There’s a good chance that the only time that you ever use oregano is when you sprinkle some on top of your pizza or spaghetti. Many of us use oregano simply as a spice, as it’s one of the most prominent culinary herbs out there. Oregano originated in Greece, but became more known for being used in Italian foods throughout the years.
Now, just about every country in the world uses oregano on foods, and oregano oils have become more popular in the health community in recent years. So what type of health benefits can this popular spice bring to your life? Here are some details about oregano, and how much you should be adding to your regular diet.
Vitamins and Nutrients
Not many people would expect oregano to have many nutritional benefits and that it’s just for the taste. However, there is a surprising amount of nutrients to be found in oregano. In one teaspoon of grounded oregano, you can get three percent of your daily recommended fiber intake. Along with that, there are notable amounts of vitamin A, C and E, as well as calcium and iron.
Above all, the most prevalent nutrient in oregano is vitamin K. Vitamin K is very good for the blood, as it helps to prevent blood clotting. It’s also good for your bones as an increased amount of vitamin K can help reduce your risk of osteoporosis. While the other nutrients found in oregano aren’t too significant, it’s still an easy way to get plenty of essential nutrients you might not have gotten otherwise.
Oregano is one of the many spices that is packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids that your body needs. These acids will help your overall heart health as they reduce inflammation within your cardiovascular system. This will help your heart work more efficiently, reducing the risk of common heart diseases and strokes.
These fatty acids will also help control your cholesterol, lowering the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. There isn’t a lot of potassium in oregano, but there is enough to make a difference. Many people suffer from heart problems that were caused by consuming too much sodium in their diets, and potassium can help reverse the effects. Many looking to control their blood pressure have taken to using oregano oil for help.
Studies have shown that consuming oregano or using oils on a common basis can help your immune system. This will help you keep away those nasty diseases that seem to catch you a few times per year, as well as keep away some big ones. Oregano is high in antioxidants, and it’s been found that the rosmarinic acid in oregano is even more powerful than you can find in most fruits.
Not only is that great for preventing colds and flus, but it can also help you if you’ve already contracted a virus. The antioxidants will work to kill those germs that made you sick in the first place. As for diseases that you normally wouldn’t expect to get, MRSA, upper respiratory infections and cancer can all be prevented with oregano.
Though the studies are still young when it comes to oregano’s effect on cancer prevention, early signs have shown that oregano has been able to slow down or kill cancer cells. Many different types of cancer have been researched so far, and the signs are good. These studies have used an oil extract instead of leaves, though, so keep that in mind.
Detox Your Body
If you feel sluggish throughout the day and commonly find yourself on the couch because you have no energy, it might be your digestive health that’s the problem. There are many different foods that can help you increase your digestive system, and oregano is certainly among them. Oregano contains dietary fiber that you need to break down foods more efficiently.
Because of the antioxidant properties of oregano, you should also be able to kill any infections that your digestive tract may have. Parasites have even been treated with oregano extract, as well as candida. The best news is that you don’t have to take much, which is good because the oil extract doesn’t taste that great.
Your long term health is very important, but many people are curious about the everyday home remedy uses that oregano can bring. Starting with a stuffy nose, a few drops of oregano oil can clear up your sinuses and help with a sore throat in the process. It’s not only a temporary solution, but the antioxidants can help you get over a cold that could have caused a stuffy head.
Skin can also benefit from oregano in a big way, as many different blemishes such as cold sores or psoriasis can be treated. You want to make sure that you don’t use oregano oil on broken skin, though, as it can cause irritation. Your nails can also see a benefit, as it clears any nail fungus infections, or it can even be used as part of a facial mask. Just make sure that you do not let any of it get in your eyes, though.
Summing it Up
Oregano has a lot of benefits that come along with it, all without having much of the calories that some other beneficial foods have. While you can take in quite a bit when it comes to eating the ground up form of oregano, you have to limit yourself with the oils. Oregano oil is very pungent, so it should always be diluted with water or other lighter oils for the full benefits.
Oregano oil is not something that you have to take every day, as it’s something that should be used in the short term with small doses. You can put the spice on as much food as you want, though. One last word of warning, you should not be taking oregano oil if you’re pregnant or nursing. There are potential hazardous side effects that could arise.
Other than that, there aren’t many negative effects when it comes to oregano. There were claims that it was once a cure-all, but that has been shown to be false. However, there are enough benefits from oregano that you should think about adding more of it to your life in one way or another.