Health Benefits Of Oregano
There is a great deal of scientific evidence to show that there are some tremendous health benefits with the frequent use of oregano in one's diet.
While modern scientific evidence is fairly recent, oregano has been used, especially among Greeks, for thousands of years both as a herb for flavouring culinary dishes and as an aid to better health.
Ancient Greeks On Oregano Health Benefits
Historians report that Hippocrates, often referred to as the "father of medicine," recognized the benefits, both preventative and curative, of oregano for many health conditions.
In his book, Natural Food Flavors and Colorants, published by John Wiley and Sons, Mathew Attokaran writes "Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, valued oregano as an antiseptic and curative for digestive and respiratory disorders."
Today in Greece, oregano tea is often used as a treatment for cold and flu-like symptoms as well as a preventative.
The original Greek word for this herb is "ρίγανη" (pronounced as reeganee). Many translate this to "joy of the mountains," but we're told that a closer translation in English is actually "brilliance of the mountains," suggesting brilliance like brightness.
According to Greek Mythology, oregano was created by the Goddess Aphrodite, the purpose of which was to make people happy and healthy, and bring joy.
One of the major difference between Greek oregano and other herbs labeled as "oregano" is that Greek oregano (Origanum vulgare hirtum) has white flowers. If you ever come across a live plant that someone calls "Greek oregano" but has pink flowers, you can be sure that it is not Greek oregano at all and is more likely to be "Common Marjoram" or something else.
Modern Science & Oregano
There are so many recent published and peer-reviewed papers on the benefits of oregano, that we simply cannot list them all here. But over time, we'll write about the ones that exist and let you know about new ones that are published.
It is now known that Greek Oregano has a number of compounds that have extremely potent preventative and curative qualities. These benefits are due to one or more of the compounds found within high quality oregano that include carvacrol, rosmarinic acid, linalool, triterpenes, and more.
Some of the presently known benefits of oregano include:
- Antibacterial - While oregano has shown antibacterial properties, it also appears to have a selective profile in that "bad" bacteria like E. Coli and others that do us harm can be reduced or eliminated, yet good bacteria can continue to thrive. One recent study showed that oregano has the potential to improve digestion by reducing harmful pathogens in the gut, and allowing beneficial flora to thrive.
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties - Some of the compounds in oregano, specifically diosmetin, apigenin, luteolin and rosmarinic acid appear to have benefits of reducing inflamation in the body.
- Anti-Cancer Properties - Recent studies have indicated that compounds found in oregano may have tremendous cancer cell destructing properties. The studies we've seen to date have focussed on breast and colon cancer, and both showed great promise that compounds in oregano could possibly be a treatment for these diseases.
- Arthritis - There is some evidence that increased consumption of oregano may help with rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. More scientific research needs to be done to confirm the claims, however.
- Painful Menstruation Oregano has been used for centuries to treat menstruation pain and discomfort. While the scientific evidence is sparse, there does seem to be enough experiential claims to warrant further scientific investigation.
These are but a few of the health claims that have been attritubed to Greek Oregano. WE can't say that our oregano will cure anything or even prevent anything, but we are sure you will love the flavour and aroma it imparts to your food!
Use lots of it, frequently and try oregano tea! Maybe it will help your cold, along with a teaspoon of honey - or maybe you'll just enjoy it and that's what counts!