medical professional,, and you should always consult your doctor before taking any herbs or beginning any health routine.
I get both my Oregano leaf and Oil here.
What is your favorite use for oregano? As a spice or as a natural remedy? Share below!