7 Reasons to Eat Oregano, According to Research
Common ailments are a part of life. Many of us experience back pain, joint or knee issues, and the ordinary headache that’s part of a stressful workday. People are now turning to more holistic treatments for these and other conditions that bother them on a regular basis.
Oregano is one of the most common seasonings used in cooking, and new research shows that it has many health benefits. People have reported that it improves energy levels and improves general immune system functioning.
People consume this herb for its many health benefits, including the following:
- Reducing Inflammation
- Fighting Cancer
- Improving Digestion
- Treating Common Colds and Viruses
- Improving Depression Symptoms
Plus, there are other good benefits of using it in the oil form. New data suggests that it can be an effective antihistamine for seasonal allergies. New reports yield fresh information regarding its ability to treat certain inflammatory conditions and it may even reduce chronic acne. And some new statistics even hint at the idea that it can be applied as an antibacterial for common infections.
What Is Oregano?
People love this herb for its flavor and zest. Indeed, the famous culinary herb has a balance of sweet and spicy with a hint of green earth. A dried, crushed version offers you a burst of flavor to any ordinary cuisine. Plus, when mixed with olive oil, it has many potential health benefits, which makes it a popular cooking item for your pantry. It is prized for its deep, pungent aroma, which is similar to thyme and sage. You can grow it in a garden for a fresh, organic flavor or purchase fresh leaves from your grocery’s produce aisle.
In the herb garden, oregano is a woody perennial plant. Like other members of the mint family, it is hardy, easy to grow, and tasty. Gardeners often use it fresh, and because it produces prolifically, they also press it to capture the essential oils or dehydrate it for use in the winter months.
Seven Potential Benefits of Eating Oregano
Oregano has a bold, zesty flavor that makes it popular for many dishes. In fact, it’s not only tasty but is comprised of a compound of essential cooking oils, including pinene, limonene, carvacrol, and thymol. All of these oils have vital health functions and add flavor to each dish containing this popular herb.
Unlike other herbs, it’s just as tasty dry as it does when fresh. In short, the spice never loses its flavor, and that is the reason it remains a popular staple on every spice rack. It is most commonly used in dishes such as eggplant and zucchini. You can even mix it with olive oil to create a unique blend as a popular condiment.
New evidence suggests that eating this herb everyday has a variety of health benefits. And given the fact that it is a popular addition to the family dinner table, that is something worth celebrating. Below are the best known benefits. After reading all about it, you might feel like experimenting with it in a favorite recipe.
1 – Reducing Inflammation
One study suggests oregano reduces inflammation. It contains antioxidant properties that target and reduce inflammation as a result of injury or infection. These properties have elements such as carvacrol. They suppress the free radicals that invade your body and cause inflammation.
2 – Fighting Colon Cancer
People who eat a Mediterranean Diet have fewer colon cancer incidents.
One research team wanted to learn why and looked into the impact of the foods people in the Mediterranean region eat. The scientists concluded that the anti-inflammatory properties might reduce the spread of colon polyps.
What is the agent that helps stop those tumors? Scientists continue to work hard at figuring out exactly why this helps.
One important note: the researchers used the whole extract of oregano in the study, not the culinary herb.
3 – Improving Digestion
If you want to improve your digestion, adding this herb to your diet could be a viable solution. One study found oregano essential oil to be an excellent digestive aid when administered to pigs. The oil is known to stabilize the flora and bacteria in the gut to reduce cramps and improve your tract. It may even help in losing weight.
4 – Treating Common Colds and Viruses
New studies show that oregano may be effective in fighting most viruses, especially the common cold. That results from the concentration of polyphenols, which have antiseptic properties. These properties may act as a natural firewall to many of the invasive germs that result in common infections, which may be a good reason to trust it after oral surgery. If you’ve always been the one who trusts antiseptic mouthwash in the toothpaste aisle, then you might consider this a reason to try a new seasoning with similar elements.
5 – Fighting Depression
When used as an oil, it might help in the fight against depression symptoms. Researchers are still trying to understand precisely why. Still, they find a connection. Some scientists are speculating that this is due to a monoamine reuptake inhibitor found in most prescription antidepressants.
6 – Oregano Essential Oil Has Antioxidant Properties
There’s plenty of research that suggests that there are antioxidants found in oregano. Combine this herb or essential oil with fruits and vegetables, and you could notice a real difference in your overall health.
7 – Potential Antibacterial Agents
Studies suggest that it harbors certain organic compounds that can improve your health. Scientists note that they seem to fight at least twenty-three strains of harmful bacteria that cause disease and infection. Results indicate that it ranks second to thyme in its battle against bacterial infection and may even guard against certain infections. There are other testing which could suggest it may reduce skin infections when included as part of your daily diet.
Other Healthy Reasons to Eat Oregano
Much of the following information is anecdotal or traditional herbal medicinal uses. However, some of it also has science to back it up.
People use oregano for many other health reasons. Some have reported that it stops bleeding after oral surgery when ingested orally. Other people have reported that it helps with tooth pain, which could have a connection to its strong, anti-inflammatory elements. And with its non-addictive potential, it is possible that it may put ibuprofen to rest for good if it works for you.
Another good reason for its budding popularity is that it is well-known for its potential healing properties as a topical. Other research suggests that you can apply it to the skin to treat inflammatory conditions such as acne or a simple rash. In some cases, it could be a possible treatment for the elimination of warts. Others have reported that oregano has the potential to ease the pain of canker sores because it can reduce irritation and inflammation.
Herbs like this are proven to help with muscle and joint pain. Again, the anti-inflammatory elements may be credited to its ability to ease common conditions such as sore muscles, lower back pain, or chronic knee pain. But before using it, consulting with a physician may be best.
Final Thoughts on Eating Oregano for Better Health
As with any holistic treatment, you should do your research. Although others are speaking of its positive benefits, further scientific research has yet to prove whether or not oregano really does have those benefits or not. Most of the studies cited suggest that consuming oregano–or using its essential oil–is at least worth a try.
You may discover that you enjoy the flavor by adding it to many salads or cooked vegetables. Eating it as part of your daily meals can bring forth several health benefits. Plus, it is plain tasty and can be an excellent substitute for salt. It may even improve your blood pressure.
You can cook with it to make a wide variety of flavorful dishes with good, nutritional value. It is most commonly used in dishes such as cooked meats or chicken. You can used it to simmer in a huge pot of chili for extra taste. The somewhat minty flavor can add a keen balance to hot, spicy chili in the middle of winter. You can liven up your salads and pasta dishes by applying it as a part of a low-fat salad dressing.