Oregano leaves is best known in its dried form and widely used as ingredients in Mediterranean’s cuisine recipe, though there are several Mexican’s, Italian’s and Spanish’s recipes are also using dried oregano. It is due to its aromatic flavor that added warm and balsamic flavor to the food that makes dried oregano leaves is so popular.
What is Oregano Leaves?
Oregano is part of herbaceous plant that is also used as traditional herbal medicine and traditional people used to use oregano to keep away pests and bugs by utilizing its strong aroma. Scientifically, oregano is well known as Origanum vulgare which is coming from the same family as mint leaves, Mentha. Oregano itself has literal meaning ‘joy of the mountains’ originated from Greek word oros means mountain and ganos means joy. Though oregano could be used fresh and dried but most people prefer to use the dried oregano because the dried one has stronger flavor than the fresh leaves of oregano.
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Nutritional Values of Oregano
For thousand years, oregano has been used as herbal medicine due to its nutritional values that are beneficial to human health from treating chronic diseases up to maintaining healthy skin. Luckily, as part of food ingredients you could enjoy all the nutritional values of oregano in daily basis.
Serving Size: 100 grams
Just like any other herbs, oregano has unique and pleasant aroma. It is because oregano contains chemicals like pinene, thymol, limonene, ocimene, carvacol and caryophyllene.
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Oregano has been well known as part of traditional herbal medicines since thousands years ago. In modern world, there are a lot of researches and studies have been conducted in order to find the exact assurance about health benefits of oregano leaves to human health and below are the oregano’s benefits that have been listed.
- Contains Anti-bacterial Properties
Carvacol in oregano is the reasons why this leaves has unique and aromatic smell but the function of carvacol is more than that. Many studies have been done and showed that carvacol is a compound with powerful antimicrobial effect. As contains anti-bacterial properties, oregano is essential to assist in fighting bacteria and preventing some diseases.
- Acts as Anti-inflammatory
What people don’t know about inflammatory is this condition is actually the root of some serious diseases. However, based on a scientific study conducted by scientists at Bonn University, Germany, there is a compound called beta-caryophyllin found in oregano which could act as anti-inflammatory. To deal with the diseases is better to treat the inflammatory first.
- Exhibits Anti-cancer Activity
Oregano contained some powerful antioxidants which is essential to fight free radicals. Antioxidants could be produced by the body but the amount is not going to be enough, that’s why consuming foods that are rich of antioxidants is highly recommended to fulfill the daily intake of antioxidant. Free radical is the reason behind the development of cancerous cell.
- Contains Powerful Antioxidants Compounds
Thymol, the chemical that gives the strong and unique smell of oregano is actually a phytonutrient which also function as powerful antioxidant. Besides thymol there is also another phytonutrient which the same function, rosmarinic acid. Because of those two phytonutrient, per gram oregano has 42 times stronger antioxidant than apples.
- Supports Immune System
Immune system is like a layer of protection that protects body from all kinds of external disturbance like viruses, bacteria, free radicals, viral infections and many more. The thicker the system is the better. Oregano as rich of antioxidants like thymol, rosmarinic acid and carvacol are good supports to immunity system.
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- Increases the Production of White Blood Cells
White blood cells are part of immunity system. The better the immunity system is functioning should be balanced with the production of white blood cells. Oregano which is rich of carvacol and thymol will assist in increasing the production of white blood cells in order to fight bacteria and other conditions caused by viral infections effectively.
- Speeds Up Metabolism
Healthy metabolism is essential to make sure body is functioning properly. However, there are a lot of factors that are affecting the metabolism system; some factors will slow down the metabolism while others will speed up the process. Oregano contains some properties that could speed up metabolism so body could function optimally.
- Accelerates Healing Process
One of the problems that people should face after illness has passed is recovery. During this healing process, human body is in weakest state and strengthening immunity system is important. Add some oregano to diet will make sure immune system is working optimally to provide one more layer of protection and the result is healing process will be accelerated. Thus, you can use oregano leaves tea.
- Good for Digestive System
Surely you have known that all foods rich of fiber is good for digestion system. You would never guess that oregano also contains adequate amount of fiber, wouldn’t you? Well, though the amount is not a lot but it is enough to support digestive system to work optimally. Healthy digestive system will affect metabolism significantly.
