Oregano And Its Uses

Oregano is a very versatile condiment that we usually use in our daily cooking. This herb has long been used as part of alternative therapies to relieve symptoms of infections, respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses, among others.

Although its properties are manifested in a more open way in its derivatives – such as oil -, the dry leaves possess them as well, although to a lesser extent. Here are five reasons why adding oregano to your diet is often recommended.

1. Oregano is a great source of nutrients

Oregano

Oregano is a source of essential minerals, such as magnesium and calcium that strengthen bones, manganese and copper, which favor the action of antioxidant enzymes, potassium that regulates blood pressure by promoting the excretion of sodium, zinc or iron, among others.

In addition, it also provides vitamins (C, E, K, E6), Omega 3 and the phenolic compounds thymol and carvacrol (with antimicrobial activity) to the body.

However, according to data from the Spanish Nutrition Foundation, the average serving of oregano is 0.25 g. Therefore, oregano would not contribute any of these nutrients in any really significant way.

2. Oregano and its derivatives would possess antibacterial and antifungal properties

In different studies, it has been indicated that two components of oregano, thymol and carvacrol – which are obtained by extracting their essential oils – would have antibacterial effects, fighting for example Giardia , E. Coli , and Salmonella, in addition to different types of mushrooms

For this reason, oregano has long been used to protect food, as well as as an antifungal agent applicable to the skin topically.

3. Oregano and its derivatives would prevent aging and cancer

Oregano

Antioxidants are crucial to maintaining good health, as they prevent cell damage caused by free radicals. The production of these molecules over time would be involved with the alteration of cell membranes and genetic material, thus resulting in various diseases.

Now, different investigations have indicated that oregano would be rich in antioxidants, specifically in thymol and carvacrol, for which it could be inferred that the consumption of oregano could help neutralize the possible damage caused by free radicals. However, further research is needed to corroborate this possible property of this spice.

4. It would promote digestive activity

Oregano has been used throughout history as part of natural medicine to help the digestive system work better in different ways. An effect of increasing salivation is attributed to it, which would allow food to be softened more effectively in the oral cavity.

It would also stimulate the flow of bile to the digestive organs, where this substance would facilitate the absorption of fats in the small intestine and eliminate excess acid from the stomach. However, there are no scientific studies that corroborate these popular beliefs.

5. Oregano would help reduce discomforts related to menstruation

Oregano benefits

This herb is used to relieve pain, cramps, and other discomforts caused by the menstrual cycle. This is due to its supposed anti-inflammatory effect. In addition, it is said that oregano is also used to trigger the menstrual cycle and even to regularize it. It is worth clarifying that there is no scientific evidence in this regard.

Limited consumption in pregnant women and children

Oregano as an aromatic plant could be used during pregnancy and lactation but in recommended doses. It will always be a medical practitioner who recommends a responsible use of this spice.

On the other hand, oregano essential oil is totally discouraged in pregnant women. You should also pay special attention to children under 12 years of age, as it could cause allergy symptoms.

Oregano: easy to obtain and easy to use

Not only can oregano be easily and cheaply purchased from the markets, it is also easy to grow at home. It can be consumed in many ways, although its consumption fresh or as an oil is preferable.

In case of suffering from any of the aforementioned diseases or showing symptoms that need a professional opinion, go to your doctor. Always follow the professional’s instructions and consult with him about the possible benefits of including oregano or any other herb in your diet.

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