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7 Nov

Oregano: 10 Natural Health Benefits & Healing Uses

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

10. Recipes

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.”

6. Minerals

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!

3. Omega-3’s

Oregano is a natural source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Does it get any better?

2. Perfume

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?

Further reading:

Edible Flowers (they’re not for slugs anymore!)

Top Ten Fibrous Foods (must be pronounced fibb-russ in order to count)

Tonomura Flickr Photo (CC)

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Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I’m very curious about oregano. Suppose I steep a few tbsp of oregano in apple cider vinegar for several weeks and then strain out the oregano, will the vinegar retain the benefits of the oregano? Suppose I would steep garlic and clove along with the oregano, would the vinegar retain those benefits as well?

    Paul wrote on January 31st, 2013
  2. I do use it as a perfume additive. Since it has such great antimicrobial properties, I use a few drops in the batch. I mix an antimicrobial blend with Oregano, Marjoram, Tea Tree, Clove, Lemon, Basil (and I think a few others) too. That is what I use on my toes every day to keep funky feet away. :) Works well as deodorant too.

    Allison Van Eck wrote on February 14th, 2013
  3. A way back in 1920.s one of my ancestors had a well known distillery in Continental Europe and he invented a liquor that was called “Granite” .
    It’s main ingredient was Oregano . I was told that it was excellent for stomach ailments.

    charly wrote on March 1st, 2013
  4. Love reading all these amazing benefits for the use of oregano. I grow oregano ( in fact it acts like a perennial for me), so, my question is…. How much and how often could I take a pinch to live naturally healthy right from my garden? Why would I use oil for benefits if I can just nibble on it?

    Cheryl wrote on March 12th, 2013
  5. I put it in Refried beans and chicken stock, just remove stems before eating! Also goes great raw with cilantro in guacamole. Add some to your chimichurri. Now that I know it’s that good for you, I’ll try adding a bit to my next batch of pesto!
    Here in Texas, it is a very easy plant to keep in your yard!

    Jill wrote on March 15th, 2013
  6. Have taken an oregano capsule daily for about twelve years. Colds and flu stopped immediately! Attacks are seldom, and very mild; sinuses never clogged. Began wondering if I should have the shingles vaccine. Decided not to because I wondered what the oregano may be doing to the virus hiding out in my body. Well, now I have shingles! It is not a full-blown attack. I was very uncomfortable, but still functional. I attribute this to my historical use of oregano. Doctor put me on a course of Valtrex for a week, which provided little or no relief. As soon as I finished that, I upped my dose of oregano to four capsules a day. Within a day, I was feeling better. Now I am just somewhat uncomfortable. Just one guy’s statistically anecdotal experience, but I would suggest it is worth a try.

    aressess wrote on March 26th, 2013
  7. Oragon seeds are called Ajwain in Hindi (read India). They are often mixed with all purpose floors in making deep fried snacks such as Samosa, Paapdi, Puri etc. It is supposed to help with digestion.

    Gyanesh Sharma wrote on April 11th, 2013
  8. maybe a great article but next time you talk about research please leave at bottom where the research can be found. That will make students lives (mine) much easier. thank you

    Tony wrote on May 3rd, 2013
  9. Do Oregano helps in curing Fistula ????

    Data Sharan wrote on June 29th, 2013
  10. It is the most amazing herb ever.
    I drink it daily and have noticed the
    difference in my body.
    I feel great and notice a difference in my skin.
    awesome stuff.
    loving it.

    yolanda wrote on August 15th, 2013
  11. Can Aregano helps to lower the blood pressure

    Tsimanji Cronnie wrote on August 29th, 2013
  12. I have a bad cold and sinustis for the last three days and today was the worst followed by sore throat. I came home four hours ago and I relized I have Oregano from Asia mart that I bought two days ago. So I washed it and add little salt and fresh onion. I also boil some water and add a few leaves to make a tea. I had them wirh rice.Just after having dinner I realized I could breath without blocking nose. The sore throat had left me. I was surprise by it and I started to find oregano by the name of Herb and end up here..while writing this I do not need any tissue to blow my nose…God bless oregano….it save my evening….

    esi wrote on October 29th, 2013
    • I just read that oregano was used by the Aztecs for intestinal inflamation. I lean a lot from your article and I will start using this marvelous plant as often as possible. Thank you

      francisco duarte wrote on September 25th, 2014
  13. Oregano Oil is simply the BEST antiseptic, antibacterial product for the skin. Internal or external – I have personally used it on my gums, for an abcessed tooth, ulcers, pimples, boils, infected cuts, tinea, fungal infection under nails, crusty pre-cancer growths on face and hands… and also on my cats when they had abcess from cat fights. I have had friends use it for leg ulcers and surgical wounds.
    I would NOT want to be without it in the house. I grow it and have used the fresh leaves in salads and stirr fries and believe it is very good for digestive problems from poor stomach flora or bacteria.
    DONT underestimate the power of this magnificent herb. It can save you money and pain and doctors visits :)

    Abigail Packer wrote on November 13th, 2013
  14. I use to have a pain one week before and after my menstrual period, but this month was the worst pain of my life that I went to the doctor and did not solve my problem. He just asked me if I want to get a CT or wait if it disappears. I was on terrible pain, but I use to drink different teas, like ginger, cinnamon, camomile, and some time mixed with oregano. Yesterday, for some reason I did drink cinnamon and fresh oregano tea before I left at my job and I another cup of the same tea after six hours, and I noticed that my pain despaired. This morning when I waked up I could not believe that my pelvic pain was not bothering me anymore. I was thinking and remembering what I ate or drink yesterday, and found out that the cinnamon and oregano tea was the only different thing compared with other days. So, I am so exited about it because I was reading a lot about endometriosis and was scared about it, because my symptoms were similar to that. Now, I am going to send a message to my doctor about the god news, and tell him that I do not want the CT anymore, thanks to the cinnamon and oregano tea. It same me a lot; pain, time and money.

    Sonia wrote on November 23rd, 2013

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