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April 26, 2012
Oregano (Origanum vulgare), known also as wild marjoram, is undoubtedly one of the most popular seasoning and medicinal herbs which has been used in both culinary and folk medicine for a great number of centuries. Oregano benefits vary from anti-inflammatory to anti-cancer, and in culinary, oregano is known as one of the most common components of pizza and pasta seasoning. This herb has very pleasant refreshing aroma and is rich in many key minerals and vitamins including icon, calcium, manganese, potassium, magnesium, vitamins K and E, as well as natural antioxidants, fiber, and so on. Oregano, or ‘mountain joy’ plays an important role in Mexican and Mediterranean cuisines, and it found its place among the healthiest foods of earth!
Oregano herb is highly valued for its powerful antioxidant and protective properties. In particular, it is considered a great protection against many digestive disorders and problems related to weight gain since oregano is rich in fiber and very low in calories. Experts say that by using this medicinal herb it is possible to stimulate the function of digestive system and boost the production of enzymes that play a role in digestion. Besides, studies have found very strong cholesterol lowering benefits of oregano, this way proving that this natural remedy is a great solution for preventing many common cardiovascular diseases including heart attack, strokes, etc. Minerals in oregano can help us prevent such health conditions as anemia, dental problems, and lower the effects of factors that can cause osteoporosis.
Not many of us know that oregano is considered one of the richest natural sources of antioxidants, along with green tea or cocoa. In order to enjoy antioxidant benefits of oregano, it is important to use only fresh and 100 per cent organic herb. Antioxidants prevent our body cells from natural oxidation and slow down the effects of aging. In addition, oregano can be used for its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties to prevent a huge number of infections starting from common respiratory system infections and ending up with more serious infections of bladder or digestive system. These health benefits of oregano are derived from a high content of essential oils like thymol, pinene, limonene, carvacrol, caryophyllene, and others. Vitamin C in oregano helps boosting our immune system, and vitamin E is essential for excellent skin health.
Finally, according to the findings of a very recent study, presented a few days ago at the Experimental Biology 2012 poster session, oregano benefits include the properties of this herbal remedy to assist in treating prostate cancer, one of the leading causes of death in today’s world. Experts at the Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and health Sciences, Long Island University, carried out a series of experiments and tested the effects of carvacrol, an ingredient of oregano, on living cells of prostate cancer. The scientists witnessed the process during which carvacrol was destroying prostate cancer cells. “We know that oregano possesses anti-bacterial as well as anti-inflammatory properties, but its effects on cancer cells really elevate the spice to the level of a super-spice like turmeric,” Dr. Supriya Bavadekar, a study leader, commented on the findings of his expert group.Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.