Did you know Oregano ? One of worlds healthiest food

Did you know Oregano ? One of worlds healthiest food

Oregano is an important culinary and medicinal herb that has been used in medicine and cooking for thousands of years - with a number of potential health benefits. It is a species of Origanum, belonging to the mint family (Lamiaceae).

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Oregano typically grows 50 cm tall and has purple leaves around 2 to 3 centimeters in length.

The chemicals that give the herb its unique and pleasant smell are thymol, pinene, limonene, carvacrol, ocimene, and caryophyllene

Not only does oregano provide food flavor, there are also a substantial number of health claims associated with its potent antioxidants and anti-bacterial properties

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Health Benefits

  • Oregano contains an impressive list of plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties.

  • The herb parts contain no cholesterol; however, are rich source of dietary fiber, which helps to control blood cholesterol levels.

  • Oregano contains several health benefiting essential oils such as carvacrol, thymol, limonene, pinene, ocimene, and caryophyllene. Its leaves and flowering stem has anti-septic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, cholagogue (help gall bladder secretion), diaphoretic (sweat production), expectorant, stimulant, and mildly tonic properties. Its decoction is taken by mouth for the treatment of colds, influenza, mild fevers, indigestion, stomach upsets, and painful menstruation conditions.

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  • Thymol is also been found to have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal activities.

  • The herb is rich in poly-phenolic flavonoid anti-oxidants (vitamin A, carotenes, lutein, zea-xanthin, and cryptoxanthin) and has been rated as one of the plant sources with highest anti-oxidant activities. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.

  • The active principles in the herb may improve gut motility in addition to increase the digestion power by facilitating copious secretion of gastro-intestinal juices.

  • This marvelous herb is an excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure caused by high sodium. Manganese and copper are utilized by the body as co-factors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron helps prevent anemia. Magnesium and calcium are important minerals for bone metabolism.

  • In addition, fresh herb is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin; vitamin-C. Vitamin C helps human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.

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Culinary uses

  • In order to keep the fragrance and aromatic flavor intact, oregano leaves are generally used just before preparing recipes.
  • Next time you enjoy a slice of pizza, garnish it with some fresh oregano.
  • Oregano goes great with healthy sautéed mushrooms and onions.
  • Adding a few sprigs of fresh oregano to a container of olive oil will infuse the oil with the essence of the herb.
  • Fresh oregano makes an aromatic addition to omelets and frittatas.
  • Sprinkle some chopped oregano onto homemade garlic bread.
  • Add oregano to salad dressings.
  • It has also been used in the preparation of soups, omelet, sauces, and pickling.
  • Freshly chopped oregano leaves is a great addition to green/fruit salad.

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Medicinal uses

  • The leaves and flowering stem of the oregano plant have antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, increase bile secretion, diaphoretic, expectorant, stimulant, and mildly tonic properties.

  • Oregano decoction is taken by mouth for the treatment of colds, influenza, mild fever, indigestion, stomach upsets, and painful menstruation.

  • Thymol has been found to have anti-septic, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal activities. (Medical disclaimer).


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