Oregano: nutrition, proven health benefits and uses

Some of the nutritional and health benefits of oregano include the ability to treat upper respiration infection like sore throat, good for dental or oral health, prevent and treat hypertension, protects the liver, good anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic and antioxidant agent, enhance longevity, useful in killing cells of lung and colon cancer, and useful in various metabolic syndrome related diseases like obesity.

Nutritional value of oregano

  • The biological name of oregano is Origanum vulgare.
  • It is also know as Orégano (Spanish), Origan (French), Ajwain (Hindi), Omum (Tamil), Ayamodakam (Malayalam), Vamu (Telugu), Onva (Marathi), Joan (Bengali), Juani (Oriya), Ajwain (Punjabi & Urdu) in many households.
  • It is very low in Cholesterol and Sodium.
  • It is also a good source of Vitamin B6, Potassium and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and Manganese.
  • A 100 g of oregano contains about 265 calories.
  • It contain also Proteins, Water, Phytosterols, Dietary Fiber, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Omega-6 Fatty Acids, vitamins (Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Choline, Pantothenic acid, Betaine), and minerals (Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Selenium).

Health Benefits of Oregano

1. Respiratory disorders

The aromatic essential oils of oregano can be beneficial in patients with upper respiratory tract infections and helps to improve symptoms like sore throat, hoarseness or cough.

2. Head lice treatment

Oregano can be an effective home remedy for head lice nits which helps to remove them. Studies indicate that oregano essential oil is effective against insecticide-susceptible and pyrethroid/malathion-resistant head lice.

3. Dental health

Oregano has fungistatic and fungicidal activities that helps to prevent and treat many dental problems. A study of in vitro antifungal activity of pure constituents of oregano essentials oils for the topic treatment of oral yeast or fungal infections , inflammation and redness of the oral mucous membrane.

4. Anti-parasitic

Study indicate that after 6 weeks of supplementation with daily oil of oregano there was complete disappearance of parasitic intestinal diseases including Entamoeba hartmanni , Endolimax nana, and Blastocystis hominis. Oregano is an anti-protozoal agent that can be useful in treatment of various protozoan infections.

5. Hypertension treatment

Carvacrol found in oregano can help to prevent and improve hypertension. Oregano can be a great herb to add in hypertension diet.

6. Liver protection

Oregano is rich in antioxidants and contain various phenols like carvacrol, which helps to prevent and protect liver against oxidative stress, toxicity and chemical induced liver damage. Another study suggest that carvacrol obtained from oregano oil significantly increases the liver regeneration rate. That is why oregano is one of the herb to be included in liver diseases diet and good for liver health.

7. Increase longevity

Studies indicate that including oregano in diet has prolongevity effect and has positive impact on aging. Eating oregano regularly improve longevity and must add on in your longevity food diet.

8. Anti-bacterial

Oregano has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that helps to prevent many food borne pathogen infections and other bacterial infections. It has found effective against Listeria, E. coli, and Salmonella.

9. Anti-fungal

Study indicate that a herbal antifungal formulation of Thyme, Oregano and Rosemary  for treating fungal infections infections of the skin, hair, and nails. In another study oregano (carvacrol) oil has exception inhibitory activity against Candida infection.

10. Anti cancer

Study indicates that carvacrol found in oregano is a potent inhibitor of cell growth in lung cancer. In another study, oregano induces programmed cell death in human colon cancer cells.

11. Antioxidants

Oregano tea contains large amounts of polyphenols which has strong antioxidant capability and helps to fight free radical damage of oxidative stress.

12. Prevent metabolic syndrome related diseases

Studies indicate that oregano may prevent and ameliorate metabolic syndrome and its complications like obesity, hyperglycemia, hypertension, and hyper/dyslipidemia.

Ways to include oregano in diet

  • Make healthy oregano tea out of fresh oregano leaves.
  • Add dried or fresh leaves of oregano in to soup, pasta, or curies.
  • Make healthy dip or chutney out of fresh oregano leaves.
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