A Closer Look at Oregano – Joy of the Mountains
Have you ever wondered what a pizza taste would be without the aromatic and flavorful oregano? Boring right? While oregano has been adding some zing and extra flavor to our favorite cuisines since ages, little do we know that there are quite a few other oregano benefits that are still unknown to many.
What is Oregano?
Origanum Vulgare or oregano is a perennial plant mostly found in the mountain ranges of Mediterranean regions and Greece. The herb belongs from the plant family of mint and has a pungent aroma. Some of the compounds of oregano include thymol, limonene, ocimene, pinene, carvacrol, and caryophyllene, which gives oregano its distinct flavor. Let us check out the oregano benefits and how can it be used, where can you find it, risks, precautions, and more!
Nutritional Benefits of Oregano you Didn’t Know About
If we talk about oregano nutrition, it becomes clear that this herb has loads of vital nutrients, which is not known to many. Although used as a sprinkling herb for cuisines all across the globe, oregano benefits are many and unknown.
Let us see what does dried oregano leaves contain-
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
We know that Vitamin K is crucial for the growth of the bone. It also helps in maintaining the density of the bone along with having properties to produce proteins for blood clotting. Moreover, calcium is also known for strengthening the teeth and bones.
5 Oregano Benefits in a Nutshell
1. Oregano Benefits for Skin
One of the leading skin problems includes pimples and acne. Pollution, dirt and dust, and harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun add to these skin issues and clog the pores of the skin, causing acne, pimple, dark spots, and pigmentation. One of the main oregano benefits is that it can be used to prepare a face mask that can help fight acne and pimples. Moreover, regular use of the oregano herb can treat acne.
Oregano herb has abundant antiseptic, antioxidant, and antifungal properties and gets widely used in many skin care products. These include face wash, toner for the skin, foot creams, to name a few.
One can also prepare an oregano face mask at home and ensure that it does not contain any harmful chemicals as compared to other skin care products from the market. Also, acne is rampant in oily skin, and one can always resort to oregano benefits to make a DIY skin toner at home using oregano oil.
2. Oregano Benefits for Hair
Dull, dry hair is a common problem faced by both men and women. Moreover, whether a person is suffering from a dry scalp or an oily one, dandruff is one of the most talked about hair issues.
The oil extracted from oregano benefits in many conditions and does have many medicinal as well as therapeutic properties that can help fight dandruff. Whether it is about flaky or sticky dandruff, one must take care to use the right hair products to get rid of the issue. Dried oregano leaves can be used to prepare your very own hair product at home, without any chemicals.
As oregano uses are many, this is one of the primary ones that would help you get rid of an itchy scalp. Please note that oregano oil has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, as mentioned earlier, which can be a good option when it comes to fighting an itchy scalp.
3. Oregano oil for UTI
Urinary tract infection or UTI occurs by the E. coli bacteria, which lives in the human intestines. It is a type of bacteria that also gets found on the gut of some of the animals. Women suffer from most of the common types of UTIs, which affect the urethra and bladder.
Apart from the prescribed medications by a physician, one of the leading home remedies to treat UTI is essential oils, and oregano oil for UTI is a useful option.
According to a study, oregano oil has slowed down the growth of the E. coli as well as other bacteria and stopped the growth in some of the cases. Interestingly, oregano oil can kills bacteria that are antibiotic-resistant.
When compared with other essential oils such as lavender oil to treat UTI, it got observed that oregano oil has a higher amount of antimicrobial properties. It means merely that oregano oil can effectively fight the bacteria of UTI as compared to lavender oil.
4. Could Effectively Decrease Inflammation
Inflammation is a common problem that occurs as an immune response during an illness. However, when it comes to chronic inflammation, it has been noticed that, if left untreated, it can lead to serious health complications and cause problems such as diabetes, heart diseases, autoimmune disorders, to name a few.
One of the main oregano benefits is its antioxidant properties, which help in reducing inflammation by neutralizing the free radicals in the body cells. There have been numerous studies that observe the oregano benefits and proves how the carvacrol compounds of the herb have loads of anti-inflammatory properties.
An animal study showed that a blend of thyme and oregano oil helped in reducing inflammatory markers in rats. An important thing to note here is that these studies got conducted by using oregano in highly concentrated amounts. More research is on its way to show how would different dosage affect the human body.
5. Oregano Helps to Build Immunity
Dietary antioxidants being one of the main components of oregano herb helps in shielding the cells of the body against any effect of free radicals, which would develop an infection in the body. Also, it strengthens the ability of the body to fight any infection, whether it is a common flu, cough, or inflammation of any type.
How to Use Oregano in Daily Life?
As a Face Mask
- Take three drops of oregano oil, one tablespoon of cucumber juice, and half a cup of aloe vera and mix it well.
- Apply the mask to the face and neck, or acne affected area on the skin and leave it for 5 minutes. Rinse off the mask with cold water.
- You must also make sure that your skin is not allergic to oregano oil. Apply the oil on your hand and if the skin feels itchy, rinse immediately and do not use the mask on the face.
Use it For Fighting Dandruff
- Add 2 to 3 drops of oregano oil with a mild shampoo and apply it all over the scalp and massage your scalp.
- Let it rest for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Wash your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water.
- Repeat it once again to get better results.
- Take one teaspoon of dried oregano and three teaspoons of fresh oregano in a cup and add boiling water and let it steep for 3 minutes.
- Add honey as per taste.
- You can serve the tea with or without the leaves.
Side Effects of Oregano Leaves
Oregano leaves are safe when taken in the right amount in food or as medicinal herbs or while applying to the skin. However, some people might experience allergic reactions on the surface after applying oregano oil. Therefore, it is best to take a small amount and check it on the hand before using the oil to the face or other body parts. Also, oregano tea or excessive oregano spice in the food might cause an upset stomach.
It is advisable to avoid oregano during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Moreover, it is best to consult a doctor before you consider adding oregano to your diet to prevent any unforeseen complications.
Where to find?
You can easily find dried oregano leaves in your nearest grocery store or grow an oregano plant in your kitchen garden. There are various types of oregano that you can purchase, which includes dried oregano, oregano seeds, oregano powder, to name a few. You can also search for oregano tea and drink it to get maximum oregano benefits on a daily basis.
From being used as a fresh herb on your favorite pizza slice to a useful medicinal herb for skin, hair, and other health issues, oregano benefits are galore, and one cannot avoid this aromatic, helpful herb. Keep this useful information, tips, and tricks handy to get a closer look at the oregano benefits and the most of it.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is oregano a perennial?
Oregano is a perennial plant, which means it can grow throughout the year. The herb is native to the Mediterranean as well as Southwestern Eurasia and temperate Western regions.
2. Can you eat raw oregano leaves?
Yes, one can eat raw oregano leaves and also dry it and use it in cooking. Raworegano leaves would taste like a reminiscent of thyme.
3. Is oregano fuzzy?
Generally, oregano is not fuzzy, but the Cuban oregano does have fuzzy, fleshy leaves.