Best known as the “pizza herb,” oregano has been gaining popularity as a natural remedy for many common health problems. Both fresh and dried oregano leaves have volatile oils with carminative, stomachic, diuretic, diaphoretic, expectorant, antibacterial, antioxidant, antimicrobial and mild tonic properties.
Oregano is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. It is high in vitamins A, C, and E complex, as well as zinc, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, copper, manganese and niacin.
Here are the top 10 health benefits of oregano.
1. Treats the Common Cold
The powerful antioxidant and antiseptic properties in oregano make it an excellent treatment for the common cold.
- When you feel a cold or sore throat coming on, simply add three drops of oregano oil to a glass of orange juice. Drink it once daily for up to five days until your symptoms are gone.
- You can also drink oregano tea two or three times a day for symptom relief.
2. Breaks up Nasal Congestion
Oregano is a wonderful natural treatment for nasal congestion as it works as a safe and reliable antihistamine.
- To clear blocked throat and nasal passages, add two or three drops of oregano oil to one-half cup of boiling water. Cover your head with a towel and inhale the vapor coming off the mixture. Do this twice daily.
- Alternatively, you can add three drops of oregano oil to a glass of juice and drink it daily for three to five days.
3. Treats Flu Virus
The antiviral property in oregano can effectively shorten the duration of flu symptoms. Some common telltale symptoms of the flu are high fever, cough, sore throat, headache, vomiting, loss of appetite as well as aches and pains in the joints and muscles.
To treat these symptoms, simply mix a few drops of oregano oil in a glass of water and drink it once daily for three to five days.
4. Relieves Menstrual Cramps
Oregano is also known as a pain reliever and is very effective when suffering from menstrual cramps.
- You can simply chew some fresh oregano leaves three times a day to reduce menstrual pain.
- You can also drink oregano tea for relief in a matter of minutes. To make the tea, mix one-half teaspoon of oregano in one cup of water and bring it to a boil. Strain it, and add sugar to taste. Drink it three or four times a day during your cycle.
You can also use oregano oil to regulate your menstrual cycle, reduce the negative effects of menopause and prevent premature menopause.
Note: This remedy is not for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
5. Kills Intestinal Parasites
Intestinal parasites are unwanted inhabitants of the gastrointestinal system that can seriously increase the risk for various diseases. To kill these harmful parasites, dried oregano is a good natural option because it is extremely volatile and antiparasitic.
Also, oregano oil contains two powerful antimicrobial agents known as thymol and carvacrol. These substances have shown to be very effective in treating intestinal parasites.
To treat intestinal parasites, add two or three drops of oregano oil to water, along with some freshly squeezed lemon juice, and drink it three times a day.
6. Improves Heart Health
This aromatic herb is an excellent source of potassium, an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control rapid heart rate and blood pressure caused by high intake of sodium.
The disease-fighting antioxidants present in oregano are believed to help prevent and repair oxidative stress and heart disease.
Plus, oregano is a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation throughout the body and also lower the risk of heart disease. Drink one cup of oregano tea daily to improve your heart health.
7. Eases Asthma Attacks
Oregano is rich in carvacrol, flavonoids and terpenes, all compounds that act as ‘lung-cleansing elements.’ So, oregano will clear the respiratory tract and bronchial tubes, giving relief from asthma attacks.
- When suffering from an asthma attack, drink oregano tea sweetened with honey four to five times a day.
- Another option is to extract the juice from oregano leaves and take one tablespoon of it every hour to relieve asthma and chronic coughs.
8. Stimulates Appetite
A number of studies have shown that oregano helps relax stomach tension, which in turn stimulates appetite.
Simply dilute some oregano oil in water and use it as a hot steam treatment or rub it into your skin to encourage increased appetite.
At the same time, this herb stimulates bile release to facilitate digestion and treats flatulence, indigestion and bloating.
9. Maintains Body Weight
This herb contains no cholesterol and is a rich source of dietary fiber. Adequate fiber intake helps in managing weight, thereby keeping the body fit and reducing the risk of several diseases.
The active component known as carvacrol present in oregano oil is capable of dissolving fat into droplets. Being overweight can cause fat sludge to pile up in your liver, gallbladder, lymph system, and elsewhere in the body. Oregano helps dissolve this buildup, which in turn helps you lose weight.
10. Protects Against Cancer
Oregano is a very good source of fiber that helps bind bile salts and cancer-causing toxins in the colon and remove them from the body. This in turn forces the body to break down cholesterol to make more bile salts, thus lowering high cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of colon cancer.
Also, the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties in oregano are useful in slowing down or preventing the progression of breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Next time you are eating pizza and enjoying the aromatic oregano, also think about its health benefits. Also do not forget to sprinkle a little oregano on your soup, salad or morning smoothie.