The Health Benefits of Oregano
By Sara Butler
Oregano is popular in kitchens the world over. You can find it dried, in oil, or fresh. No matter how you consume it, oregano has some pretty cool health benefits. Did you know that there’s enough Vitamin K in one teaspoon of dried oregano to provide you with about one-tenth of your daily needs? Here’s a closer look at this herb and how it can enhance your health.
It’s Full of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that help to fight against the damage in the body done by free radicals. If free radicals build up in your body, they may contribute to chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. The antioxidants present in oregano can neutralize the free radicals and possibly reduce your risk of disease.
They Can Fight Bacteria and Viruses
Oregano essential oil has been found in laboratory tests to help block the growth of certain types of bacteria. Still, other studies have found that oregano is effective in fighting over 23 different types of bacteria. Granted, these studies have used very concentrated amounts of oregano, but it’s promising research.
One positive side effect of fighting bacteria is that oregano may also be able to help reduce infection by fighting off viruses, too. Two compounds found in oregano, thymol and carvacrol, have antiviral properties. Additional research is being done in order to find out just how effective these compounds are.
Inflammation occurs in the body as a natural response to injury or illness. But chronic inflammation is now thought to be a huge contributor to chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain autoimmune diseases. Oregano is high in antioxidants, which can help to reduce inflammation. In animal studies, oregano oil has been shown to reduce markers of chronic inflammation, which is quite promising.
It’s Easy to Add
When you think of oregano, you often think of pizza toppings or pasta, but it can actually be used in a lot of ways you may not have considered. You can try mixing fresh oregano leaves in with your salad or sprinkling the dried version of the herb into your favorite stews, soups, or chili.
You can also make your salad dressing with it or use it in homemade sauces or pesto to add a new flavor profile. It’s easy to find in various forms, which makes it even easier to add to your diet.
Oregano is more than just a spice, it's a food that can boost your health and wellness, too!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mission Viejo, Calif.