Oregano is a popular herb that many people think of as merely a spice to improve or enhance the flavor of their food, but in truth, this perennial herb, with the scientific name of Origanum vulgare, has a wealth of health benefits that most people don’t realize at all.
Oregano is actually closely related to mint, and its genus is actually in the same family as Mentha. The leaves of oregano are the most commonly used part of the plant, but strangely, the aroma and flavor of the leaves are far greater when the herb is dried than when the leaves are fresh, which is somewhat unusual for an herb.
Health Benefits of Oregano
1) Boosts Immunity
Two of the most important components of oregano is rosmarinic acid and thymol, both of which are powerful antioxidant compounds that have been closely linked to reducing oxidative stress in the body. so adding oregano to your diet by sprinkling it on your meals can seriously improve your immune health and keep your body safe from some of the most dangerous and silent killers.
2) Antibacterial Activity
On a more basic immune system note, oregano also has clear antibacterial properties, which is again due to the presence of thymol and carvacrol. These important organic compounds can defend the body against a wide range of bacteria that can affect the skin, the gut, and other parts of the body.
3) Improves Heart Health
Oregano is a natural form of omega-3 fatty acids, the beneficial type of cholesterol that actually improves your heart health, whereas omega-6 fatty acids have a negative impact. Furthermore, omega-3 fatty acids help to rebalance your cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation in the cardiovascular system, thereby helping to prevent atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
4) Improves Bone Health
As we get older, our bones begin to weaken and break down, so ensuring that we get enough vitamins and minerals in our early years is important. Calcium, iron, and manganese are some of the most crucial minerals for bone health, and oregano has significant amounts of all of them, making it great for people who want to protect themselves against osteoporosis later in life.
5) Increases Energy Levels
By improving the functionality of the metabolism, thanks to B-vitamins and its unique organic composition, the body is rejuvenated and energized. The increase in circulation, due to the presence of iron and increased levels of hemoglobin, helps to fully oxygenate the cells and muscles of the body, thereby increasing energy and strength.
WAYS TO PREPARE OREGANO
Oregano is most commonly used as a seasoning in stews, pizzas, and tomato-based sauces. Fresh oregano leaves can enhance the flavor of salads and soups as well as Mediterranean dishes.It is labor intensive to squeeze the oils from the leaves and stems.
OREGANO CAUTIONS AND CONCERNS
Not everyone should take oregano. Especially women who are pregnant should avoid digesting or absorbing oregano. It can weaken the lining of the embryonic sack. Oregano oil may reduce the body’s ability to absorb iron, which is another reason women and children, in particular, should not consume large amounts of oregano.
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