- Promotes Optimal Nutrients Absorption
The number of people who think before they eat is progressively increasing today but less people understand that unhealthy digestive system could disturb the optimal absorption of nutrients extracted from foods they have consumed. Foods rich of fiber will stimulates the motion inside the bowel system to make sure optimal nutrient absorption.
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- Natural Source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential to human body but not many people know that omega 3 fatty acids are not only the product of the sea because oregano also contains relatively high content of omega 3 fatty acids. So, for you who cannot consume sea food due to some factors like allergic or simply don’t like it could get replacement of omega 3 fatty acids from oregano.
- Rebalances Cholesterol Level
Do you know that oregano contains zero level of cholesterol? Well, it is only one of the reasons why people with cholesterol problem should add oregano to their daily diet. Others reasons are because oregano contains omega 3 fatty acids hat could assist in rebalancing cholesterol level. So, in other words, oregano is one of those foods recommended for people with cholesterol problem.
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- Prevents Heart Attack
There are a lot of factors that could cause heart attack from inflammatory condition, cardiovascular problem; the spike of cholesterol level up to heart is forced to work too hard due to disturbance in the artery. Oregano contains compound called beta-caryophyllin which could act as anti-inflammatory, oregano also contains omega 3 fatty acids that are good to control cholesterol and all cardiovascular conditions so it is effective to prevent heart attack.
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- Reduces the Risk of Stroke
Strokes are the other form of heart attack. If in heart attack, heart is the one attacked, in stroke, brain is the one attacked. The factors that cause stroke is almost similar to factors that cause heart attack. So, for you who are currently having problems with the cardiovascular system and intend to reduce the risk of stroke, adding dried oregano leaf tea to daily diet is highly recommended.
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- Promotes Proper Blood Clotting
Blood clotting got its bad reputation because sometimes they were formed in the location they’re not supposed to be there like in the artery that will disturb the blood circulation. However, without the ability of blood to clot, when you’re finger cut even by paper, the blood will keep bleeding and never stop which is scary. Oregano contains some properties that promote proper blood clotting.
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- Controls Blood Pressure
One of the most amazing things that oregano could do to your life is assisting in controlling blood pressure. It is not an easy task but since oregano could blend perfectly with other foods like it is easy to add oregano as part of daily diet and deal with all the negative effects of sodium that enter your body.
- Natural Body Detox
What you need to detoxify your body? Most people will rightly jump to some detox supplement products they’ve heard somewhere. Well, actually what you really need to detoxify your body is foods that are rich of minerals like calcium, iron, manganese and then vitamin K and fiber. Surprisingly oregano is packed with minerals, vitamin K and fiber so it is an alternative solution to detox your body naturally.
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- Speeds Up Toxin Elimination
It is almost impossible to avoid toxin at all cost with some much foods you should consume in daily basis. It is important for you to remember that even the healthiest food in the world contains toxin that harmful for your body. The solution is not avoiding the food but how to speed up the toxin elimination and oregano which is rich of minerals is the best solution available in this matter.
- Good for Liver Health
It is true that too much toxin in your body could be harmful for your liver health because liver will be forced to work too hard to eliminate those toxins. However, just by adding oregano to your daily food, there are some properties found in oregano is effective in helping your liver to eliminate toxin, so it will not work too hard.
- Treats Urinary Track Disorder
When your liver is not working properly, urinary track disorder is the direct effect that could happen. However, for those who have been diagnosed with this condition could ease up the symptoms by consuming oregano in daily basis because as anti-inflammatory it could treat urinary track disorder efficiently and at the same time assisting liver to keep working optimally to treat the disorder completely.
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- Promotes Bone Health
To promote bone health, you cannot just simply consume anything with calcium because studies and researches stated that for bone health, there are some factors that should be covered as well like its density, its growth and the stock of minerals during old ages should be enough. Oregano is rich of minerals that are essential for bone health and also contains vitamin K to promote the bone growth and maintains the bone density.
- Prevent Osteoporosis
Don’t just rely yourself to calcium when it comes to bone health but you should consume foods that could make sure your body got enough calcium and minerals essential to bone health during your old age. The ability of bones to stock minerals is also important and vitamin K found in oregano will make sure you that and prevent osteoporosis to occur today as well as later when you’ve reached senior age.
