Most Americans know Oregano as a pizza herb and that overshadows the numerous health benefits that this herb offers. Oregano in Greek literally means “mountain joy” or “mountain delight” and is widely used in the Mediterranean cuisine. However, earlier this herb was primarily used for its medicinal properties and it is said that the Greek used this herb to cure cuts, wounds and also indigestion. Though one can find many types of oregano in the super market, the Greek oregano is surely a premier variety. The oil extracted from oregano is also quite useful and is said to have a number of health benefits.
How To Use Oregano
Oregano is used as fresh green oregano, dried oregano, ground dried oregano and in the form of oregano oil. Oregano oil capsules and other oregano supplements are also quite popular but must be avoided by those suffering from certain health conditions that are mentioned in the ‘Precautionary Measures’ below. Dried oregano can be used on pizzas, omelets and even sprinkled on salads, while fresh oregano can be used in salads, rolls and pesto. Oil of oregano is the tricky one out here and usually people wonder how to take that in on a regular basis. Taking in oil of oregano is quite simple and an easy way to do that is to mix few drops in a glass of water or your juice.
Pregnant and lactating mothers should avoid the use of oregano, oregano supplements and oil of oregano. If a person is suffering from high blood pressure or cardiac health issues then oregano, oregano oil or its supplements should be taken only after consulting a qualified medical practitioner. Also those who have bleeding disorders, or are scheduled for a surgery, or those who have undergone recent surgery should avoid the use of oregano, its oil and oregano supplements. The use of oregano, oregano oil and its supplements on children as an alternative medicine should be avoided unless approved by a qualified doctor.
Top 10 Health Benefits Of Oregano And Oregano Oil
Useful In Treating Iron Deficiency
Iron deficiency is said to be one of the most common deficiencies in the US. Iron deficiency can cause iron deficiency anemia, fatigue and other health problems and so must be taken in adequate quantities. This deficiency can easily be taken care of with minor changes in the diet such as regularizing the use of dried oregano on your salads and egg omelets. A tablespoon of dried oregano can give you nearly 0.4 mg of iron and that’s quite good because the daily iron requirement for women above 19 years but below 50 years of age is 18 mg of iron and for men of that same age group the daily requirement is just 8 mg of iron.
Can Cure Giardiasis And Other Parasites
Giardiasis is a condition caused by Giardia lamblia and that can be a constant bother to those who swim often. That’s because water bodies or public swimming pools often contain this parasite and most swimmers swallow water while swimming. Such individuals who swim often can benefit through regular intake of oregano oil mixed with water. Intestinal worms and parasites enter your system through touch, unhygienic food, contaminated water and even through inhaling. That’s why periodical deworming or intake of foods that contain deworming abilities is recommended. Also those who eat out often are said to be at a higher risk of Giardiasis and can consider periodical intake of oregano oil mixed with water. Oregano oil has also been found effective against E.coli and Salmonella.
Oregano’s Smell Can Cure Respiratory Infections
Oregano contains carvacrol and thymol, both of which can help fight unwanted microorganisms and heal respiratory infections such as cold and flu. Respiratory infections are often caused by unwanted microorganisms entering the system. However these unwanted microorganisms can easily be dealt with by inhaling oregano oil. You can vaporize oregano oil or put a few drops on your handkerchief and sniff it for a while. Vaporizing this oil is however said to be more effective.
Reduces Bad Cholesterol
LDL or low density lipoprotein cholesterol is the bad cholesterol that causes a number of health problems and needs to be kept under check. One way of dealing with this bad cholesterol is to change your diet and take in more foods that promote HDL, or high density lipoprotein. Oregano is one such herb that is said to promote HDL, which is the good cholesterol.
Rubbing oil of oregano mixed with olive oil can soothe sore muscles that are common when one works out too much. This combination of olive and oregano oils can even be used at home for periodical body massage and that helps keep the skin supple and smooth, and also the muscles relaxed.
Oregano is useful in promoting digestion because it promotes the secretion of certain fluids that are good for digestion. That’s probably the reason that oregano is used in most greasy foods in the Mediterranean cuisine. Apart from being flavorful, oregano is known to promote digestion and also increase the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food easily.
Asthma is basically the swelling up of the airways that carry oxygen to the lungs and this internal swelling can be brought down or prevented by the regular use of oregano and oil of oregano. However, total dependency on any home remedy in case of asthma is not recommended. In case of asthma always take the medications prescribed by a certified medical practitioner and keep the asthma medications handy despite the improvements that come with the use of oregano, its oil or supplements.
Cures Nail Fungus
Nail fungus is common in those whose nails are exposed to warm and moist environments and that includes swimmers, those who live in colder regions and also those who wear socks or gloves for long hours. Nail fungus is a problem because it can make the nails brittle, crumbly and yellowish. However nail fungus can be controlled through oil of oregano because this oil is highly anti-fungal and antibacterial. So take some cotton and dab on some oil of oregano on your nails regularly as a precautionary measure.
Effective On Skin Infections
Applying oregano oil on minor skin infections is said to lower the infections as oregano oil is antibacterial and anti-fungal. However, this is in case of minor infections only and cannot be considered as an alternative to medical treatment.
Rubbing dry oregano on the teeth and gums, or mixing a few drops of oregano oil in a glass of water and using it to rinse the mouth can help prevent dental infections and bring down dental plaque. Dental plaque can cause a number of dental problems such as gingivitis, halitosis and even tooth decay. Oregano contains thymol and that in turn contains antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that make oregano useful in bringing down the dental plaque. Oregano can also help those suffering from swollen gums that are common in gingivitis by killing the bacteria and bringing down the inflammation.