As part of our fall series on the healing powers of herbs, check out this week’s focus on oregano! (And don’t miss last week’s tips for lavender.)
Oregano means “mountain joy” and is a wonderfully aromatic, flavorful herb popularly used in Spanish and Mediterranean cooking. Oregano also goes by the name marjoram (though it is not to be confused with sweet marjoram). Oregano adds depth and savor to any dish, but goes particularly well with tomatoes, eggplant, and any meat. Sprinkle some in your scrambled eggs or salad dressings, too.
9. Vitamin Boost
Oregano is a rich natural source of vitamin K, an important vitamin that is often overlooked. Learn more about vitamin K.
8. Antibacterial Punch
Did you know that oregano has anti-bacterial properties? You can find oregano oil in many specialty and health food shops for this very reason. Oregano contains thymol and carvacrol, two oils which have remarkable bacteria-fighting power. In fact, researchers recently discovered that oregano is a better treatment for giardia than the prescription drug commonly prescribed to treat the illness.
7. Antioxidants, Too
Thymol and an acid called rosmarinic are potent antioxidants that oregano offers. Ready for a surprise? Research shows that “…On a per gram fresh weight basis, oregano has demonstrated 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges and 4 times more than blueberries.”
Oregano is high in iron, manganese, and other important minerals for health. It’s one of the healthiest and tastiest herbs you can try, so if you haven’t stopped reading yet to run out and buy some, scoot!
5. Fiber Full
Oregano is rich in fiber (the amount is similar to chicory). Fiber is necessary to provide bulk for better elimination. As Mark always says, fiber is king!
4. Go fresh!
When buying oregano, it’s best to purchase fresh leaves instead of the dried variety. Yes, a little shakity-shake is easier and more convenient, but you also miss out on those beneficial anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant oils. Fresh oregano is pretty inexpensive. In fact, it’s very easy to grow yourself!
Oregano is a natural source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Does it get any better?
Oregano makes a lovely scent for your skin similar to patchouli. It is guaranteed to drive the ladies wild, gentlemen. Because it is a commonly used ingredient in pizzas and spaghetti, don’t be surprised if people, especially former carb addicts, bite you. Obviously, Mark’s Daily Apple cannot be responsible for this potential risk. But hey, maybe you like being bitten. No judgment here.
1. The Things We Get Away With Around Here…
#2 was completely made up.
Hey: What are your favorite ways to use oregano? You do use oregano, right?
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Tonomura Flickr Photo (CC)