- Increases the Level of Hemoglobin
What do you know about hemoglobin? It is actually essential protein found in red blood cells which has function to distribute oxygen throughout the body cells. That’s why the level of hemoglobin in your body will affect the amount of oxygen distributed to your body. Surely you know how important oxygen to your body is and oregano has properties that could assist in increasing the level of hemoglobin.
- Helps in Oxygenating Body Cells
This point is closely related to the previous point because oregano actually has some essential compounds that promotes the production of certain protein best known as hemoglobin that has main function to distribute oxygen to all body cells. In other words, just by adding oregano to your food daily, it helps oxygenating your body cells.
- Natural Energy Booster
There are two reasons why oregano is highly recommended as natural energy booster, first is because it could speed up metabolism and second is because it contains vitamin B6. Healthy metabolism is what you need in the morning to boost your energy so you will feel energized all day long.
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- Eases Up Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps could be very annoying sometimes, especially for women with busy schedule and at the same time they should deal with the cramps. Well, now you could say goodbye to menstrual cramps just by adding oregano to daily diet.
- Aids for Irregular Menstruation
Though more studies are still strongly required for further proofs but many women have enjoy the benefits of oregano in aiding their irregular menstruation period.
- Decreases the Negative Effects of Menopause
Some negative effects of menopause are something that you shouldn’t take for granted like breast cancer. As rich of antioxidants oregano is good in fighting cancerous cells and some studies have proven that adding oregano as daily diet could decrease the risk of breast cancer suffered after menopause.
- Treats Respiratory Tracks Disorder
Asthma is one of the conditions of respiratory track disorder. It is not an easy condition to treat but much easier to avoid by putting away all things that could be the trigger of the allergic reaction. Oregano contains some properties that could act as anti-allergic that could treat this condition optimally. Though of course there are some words of cautions related to allergic you should aware too.
- Natural Treatment for Cold
The strong and unique aroma of oregano comes from certain chemicals found like thymol, limonene and ocimene. Those chemicals are also potent in treating cold caused by viral infections.
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- Easy Solution to Sore Throat
Sore throat is probably not a serious condition but it is really uncomfortable and if it is not treated properly could lead to more uncomfortable conditions like fever and cold.
- Treats Mild Fevers Effectively
Oregano also found in the form of oil that could function as health tonic. It is because oregano oil is so rich of carvacol that is effective in treating mild fever. What you need to do is just stirring some oregano oil with your favorite hot drink, like tea will help you treating fever, although consulting your doctor with your condition is still necessary.
- Helps in Having A Good Night Sleep
Thymol is one of the chemicals found in oregano that responsible to the aromatic smell of oregano. Surprisingly, if you have problem with your sleep, adding oregano to your dinner could help you having a good night sleep because thymol also has function to sooth your body while you’re sleeping.
- Prevents Anemia
As rich of manganese and iron, oregano is also effective to prevent anemia by making sure the production of red blood cells are in the right level so body will get enough blood and you could say goodbye to anemia completely. Though in acute level, you should contact your doctor for more intensive treatment.
- Beauty Solution for Healthy Skin and Shiny Hair
Why oregano is good for skin because it has all properties best known as antifungal, antiseptic and of course antioxidants which are good for skin. The antifungal and antiseptic are effective to treat skin conditions while antioxidants are essential to keep the skin cells healthy and promote the cells regenerations.
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Cautions of Oregano
Aside from the long list of health benefits of oregano leaves, there are some cautions of oregano you should aware of as well. Proper consumption is the key so you could enjoy all the benefits of oregano because over consumption is never good for your body.
- Oregano is possible interfere the absorption of iron in the body.
- During pregnancy, women is better to avoid oregano especially oregano oil.
- Those who have been diagnosed to be allergic to mint leaves should avoid oregano leaves as well.
- Too much oregano could cause stomach upset to those who suffer weak stomach.
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Oregano is better to be consumed in dried leaves form so it is easy to store oregano in your kitchen to spice up your foods or used as home remedies. From today, try to add oregano in your daily diet and enjoy all the health benefits of oregano leaves rightly from your dining table.